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Den osynliga användaren : hur kan bibliotek förbättra servicen för användare med osynliga funktionsnedsättningar?

Borg, Mikael LU (2013) ABMM54 20131
Division of ALM and Digital Cultures
Abstract
The aim of this masters’ thesis is to examine how libraries can better services for patrons with invisible disabilities. My hypothesis is that although libraries are legally obliged to pay special attention to persons with disabilities, in reality the special needs of persons with invisible disabilities are often ignored.
Invisible disabilities are disabilities that are not immediately apparent. This poses special challenges for libraries. Invisible disabilities include ADHD, depression, dyslexia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorder but the major focus in this thesis will be on people with autism spectrum disorders, although the issues discussed in the thesis will be more or less relevant for all the groups with invisible disabilities.
My... (More)
The aim of this masters’ thesis is to examine how libraries can better services for patrons with invisible disabilities. My hypothesis is that although libraries are legally obliged to pay special attention to persons with disabilities, in reality the special needs of persons with invisible disabilities are often ignored.
Invisible disabilities are disabilities that are not immediately apparent. This poses special challenges for libraries. Invisible disabilities include ADHD, depression, dyslexia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorder but the major focus in this thesis will be on people with autism spectrum disorders, although the issues discussed in the thesis will be more or less relevant for all the groups with invisible disabilities.
My research focuses on three different areas that are of special concern for this group. The first is a tendency for the modern public library to become a community center and part of the experience industry. Most people with autism spectrum disorders have difficulties with sensory overload and this development could mean that these public places might become less accessible. Are modern libraries welcoming to patrons suffering from sensory overload?
The second area of research focuses on how many persons with invisible disabilities do not wish to disclose their disabilities to their surroundings. At the same time libraries are expected to take their disabilities into account. Can special treatment in the library stigmatize patrons with invisible disabilities?
Finally I aim to research how libraries can work to make this public resource a welcoming and inclusive environment for people with very different needs.
The method used is a combination of interviews and comparative studies of international research on the subject. Four interviews were conducted, including both users and librarians with or without disabilities. The aim was to approach the research problems from both a librarian and a user perspective in order to get a more general picture of how this group of patrons experience the library and how the library approaches this challenge.
I come to the conclusion that the modern library is not an environment that welcomes persons with sensory overload issues, but could be if these problems were taken into account in library space planning. I also conclude that libraries need to take stigmatization of persons with invisible disabilities in account when planning special services. Finally, education of staff and a proactive and collaborative stance is needed to make libraries welcoming and inclusive for persons with different needs. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Borg, Mikael LU
supervisor
organization
course
ABMM54 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
invisible disabilities, libraries, autism, stigma, sensory overload
language
Swedish
id
3808231
date added to LUP
2013-06-20 11:01:33
date last changed
2014-04-11 14:16:33
@misc{3808231,
  abstract     = {The aim of this masters’ thesis is to examine how libraries can better services for patrons with invisible disabilities. My hypothesis is that although libraries are legally obliged to pay special attention to persons with disabilities, in reality the special needs of persons with invisible disabilities are often ignored.
Invisible disabilities are disabilities that are not immediately apparent. This poses special challenges for libraries. Invisible disabilities include ADHD, depression, dyslexia, schizophrenia and anxiety disorder but the major focus in this thesis will be on people with autism spectrum disorders, although the issues discussed in the thesis will be more or less relevant for all the groups with invisible disabilities.
My research focuses on three different areas that are of special concern for this group. The first is a tendency for the modern public library to become a community center and part of the experience industry. Most people with autism spectrum disorders have difficulties with sensory overload and this development could mean that these public places might become less accessible. Are modern libraries welcoming to patrons suffering from sensory overload?
The second area of research focuses on how many persons with invisible disabilities do not wish to disclose their disabilities to their surroundings. At the same time libraries are expected to take their disabilities into account. Can special treatment in the library stigmatize patrons with invisible disabilities?
Finally I aim to research how libraries can work to make this public resource a welcoming and inclusive environment for people with very different needs.
The method used is a combination of interviews and comparative studies of international research on the subject. Four interviews were conducted, including both users and librarians with or without disabilities. The aim was to approach the research problems from both a librarian and a user perspective in order to get a more general picture of how this group of patrons experience the library and how the library approaches this challenge.
I come to the conclusion that the modern library is not an environment that welcomes persons with sensory overload issues, but could be if these problems were taken into account in library space planning. I also conclude that libraries need to take stigmatization of persons with invisible disabilities in account when planning special services. Finally, education of staff and a proactive and collaborative stance is needed to make libraries welcoming and inclusive for persons with different needs.},
  author       = {Borg, Mikael},
  keyword      = {invisible disabilities,libraries,autism,stigma,sensory overload},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Den osynliga användaren : hur kan bibliotek förbättra servicen för användare med osynliga funktionsnedsättningar?},
  year         = {2013},
}