Beyond ADA Compliance: The Library as a Place for All

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2015, the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrated its 25th anniversary. While libraries have instituted ADA compliance initiatives since the law came into effect in 1990, and new libraries are generally designed with compliance in mind, to be truly accessible for all people, libraries must incorporate principles of universal design not just into the physical building but into all aspects of the library, including our web presence and the services we provide to patrons. This paper argues that libraries are falling far short of true accessibility and that there needs to be a serious mental shift in how we think about access to our services and spaces. A potential tool for this shift lies in incorporating universal design into all aspects of libraries.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
JournalUrban Library Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • disability
  • universal design
  • accessibility
  • disability theory
  • social justice


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