Project ENABLE Webinar: Central Issues and Strategies for Public and Academic Librarians to Provide Inclusive Services

December 12, 2014

A Two Part Webinar Series

Part 1:  Supporting Public and Academic Librarians to Provide Inclusive Programs and Services for All Patrons with Disabilities

A collaboration of the Center for Digital Literacy and the Burton Blatt Institute

Funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services
Grant No. RE-06-13-0071-13 / 45.313 (2013–2015)

On December 12, 2014, Project ENABLE will offer the first of two free webinars for public and academic librarians everywhere to learn about creating inclusive library services and programs to effectively serve all patrons with disabilities. This webinar, “Central Issues and Strategies for Public and Academic Librarians to Provide Inclusive Services”, will address the issues of: 1) Identifying the library needs of diverse patrons with disabilities, 2) Evaluating library accessibility, 3) Developing inclusive library collections, 4) Applying Universal Design principles and Universal Design for Learning strategies to library programs and services, and 5) Selecting and Using Assistive Technologies.

Part 1 – December 12

Central Issues and Strategies for Public and Academic Librarians to Provide Inclusive Services
December 12, 2014
12:30 to 2:00 pm (Eastern Time)


Adina Mulliken, M.L.S., M.S., Assistant Professor and Social Work librarian, CUNY Hunter College
Before working in libraries, Adina Mulliken was an Employment Consultant for people with disabilities in northeast Philadelphia.  She began her Library career at Kean University (Union, NJ) as a library assistant in the Ethnic Studies Center, and then worked as a reference librarian at Kean. In 2002, Adina took a position at the Syracuse University Library as the librarian for Social Work and Allied Fields. She became interested in library website accessibility in 2006, when a graduate student began asking for assistance at the reference desk with navigating some sources using a screen reader.  Pursuing a masters degree, Adina had the opportunity as a fellow student and as a librarian to become friends with a number of blind graduate students, who formed Students United for Visual Access Today (SUVAT) in 2012.  The group advocated for many accessibility issues. She graduated with an MS in Cultural Foundations of Education and with a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Disability Studies in 2013.

Adina started at Hunter College as an Assistant Professor and Social Work librarian in summer 2014, and is excited about the job. She is active in the Association of College & Research Libraries Universal Accessibility Interest Group, and advocated for the American Library Association’s Resolution for Purchasing of Accessible Electronic Resources, which was adopted in 2009.  For fun, she likes hiking, hosteling, reading, and persuading her cats to stop begging for food.

Mark Allnatt, M.A., M.L.S., Onondaga Public Library STAR Program
Mark Allnatt is head of the Onondaga County Public Library’s STAR Program (Special Technologies and Adaptive Resources, which provides library services to people with disabilities. He has been developing the STAR program since 1995 when, after eight years in the library’s Local History Department, a degenerative eye disease took his sight. Mark earned his MA degree in US History from SUNY Binghamton in 1981, and held internships in the National Archives, SUNY Binghamton’s Special Collections Library, and the Fenton Historical Society Museum in Jamestown, New York before moving to Syracuse in 1985. Mark earned his MLS from SU’s School of Information Studies in 1986 and took a position in the public library the following year. Over the past 19 years, Mark has assisted people with a variety of disabilities in accessing library resources, written grants to acquire assistive technology to aid those individuals in their efforts, and provided internship opportunities for young people with disabilities seeking to gain library work experience.

Dan Weiss, Director, Fanwood (NJ) Memorial Library and Meg Kolaya, Director, Scotch Plains (NJ) Public Library
Dan Weiss is currently the director of the Fanwood (NJ) Memorial Library. Since he accepted that position in 1997 he has dramatically taken a small suburban library into the 21st century with improvements in facilities, staffing and service. He has served locally, regionally and state wide on many civic and library related committees and boards. In his current position Dan gets to do it all, from overseeing web development, graphics design and renovations, to public relations and fund-raising, all while being the go-to-guy for overflowing toilets and salting the front walk. Meg Kolaya became a public library director in 1997, and has guided the Scotch Plains (NJ) Public Library since 2002. Her library career before that ranged from archives and manuscripts to heading a pre-K to 12 school library to running the building and technology of a large public library. Many years of volunteer activities in museum settings and with community organizations has given her a wide and varied view of group dynamics and organization. She has served on local and state committees for libraries. Her ideal day is spent on a sunny beach with a great book, good friends and some dolphins to watch.

Meg and Dan, whose public libraries are in adjacent towns in northern NJ, have had great success with a collaborative shared-services approach they have championed since 2005. One outcome of this cooperation is the 2008 award winning project, Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected, a customer service training video and website primarily for library staff to help them serve individuals of all ages with autism and their families more effectively. The video and website resources empower librarians to offer more inclusive and universal service to this growing and underserved population.


William N. Myhill, M.Ed., J.D., Co-Principal Investigator of Project ENABLE
Mr. Myhill, Director of Legal Research & Writing for the Burton Blatt Institute, has worked on the issues of effectively serving and advocating for persons with disabilities in education and through the law for 25 years.For the past four years, he has been actively involved in training librarians in ways to provide effective services and programs to patrons with disabilities.


This webinar will be close captioned and provide audio, video, text, and telephone participation options. It will be digitally recorded, and audio, audio/video, and transcription versions will become available in early 2015.

Additional Webinar on December 12, 2014

Project ENABLE School Librarians Present Their Experiences Serving Children with Disabilities