Technology, Diversity, Web Accessibility, and ALA Accreditation Standards in MLIS

Adina Mulliken


This paper discusses an interconnection between diversity and technology: web accessibility for all, including people with disabilities. Qualitative interviews were conducted with eight MLIS professors and two students or recent alumni.  Findings showed attitudes regarding teaching web accessibility and recruitment of a diverse student body varied between professors who were familiar with web accessibility and those who were not.  Participants who were familiar with web accessibility often thought it should be included within ALA Standards for Accreditation.  Findings suggested that, in one school, incorporating diversity in their curriculum, including web accessibility, allowed recruitment of a more diverse student body and was furthering diversity-related curriculum content. At another school, a professor expressed concern about recruiting a diverse student body, particularly students with disabilities.  The research suggests that stronger practices for teaching technology, teaching diversity, and recruiting diverse students could assist the field of LIS to further realize its inclusive goals.


diversity; web accessibility; disabilities; LIS curricula; accreditation standardsdiversity, web accessibility, disabilities; LIS curricula; accreditation standards


Academic and College Research Libraries. (2012). Diversity Standards: Cultural Competency for Academic Libraries. Retrieved from

American Library Association. (1996). Library Bill of Rights. Retrieved from Apr 3, 2016.

———. (2009a). ALA’s Core Competences of Librarianship. Retrieved from Jan 31, 2015.

———. (2009b). Resolution for Purchasing of Accessible Electronic Resources. Retrieved from Mar 21, 2016.

———. (2009c). Services to People with Disabilities: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights. Retrieved from Apr. 3, 2016.

———. ASCLA. (2001). Library Services for People with Disabilities Policy. Retrieved from Mar. 21 2016.

———. ASCLA Ad Hoc Committee on Electronic Accessibility. Think Accessible Before You Buy. Retrieved from Mar 21, 2016.

———. Resources for External Review Panelists | ALA Accredited Programs . Retrieved from Jan. 31, 2015.

———. Knowledge and Competencies Statements Developed by Relevant Professional Organizations | Education & Careers . Retrieved from Jan. 31, 2015.

Association of Research Libraries. (2012). Report of the ARL Joint Task Force on Services to Patrons with Print Disabilities (Nov. 2, 2012) Association of Research Libraries ARL. Retrieved from Feb 25, 2015.

Bogdan, Robert C. and Sari Knopp Biklen. (2007). Qualitative Research for Education: An Introduction to Theories and Methods (5th ed.) Boston: Pearson.

Bonnici, Laurie J., Maatta, Stephanie L., Wells, Muriel K., Brodsky, Jackie, and Meadows, Charles W., III. (2012). Physiological Access as a Social Justice Type in LIS Curricula.(Survey). Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 53(2), 115.

Council of the American Library Association. (2008). Standards for Accreditation of Masters Programs in Library & Information Studies . Retrieved from Jan 31, 2015.

———. (2015). Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies 2015. Retrieved from Apr 25, 2016.

Hall, Russell A. (2009). Exploring the Core: An Examination of Required Courses in ALA-Accredited. Education for Information, 27 (1), 57-67.

Jaeger, Paul, Mega Subramaniam, Cassandra Jones, and John Carlo Bertot. (2011). Diversity and LIS Education: Inclusion and the Age of Information.(Library and Information Science)(Report). Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 52 (3), 166.

[authors' names removed to preserve anonymous peer review]. (In press). Faculty Visions for Teaching Web Accessibility in LIS Curricula: A Qualitative Study. The Library Quarterly.

Oxley, Rebecca. (2013). iDiversity and LIS Education: Student-Based Groups Promoting Cultural Competence as a Vision for the Profession. The Library Quarterly, 83 (3), 236.

Riley-Huff, Debra A. and Julia M. Rholes. (2011). Librarians and Technology Skill Acquisition: Issues and Perspectives. Information Technology and Libraries, 30 (3), 129-140.

Schmetzke, Axel. (2015). Collection Development, E-Resources, and Barrier-Free Access. In Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities and the Inclusive Future of Libraries (Advances in Librarianship, Volume 40), edited by Brian Wentz ,Paul T. Jaeger , John Carlo Bertot. 111-142. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Singh, Vandana and Bharat Mehra. (2013). Strengths and Weaknesses of the Information Technology Curriculum in Library and Information Science Graduate Programs. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 45 (3), 219. doi:10.1177/0961000612448206.

Subramaniam, Mega M. and Paul T. Jaeger. (2010). Modeling Inclusive Practice?: Attracting Diverse Faculty and Future Faculty to the Information Workforce. Library Trends, 59 (1), 109-127.

Subramaniam, Mega and Paul Jaeger. (2011). Weaving Diversity into LIS: An Examination of Diversity Course Offerings in iSchool Programs. Education for Information, (1), 1-19.

WebAIM: Web Accessibility In Mind. (2014). Introduction to Web Accessibility., last modified 4/22/2014. Retrieved from Jun 6, 2015.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

IJIDI logo created by Craig Taylor.