Tuesday, August 16, 2005

IFLA 2005, Oslo: Day 5 (part 1)

NOTE: I'm now back in Singapore, but posts are backdated. Thanks to those who mailed me to say they found the posts informative. I'll finish up the remainder of the posts over the next few days.

Day 5 - 16 Aug in Oslo. Attended the session on "Libraries serving disadvantaged persons".

First speaker was Mr. Mogens Wiederholt. He talked about Denmark's national strategy for library services to people with disabilities (I have to check the full paper to confirm if it's library services in general). He continued that the national policy came about because of efforts from the Equal Opportunities Center in Denmark.

Shared that the national strategy should contain the action plans for each library, standards for access (including Digital Library Services), education of staff & the formation of an Information Network, starting a company to develop products for people with disabilities (he mentioned more, but I only had time to note those points down).

He made a point that "equal opportunities" was defined as "everyone should have the same possibility to make use of services offered" or "an almost equal starting point". [Personally, I think the difficulty lies in agreeing with what is meant by "equal starting point" and whether this is subsidised, and by whom.]

Speaker also mentioned a danish study... (really got to read the paper).

He concluded by saying that there have been improvements since the 1998 study in Denmark, but still a long way to go in establishing full accessibility.

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