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DECEMBER 2012 RESEARCH LIBRARY ISSUES: A QUARTERLY REPORT FROM ARL, CNI, AND SPARC
Conclusion
R
esearch libraries have an important opportunity to meet the urgent need to make information
resources accessible to the print disabled, and in so doing, fulfill their mission to be content
leaders in higher education and enhance information access to their users. The path forward
requires planning and collaboration across the research institution, particularly with academic
leadership, disability services offices, and information technology units. Accessibility is not only an
ethical imperative; it is a legal requirement. Research libraries are a substantial market for digital
information resources. While publishers, database vendors, and device manufacturers are not subject to
federal and provincial accessibility law in their role as providers, libraries are subject to these laws and
should demand the necessary design elements to serve the print disabled and all patrons equitably. With
coordinated technology planning, procurement, and licensing, a fully accessible research library is a
mission-critical goal that is within reach.