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Evaluating libraryresourcesamigos



Virtual presentation given at the Technology: Unintended Consequences of Legislation and Policies in Libraries, Feburary 8 2012

Virtual presentation given at the Technology: Unintended Consequences of Legislation and Policies in Libraries, Feburary 8 2012



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  • Tatomir, Jennifer, and Joan C. Durrance. 2010. Overcoming the Information Gap: Measuring the Accessibility of Library Databases to Adaptive Technology Users. Library Hi Tech 28(4): 577-94.

Evaluating libraryresourcesamigos Evaluating libraryresourcesamigos Presentation Transcript

  • Nina McHaleArapahoe Library District milehighbrarian.net
  • The Library AccessibilityProblem, 1 of 2 Library web sites are complex blends of locally created content and online (often hosted) tools Those tools are created and managed by different entities, internal and external to the library Library vendors are notoriously unsupportive of/non-compliant with Section 508/WCAG  Tatomir and Durrance: 78% of databases “marginally inaccessible” or “inaccessible”
  • The Library AccessibilityProblem, 2 of 2 Library web sites tend to be homegrown Library web masters tend to be self- taught Few (if any?!) members of the library staff have adequate web accessibility knowledge Inaccessible sites-not just library web sites- can look and function fine to sighted users
  • Our Agenda (Free!) Accessibility Testing Tools Putting Library Resources to the Test Tips for Fixing Problems
  • (Free!) Accessibility TestingTools ChromeShades (Chrome) Web Accessibility Toolbar (Internet Explorer) Fangs (Firefox) WebAIM WAVE  Site (browser independent)  Toolbar (Firefox)
  • ChromeShades (GoogleChrome) https://chrome.google.com/webstore/ Screen reader emulator Shows an approximation of what a screen reader would say ChromeVox: a screen reader ChromeVis: a screen magnifier
  • Web Accessibility Toolbar(Internet Explorer) http://www.visionaustralia.org.au/ais/tool bar/ Not so much an integrated a browser tool as the others; more a suite of useful tools collected into a bookmarks bar
  • Fangs (Firefox Plug-In) http://sourceforge.net/projects/fangs/ Provides a transcript of a screen reader’s output (examples to follow) Future of development uncertain, but current version works with Firefox 9.0.1 Install plug-in, then restart Firefox To run in Firefox: ○ Browse to the page to evaluate; ○ Select “Tools,” then “Fangs”
  • WebAIM WAVE(Site and Firefox Plug-In) Site: http://wave.webaim.org/  Browse to site and: ○ Enter URL, OR ○ Upload code to analyze Firefox Plug-In:  Install plug-in, then restart Firefox;  Select “Tools,” then “WAVE” for options  Benefit: not third-party server  Index to icons: http://wave.webaim.org/icons
  • Sample Tests Library catalog (III Millennium) LibGuides (SpringShare)For each of these: Screen capture Fangs and WebAIM tests Summary of issues revealed
  • Library Catalog Arapahoe Library District:  http://aspen.ald.lib.co.us/ Innovative Interfaces, Inc., Millennium A “hybrid” library resource: vendor- created, but customized locally by library systems staff
  • Issues Revealed, III’sMillennium Order of content not logical or intuitively structured as a screen reader would render it (Fangs output) Image file name renders as gibberish (Fangs output) Alt text for images missing for library logo and sculpture pictures (WebAIM output) Search (HTML form) not coded properly (WebAIM output)
  • LibGuides Auraria Library English 090 Guide:  http://guides.auraria.edu/ccdenglish090 SpringShare A specialized library CMS for creating and organizing guide content
  • Features Revealed,SpiringShare’s LibGuides Skip navigation links are present (Fangs output) “Alternate Page” for screen reader users is present (Fangs output) HTML headings (h1-h6) are used to structure the page (Fangs output) Alternative text is present for all but one image (WebAIM output)
  • Caveat: Even resources that pass the tests these tools and conform Section 508 and/or WCAG 2.0 may still have accessibility issues Testing with screen reader software is the best way to test thoroughly
  • Tips: What Can We Do? Content Creators Acquisitions Web Services
  • For Library Content Creators,1 of 2… Alternative text  Section 508 §1194.22 paragraph a; WCAG 2.0 1.1.1  Provide text descriptions for non-text elements, i.e., images  Enforce inclusion of alt text with software features (Dreamweaver, Drupal)  Learn to write quality alternative text: ○ http://webaim.org/techniques/alttext/
  • For Library Content Creators,2 of 2… Captions  Section 508 §1194.22 paragraph b; WCAG 2.0 1.2  Provide transcripts for video-only and audio- only content  Digital learning objects such as tutorials, online orientations, videos, etc., should all have equivalents for blind and deaf users  Enforce use of captions with software features (Camtasia, Captivate)
  • For Acquisitions… Make accessibility evaluation part of the purchase evaluation process Pay close attention to the accessibility of discovery layer tools when making a decision Communicate to library vendors the importance of accessibility to librarians and library users
  • For Web Services, 1 of 2… Make accessibility part of the design and development process  It’s much more difficult to retrofit a site than develop an accessible site to begin with Educate yourself and colleagues about web accessibility as it relates to their job requirements Use freely-available tools to assess accessibility of locally-created and purchased products
  • For Web Services, 2 of 2… Conduct usability testing with users with disabilities  Contact community disability resources Become familiar with and test your sites with screen reader software:  NVDA (open source, for Windows): http://www.nvda-project.org/  VoiceOver: native to OS X (10.4+) for Mac users
  • A Final Thought“Sometimes I think sighted people have handicaps of their own. Vision can be very deceptive.” -Pat Laing, blind computer programmer
  • Questions? Comments? @ninermac milehighbrarian.net Column: “All Access,”Journal of Web Librarianship