Library Programs for Children with Disabilities: A Survey of Missouri Public Libraries.Report as inadecuate

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Since the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 has gone into effect, many libraries are evaluating and improving their library services for people with disabilities. There are nearly 110,000 children in Missouri who receive some type of special education assistance because of physical, mental or emotional impairments. Through an anonymous exploratory survey, this study presents an overall description of library programs for children with disabilities in Missouri. A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to the youth services librarians at 97 of 130 Missouri public libraries. A simple random sample was drawn to select the subject libraries; 53 questionnaires were returned. The librarians and libraries in Missouri are beginning to take steps to provide library programs for children with disabilities. Many libraries address the special needs of people with disabilities in their mission statements. Three-fourths of the subject libraries are completely physically accessible to disabled children. A majority of the responding librarians have attended a seminar or workshop related to library service for people with disabilities. To improve library programming for children with disabilities there is a need for: increased special funding, increased efforts to identify and contact children with special needs, and more specific and practical education and training for youth services librarians. Eleven tables present information on programs, accessibility of facilities and library types and size. The library survey is included in the appendix. (Contains 31 references.) (Author)

Descriptors: Accessibility (for Disabled), Children, Disabilities, Library Funding, Library Services, Library Surveys, Mission Statements, Outreach Programs, Professional Development, Public Libraries, User Needs (Information)

Author: Poulson, Jane M.


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