Services for Users with Disabilities in Joint Libraries in China

  •  Xiaofen Zhao    
  •  Li Lin    
  •  Yan Zhang    


China has a large population with disabilities. In China, there may be varieties of barriers for disabled users to access library resources and services. Joint libraries are a new type of libraries constructed by local government and one or more colleges (universities), playing a dual role as both academic library and public library. Therefore, the users of joint libraries include not only college students and teachers, but also other people from all walks of life. Undoubtedly, the resources and services of these joint libraries must be provided for all kinds of users. Since 1997, more than ten joint libraries have been constructed and opened in China. In this article, we first briefly discussed the causes for the barriers to users with disabilities in libraries. Second, taking joint libraries as a case, we focused on the services to remove barriers and to ensure information equity for disabled people. Provision of equal services for disadvantaged groups is an essential indicator of joint libraries. The present article may provide recommendations for the future sustainable development of joint libraries in China and other developing counties.

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