Library Services to People with Special Needs Section
Draft Minutes for Standing Committee Meeting in Berlin
SCI:  9:30 -17:30,   Fri. 19 Feb. 2016
At the German Institute for Human Rights
SCII: 9:45 -18:00,   Sat. 20 Feb. 2016
At the Berlin School of Library and Information Science, Humboldt University


1. Opening by Chair
Meeting convened at 9:45 am.

Welcome remarks and short presentation by Anne Sieberns
Anne did a presentation about the German Institute for Human Rights.  She showed a slide of the Berlin wall before it came down.  It was close to her Institute.  Nearby Publishing House owner was very anti-communist.  His building extended above the wall and he showed messages at the top to the people in East Berlin. There are many memorials in the area to people persecuted and killed by the Nazis.   Good place for the national Institute of Human Rights.

There are National Human Rights Institutions (NHRI) in more than 100 countries.  Each must be independent from the national government. They advocate for and monitor human rights in the home country.   They also advocate for and monitor the rights of people with disabilities.  More information is available from

Documentation and information have always been a priority for the Institute which supports the mission of the library.  They have mainly collected information on human rights in Germany.  They are the only public human rights library in Germany.

In 2010 the Institute had training for staff on how to interact with people with disabilities.  They also work to make library more attractive to people with disabilities including special equipment.  More information is available from

2. Attendance and Apologies
Misako thanked Anne for organizing the meeting for us.  

SC members:
Misako Nomura, Chair
Nancy Bolt, Secretary
Erlend Ra Information Coordinator
Knut M. Nygaard
Heidi Carlsson Asplund
Chris Corrigan
Marie-Noelle Andissac
Sanja Bunic
Anne Sieberns
Marie Engberg Eiriksson

Corresponding member:
Helle Arendrup Mortensen,
Dunja Marija Gabriel
Gerhard Peschers

Elke Greifeneder, Germany (2nd day),
Schlebbe, Kirsten, Germany (2nd day)

Guest for the Homeless guidelines project meeting on the 2nd day)
Despina Gerasimidou, Future library from Greece

Isabell Sanchez,
Claire Joseph
Paola Morales
Ray Schwartz
Buhle Mbambo-Thata

Gerhard Peschers will let us know if he can represent the interests of prison libraries on LSN Standing Committee in the future.

3. Approval of the Agenda
Approved by consensus

4. Minutes of August 2015 SC Meeting in Cape Town

Changes – first page at bottom.   Should be Kari Kummeneje from Norway
Approved by consensus

5. Chair’s Report (including financial report)
We can use the administrative fund for the brochure.
Anne is paying for lunches here for both days.
Project funding for Homeless project – Misako handed out the letter from Joanne.  
We will discuss tomorrow in detail.  They authorized 500E for travel for speakers in Columbus.

In August we will discuss next year’s Action plan and if we want to update the Strategic Plan.

7. Action Plan for 2016 (See the attached document)
Discussion on how we will implement it
a. Homeless guidelines project (it will be discussed on Saturday Afternoon)
b. Accessibility for IFLA Conference
Sign language is very expensive and differs from country to country.
Captioning benefits more people but is also expensive
Does the IFLA registration form ask about disabilities?
If yes, ask for a description of the accommodation

Discussion of the Accessibility Paper.  (Will be revised next week).

After making changes in the Accessibility document, Nancy will ask IFLA staff if there is a policy and if there is a policy on accessibility at IFLA conferences.
If there is no policy, we draft one to put in the document.
Ask Mike Marlin (Braille and Talking Book Library, California State Library
United States) who is LPD SC member if the LPD section will support the Accessibility document.  Also ask Public Library, Metropolitan libs, library buildings

c. Dissemination and updates of dyslexia guidelines
We have not received any additional examples from their countries.
The working committee will be updating the examples and links on the web version of the guidelines.   They will delete broken links and add new links.
The working group will commit to checking all links at least once a year.
We will add the word “NEW” to the new documents.  We will also put a
statement at the beginning of the document that this web access is updated regularly so is different from printed version.  We will use the Facebook page to let people know about updates and continue to ask for examples.

There was discussion on different countries policies on access to talking books by people with dyslexia.  Some countries allow this and others do not.
Heide described the difficulty to develop a document that is easy to read for people with dyslexia.  Zagreb is starting a special program for people with dyslexia next year.

There was a discussion on why the checklist is separate from the guidelines.   Erlend said that the Checklist could be used in different ways than the guidelines, although the information is the same.  They would like to have the checklist translated into different languages as well.

Misako thanked that Knut released the Guidelines in the DAISY version in English.  Erlend said that our Guidelines are the first document published in the Daisy format. Misako said that DAISY version would work well for people with reading disabilities to understand the content of the guidelines. Dunja said she would try and put the Croatian version in Daisy format.

8. Project Proposals for 2017
New project ideas

  • Development of Guidelines for people who are deaf
    Marie Noelle suggested that the next midyear meeting include a workshop on library services to the deaf. Marie Noelle, Dunja, Chris volunteered to take the lead.  They will contact LPD to see if they want to work on this.  There are already Guidelines for Services for the Deaf that could still be used; however, they are out of date.   Marie Noelle will look for another committee member.  Misako asked for Marie Noelle to put a proposal in writing about the Guidelines and to recruit other members for a working committee.   
  •  Updates of Accessibility Check list

    • Knut — checklist of accessibility to libraries for people with disabilities needs to be updated. It is still relevant but needs to add information on social media, computers and so on. He suggested working with Celia which is Finish library for the print disabled in the LPD section.  Knut will contact them to see if LPD are still working on this issue.

    • Gerhard would like to publish book on prison libraries in English. DeGruyter has expressed interest in publishing once the Goethe Institute translates it into English. They must get permission from Hopkins Press that published the first book.  They will update the content.  

      • Move that IF, Gerhard can get the funding and permission to offer the book to IFLA at no cost to IFLA, then LSN will endorse the project. Nancy moves, Erlend seconds. Unanimous
    • Update Guidelines for people in prison.   Need to update strategic plan.

      • Move that updating Guidelines for People in Prison be on the list of guidelines to be updated in the new strategic plan, if a Working Committee of at least 4 LSN members can be formed to do the work.   Nancy moved, Erlend seconds.  Unanimous
    • Gerhard suggests putting new articles on the LSN website on prison library services. We will consider this when the articles are written.    
    • Gerhard suggested publishing the text of another book in English and put it on our website.  Erlend said we can publish this if someone else pays to translate.  We could also have information on other special needs groups if someone will prepare the information.                  

9. Conference Planning

  • Conference in Columbus 2016
    13-19 Aug 2016, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America     (
    Theme: Connections. Collaboration. Community
    Nancy handed out the schedule for LSN meetings.
    Sanja will speak to Division III about the Guidelines for People Experiencing Homelessnes.
    Nancy will be the moderator of program.
    How many people can speak at LSN program?
       Summary of guidelines – Julie
       Homeless person – Ask someone in Columbus
       Social worker
       Library staff – Sanja
       Someone who deals with refugees
       United Nations
    NOTE:  this has been updated.  Current program is:
       Summary of guidelines, Julie
       Video of library experience of homeless people – Sanja
       Social worker
       International library speaker
       US library speaker
       UN speaker

    a. LSN Session (It will be discussed on Saturday Afternoon)
    b. Division Session (It will be discussed on Saturday Afternoon)

  • Conference in Warsaw, Poland 2017

    • Accessibility at conferences, cooperate with Management of Library Associations, Universal Design.  One suggestion was a workshop on what’s it like to be handicapped. We could work with LPD and include sign language.    However, this is expensive to organize and we would have to limit the participants.
    • Should we focus on accessibility at conferences or accessibility of libraries?
      There was discussion that these are very different and it might be difficult to cover both.  The decision was to consider only accessibility at events and at conferences.  Cooperate with Buildings and Management of library associations.
    • Is there enough for a satellite conference on this topic?  Marie, Chris, Knut, and Anne will look into it.

      Note:   A satellite conference was explored and the decision was that there was not enough time to plan it before 2017.  Plus several sections declined to co-sponsor.

    • A second idea for a conference program would be on prison libraries.  Gerhard suggested a possible speaker.

10.                Information and Publication

  • Report from Information Coordinator

    a. Facebook
    Erlend announced that we are updating the Dyslexia Guidelines on our website but not print.  
    We all need to add content to the website.   Nancy suggested that Chris add something about the ALA resolution on accessibility.  We can also add actions that we are taking as a result of this meeting.  There is also a lot of spam on our webpage.   Elke gave administrative rights to everyone so they can delete spam.

    b. Website  
    In Cape Town we decided we would do a project page.  This is used to link with the request for examples.  We can update and add other documents.
    Publications page is the same.  There are some pages linked to the publications page
    IFLA is redesigning their webpages.   We have volunteered Chris several times to work on this.   We received a survey asking our opinion of the web site.  Chris and Erlend both filled out the survey.  

    The group discussed what is accessible using PDFs or what other options would be more accessible.  There was a suggestion that our documents be in HTML rather than PDFs or in both versions.
    Misako suggested transferring our PDF files to text because it’s quicker.   Chris said it’s quicker but not as accessible.  There are current born digital documents, older documents, and IFLA published documents.  There may not be only one approach. We should suggest that IFLA make their materials more accessible.   Best if in at least two versions.  

    Erlend suggested that we start from now making both PDF and another version available.   We need to look at     

    • What we do on our website
    • What IFLA does as a policy
    • What other sections do
  • From now on we will publish in PDF and also html.

    Publications standards of IFLA calls for publications to be in PDF.  
    Page 16, W3C standards for publications.   
    Chris will send a message to IFLA.   It should be considered in the re-design of the IFLA website.
    Chris suggested the following message for IFLA:
       "LSN will recommend that IFLA require their units follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) when publishing their documents. If the unit's original document is in a format that is not accessible to people with disabilities, LSN recommends that IFLA require all if its units to provide their publications in a format that is recognized by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as a suitable accessible alternative."

    Nancy adds to publish in PDF and to change this in the publications advice.

    This might not be easy.  We could apply for funding to do this up to standards.   It could be a model for other IFLA sections and IFLA publications.
    The final recommendation was:

    • LSN will publish all documents in PDF and HTML
    • Chris will write IFLA and suggest that they do this with their own documents
    • Ask IFLA to make the same recommendation to other IFLA Sections
    • Erlend will gather information on how difficult it will be to do this retrospectively.  We will decide in August if we want to apply for a grant.
    • Add a note to our website that says we are sorry that all of our documents are not accessible and we are working on it.

New LSN Brochure
Pictograms are in blue.  Can we change them to green?   There are some formatting issues that need to be corrected and we want to add the year it was published.  Nancy will receive this at the end of March.   Nancy will get it printed.   Not shiny paper, in color, and use of textured paper are suggested from the working group.

11. Membership Matters

  • Standing Committee member status — Members are all on the website.
  • Review of corresponding member status – We can have a maximum of 5: Hele, Dunja, Ray, Gerhard (officially new), and Buhle from South Africa, but she’s not on the website yet.

12. Translation Grids
Need someone to update translation grids.  The Guidelines for People with Dyslexia are now in Dutch and Swedish.   Translation into Croatian, French, Japanese, French, German, and Norwegian are being prepared.  The checklist is already in French.   Please let Misako and Erlend know when these translations are done.   It would be nice to do the Checklist as well but not necessary.  As these translations are completed, we need to fill out a form for IFLA to accompany the submission of the translation.

13. Other Business

     13.1   Presentation on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)) by Julia Kercher, German Institute for Human Rights, Policy Advisor (14:00-15:00 on Friday)
She focused on SDGS and how librarians can contribute to the implementation of SDGs from the perspective of human rights for persons with disabilities.
13.2    Mid-year meeting in 2017
                Two options.  

  1. Meet in France with a workshop on library services to people who are deaf.   Chris will ask if their institutions will pay for three people from US to come.  Could also do a video. Marie-Noelle will ask her colleagues if they can participate.   If she gets a yes, then Chris will follow-up.
  2. Washington DC
  3. Japan

The group felt that Japan was too expensive.  We will see if Marie-Noelle can plan it for Toulouse.   Otherwise we will go to DC.