Event report: Staffordshire TeachMeet on accessibility and IL, December 2016

Eleanor Johnston, Academic Skills Librarian at Staffordshire University, has kindly provided a report on the recent Library TeachMeet event hosted by Staffordshire University Library and sponsored by the CILIP Information Literacy Group.

Staffordshire University Library TeachMeet: “Accessibility in Libraries – an Information Literacy Approach”

On 14th December 2016, Staffordshire University hosted a Library TeachMeet at the Stoke Campus. TeachMeets are an opportunity for staff to share innovations, experience and knowledge and this is the latest in a series of TeachMeets that have been generously supported by the CILIP Information Literacy Group. We were joined by ‘presenters’ and ‘enthusiastic audience members’ gathered from across the country. The event was the fastest ‘sellout’ ever for any of our TeachMeets – really showing the demand from attendees to exchange information and good practice. We had 7 speakers, whiteboards around the room for comments and (a very relaxed) ‘runaround’.

Available below are some notes from the event, and presentations and photos are available on our event page.  We also have a video of images produced by our official photographer Sue Howlett.

We were very lucky to have speakers with a broad range of expertise and experience. I kicked off proceedings by presenting on behalf of Sue Smith about Accessibility libguides at Leeds Beckett University. Here are some additional resources flagged up on our Twitter feed from the day (thanks to Vicki McGarvey):

UK education collection | An Accessible Online Library for people with print disabilities 

Convert a File | Sensus Access

Carol Keddie from De Montfort University spoke about Universal Design for Learning, and it was great to see such a broad range of issues being discussed and ideas exchanged for practical ways to improve delivery and presentation.


There was a valuable session from Neil Ferneyhough of Staffordshire University, discussing the recent changes to Disabled Students’ Allowances and the consequent emphasis on Inclusive Provision in HEIs. Neil stressed the importance of alternative formats in universal design & accessibility.

Philippa Price from Swansea University talked about inclusive library guides: improving accessibility for visitors on the autistic spectrum and others. You will see from the presentation on the libguide that they took inspiration from the Royal Palaces website.

After a quick Runaround (5 minutes for comments, questions, reading the whiteboards and general chat), Gopal Dutta from Manchester Metropolitan University talked about the eBook Accessibility Audit, which many of you may know about – it has been shared around the library community and there was definitely the positive message that accessible ebooks publishers & libraries need to work together – they had already received statements of support from both communities.

Paul Biggs from Staffordshire University showed how he was making library support accessible, and the last speaker was Julie Adams, also on home turf, as another representative of Staffordshire University. She provided some excellent links, demos and advice on Accessibility “stuff” that we have easy access to…

It was a really positive TeachMeet and we are very thankful to CILIP IL Group for their continued support – here’s to more in 2017!

View presentations from the day

Are you planning to host a TeachMeet or other IL event? Apply for ILG sponsorship! More information can be found on our CILIP webpages.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *