[Athen] Accessible electronic library systems

Terry Thompson tft at u.washington.edu
Thu Sep 27 11:51:00 PDT 2007

Hi All,

I'm curious whether anyone has innovative approaches to share regarding
their libraries delivering electronic documents in an accessible format.

>From my experience, it seems that electronic reserves, interlibrary loan,

and other electronic document delivery systems are all high-volume
production systems that typically distribute everything as image PDF's. The
best models I've seen for accessibility provide a well-publicized turnaround
time for converting these materials to an accessible format on request, but
these turnaround times aren't quick enough when professors are putting
impromptu reading assignments up on e-reserve on the day of class.

Anyone know of libraries that have taken exemplary steps toward addressing
this problem? If not, what would be the ultimate best practice from your
perspective? Is anyone optimistic that *all* documents in such a system
could be accessible?


Terry Thompson
Technology Specialist, DO-IT
University of Washington
tft at u.washington.edu

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