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Additional Library Services at the LSE Jo Taplin-Green Services Manager & Contact for Users with Disabilities.

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Presentation on theme: "Additional Library Services at the LSE Jo Taplin-Green Services Manager & Contact for Users with Disabilities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Additional Library Services at the LSE Jo Taplin-Green Services Manager & Contact for Users with Disabilities

2 Bit of Background Pre 1995 - provision based on ad hoc and very individualised arrangements Since the DDA was passed in 1995, together with increased awareness, the School and the Library has formalised its arrangements

3 Growth in Provision Since 1995, the number of users registered with the Library as having a disability has increased from around 15 to 450 at the present time. Growth in numbers has resulted in increased pressure on resources and more efficient strategies being sought.

4 Referral & Disclosure LSE students register their disability with the School and attend an interview with Advisor to Students with Disabilities. An ISSA is agreed and drawn up Referral to the Library & other School departments. Disclosure to Library staff via the Library management system.

5 Two tier Library Package Packages discussed and agreed at interview with the Advisor Additional Services Additional Services +

6 Additional Library Services Users This group of Users tends to include those with: Dyslexia Various learning difficulties Generally less physical impairment

7 Additional Services + Users Those with mobility impairments Very Severe forms of Dyslexia Visual impairments Chronic Fatigue

8 What does the Additional Services Package provide? Free printing & copying allowance Borrowing extensions Fetch service Access to reserves IT facilities Buddying Service Personalised Induction

9 And Additional + ? All of ‘the above’ Access to designated study rooms Proxy Borrowing Items faxed/ posted to users who cannot access the campus at any given time.

10 Case Study: Meeting A User Monica Wirz Library user since 2005

11 Background Mature student Part-time Masters degree while also working Originally, user of “mainstream” services Until… a certain Friday 13 th Interruption of services: expected to be permanent, but for: – availability of services – staff awareness and understanding of services – supporting systems and coordination among departments User of the “Additional Library Services +” (Yet, in varying degrees of usership)

12 The Many Faces of Disability A student with disabilities: Who, when, how, in which circumstances? Perception of “uniformity” as a barrier: Vs. diversity in reality: –increased demand for services (15 to 450) –increased complexity levels: systematisation vs. customisation

13 The Many Faces of Disability: Variability, Visibility & Identity Variability of disability and need for different services: –“No can do”: quit –First point of access: Weakest point, yet huge opportunity –Queen of Sheba: support against giving up (identity) –Bad days, yet invisible to others: highest risk in service delivery (LSE vs. “the Bologna experience”) – Business as usual: service allowing us to be “as normal”

14 The Difference It Makes… It simply makes ALL the difference: –Life-saver: a reason to keep going –Motivation not to quit and to deal with all adversities that a chronic illness or disability may bring –It takes more than ramps: awareness, education, integration, systems and infrastructure –Fine-tuning of the system: from a university for an abstract, ideal student to one that truly knows how to deal with diversity and complexity –A safe haven: a place where one does not need to fight to be understood and respected

15 The End Result Higher productivity, satisfaction, lower drop-out rates Better interaction, understanding and cooperation among departments, staff and students An oasis: closer to the way the world should be The reason why I am here today and whenever I can give a bit back of all that has been given to me

16 Quick exercise! Compare and contrast How do we compare with you? Are there things that you are doing which you regard to be helpful but inexpensive? Have you spent vast amounts on things that are under utilised? Pooling resources?

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