Disabled adults in libraries

I’ve just received my copy of the Winter 2019 issue of Library trends (volume 67, no. 3), in a plastic wrapper (about which more later). This issue is devoted to disabled adults in libraries. The introduction, by issue editors Jessica Schomberg and Shanna Honnich, who both identify themselves as disabled, offers a brief but useful overview of “disability models”, the various models by means of which society has conceptualized disability over the past century or two: moral, medical, rehabilitation, social, and critical models. They then introduce the articles that follow. These cover a wide spectrum of disability and deal with disabled persons both as library workers and library users. The articles mostly adopt a critical disability perspective and range from first-person and auto-ethnographic accounts through quantitative and qualitative survey studies. Informative, insightful and sometimes moving, this issue offers the profession new perspectives for what the editors hope will be “a more widespread and much-needed conversation” on issues of disability and libraries. They certainly challenged some of my assumptions and opened my eyes to dimensions I had never considered before. Recommended reading.


About Peter Lor

Peter Johan Lor is a Netherlands-born South African librarian and academic. In retirement he continues to pursue scholarly interests as a research fellow in the Department of Information Science at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
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