New recognition within society of previously unserved populations has created the need for librarians to also recognize these groups and to find ways to serve them equally. Reference Services for the Unserved provides information, guidance, and inspiration to library professionals in their work with previously unserved populations so that these persons may be absorbed into the larger, served population groups. It helps librarians adjust to making accommodations for these new user groups, recognizing that many people in these populations have very specific needs and bring with them some specific limitations in their abilities to take advantage of existing library services. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has transformed the lives of disabled and challenged people by mainstreaming disabled children in public schools, moving mentally and developmentally disabled people into community-based residences and workshops, providing services to disabled college students, and enhancing workplace accommodations. At the same time, the ADA has presented new challenges for the library community. Reference Services for the Unserved guides library professionals in meeting these new challenges by bringing together research and descriptions of several successful attempts to meet the information needs of previously unserved populations. In guiding library professionals and administrators in effectively serving currently unserved populations, authors in Reference Services for the Unserved tell readers how to:
- approach services for patrons with mental illness--examines issues of behavior “inappropriate in the situation” and ways for librarians to understand this behavior in order to carry out their professional objectives of providing access to information, improving quality of life, and meeting the legal mandates of the ADA.
- address the needs of disabled students in the academic library--recognizes that the information needs of disabled students are not different from those of traditional students; the differences are in means of access, overcoming barriers to access, and the need for adaptive technologies and techniques.
- meet the information needs of battered women--suggests ways library professionals can better assist individual battered women, social service providers, and public policy or decision-makers.
- integrate technology into the library setting--focuses on people with severe and persistent mental illness (the improvement of access to information sources on behalf of people with cognitive disorders whose ability to process text-based information is impaired) and reports on the use of computer-aided instruction (CAI) and multimedia technology to meet their information needs.
- develop or upgrade services to patrons with special needs--a bibliography of useful material for guidance.Combined with strong administrative support, the information in Reference Services for the Unserved provides a strong foundation for making positive and effective changes to better accommodate disabled and challenged patrons. Library professionals and administrators and students of library and information sciences will find it a necessary guide in their attempts to provide effective and quality services to all patrons.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Library Services to Unserved Populations
- Patrons With Disabilities or Problem Patrons: Which Model Should Librarians Apply to People With Mental Illness?
- Library Services to Disabled Students: Outreach and Education
- Meeting the Information Needs of Battered Women: Responsibilities and Roles for Library and Information Science
- Information Needs of Special Populations: Serving People With Mental Illnesses Using Computer Aided Instruction in a Multimedia Library for Outpatients
- Library Services to Traditionally Underserved Groups: An Annotated Bibliography
- Reference Notes Included