Crash Course in Library Services to People with Disabilities
by Ann Roberts and Richard J. Smith
March 2010, 158pp, 8 1/2x11
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-59158-767-5
$50, £39, 44€, A69
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-056-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Persons with disabilities make up the largest minority group in the United States, and with the aging of the Baby Boomers their numbers will continue to grow. It is an audience that will rely on services like the public library, and libraries that do not reach out to disabled persons are missing an important opportunity.

This book helps libraries identify and implement new ways to serve their physically or mentally disabled patients.

Authors Ann Roberts and Dr. Richard Smith work at the state level with persons with disabilities. They find that very few librarians feel comfortable with providing services addressed to the needs of the disabled, yet those who do offer services and programs other libraries can adopt and adapt.

Crash Course in Library Services to People with Disabilities will help librarians get up to speed in understanding disabled persons and what they can do to make library premises and holdings more accessible to them. It provides basic information on the different types of mental and physical disabilities a librarian might encounter, then offers a range of exemplary policies, services, and programs for people with disabilities—efforts that are in place and working across the country.


  • Provides assessment tools that help libraries gauge their ability to meet the needs of disabled patrons
  • Includes a comprehensive index
Ann Roberts is a certified archivist and currently serves as the adult services consultant in library development for the Missouri State Library. Her published works include A Crash Course in Library Gift Programs: The Reluctant Curator's Guide to Caring for Archives, Books and Artifacts in a Library Setting.

Richard J. Smith, MLS, PhD, is the chief of the Network Division at the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) in the Library of Congress. Previously, for 14 years, he was director of Wolfner Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped for the state of Missouri. He received his master of library science degree and doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Library and Information Science.


"Librarians who are striving to fill the information needs of people with different mental and physical challenges will find that this title answers many of their questions."—Booklist, August 1, 2010

"Recommended for all libraries exploring their service to the disabled."—Library Journal, August 1, 2010
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