Educational Design and Technology

Equitable Access

Students have flexible and equitable access to resources that support their academic and personal learning and meet diverse learning needs


Access – Access to the school library media program and resources is defined in three ways. Physical access refers to the ability of all users to easily make use of the library media center facilities and resources. Intellectual access insures that all users will findLibrarians reading with children materials on their reading, interest, and comprehension levels. Economic access refers to the removal of all barriers to library materials and services based on the user’s ability to

pay. [From: ALA/AASL Standards for Initial Programs for School Library Media Specialist Preparation]                                                                                            

Flexible Access – The opposite of fixed scheduling, the school library media program is not used as a method of providing the teacher’s planning period. Classes are scheduled as a result of instructional needs.

[From: ALA/AASL Standards for Initial Programs for School Library Media Specialist Preparation]

Additional Reading

Guild, S. LD Accommodations in the School Library: Not Just for the Specialized School Anymore. Knowledge Quest, 37(1), 24-29, September/October, 2008.

Guild discusses how library media specialists, by providing accommodations, are able to help students to bridge the gap in the learning cycle created by learning differences. 

Hopkins, J. Assistive Technology: An Introductory Guide for K-12 Library Media Specialists. Linworth, Worthington, OH, 2004. 

Hopkins covers inclusive library services, legal considerations and guidelines, the role of assistive technology, and accessibility and needs for various types of disabilities.

Needham, Joyce. From Fixed to Flexible: Making the Journey. Teacher Librarian 30.5 (2003): 8. 

Wesson, Caren L., Keefe, Margaret J., Eds. Serving Special Needs Students in the School Library Media Center. Greenwood Professional Guides in School Librarianship. Greenwood Press, CT.

Whelan, D. L. The Equal Opportunity Disorder. School Library Journal 55(8), 30-34, August, 2009.

Whelan shares suggestions for how to provide services and strategies for working with students who have autism spectrum disorders.

Web Resources

Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG)

http://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standardsexternal link

ALA Position Statement Library Services for People with Disabilities. http://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/governance/policymanual/
external link PDF file icon (28.4MB)

McGregor, Joy H. Flexible Scheduling: How Does a Principal Facilitate Implementation?

School Libraries Worldwide – Volume 8, Number 1, 2002, 71-84.

http://www.iasl-online.org/files/jan02-mcgregor.pdfexternal link PDF file icon (83 KB)


[Photo courtesy New York Library Association]

Last Updated: January 26, 2015