August 1, 2019 — The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) and the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) have entered into a two-year partnership to advance accessibility for library electronic resources, with the goal of providing equal access to information for all library users. Since 2016, the BTAA has been conducting third-party evaluations of electronic resource platforms and collections, publicly posting the evaluations for review by vendors and libraries.
In 2018, the BTAA library leadership sought to extend the partnership and the scope of activities in order to escalate the impact of the program, and to grow an important cohort of librarians working on accessibility issues. As part of the partnership, ASERL and BTAA librarians will work together to increase the accessibility testing work, and to conduct an analysis on the effectiveness and impact of the testing on vendor electronic resources. The partnership also plans to explore other accessibility initiatives where they can partner effectively.
“The Big Ten libraries recognize that the work of ensuring equitable access to our resources is not bounded by consortial lines. Having the ASERL member libraries join us in this critical work demonstrates our shared commitment in the research library community to an inclusive environment for teaching, learning, and research,” said Joe Salem, University Librarian at Michigan State University, and the lead library for the BTAA initiative.
“As we expand our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programming, ASERL is pleased to have another opportunity to collaborate with our BTAA colleagues on this important endeavor. Our consortia can do more together to share and build knowledge, identify best practices, and foster change in the marketplace to ensure equitable access to library resources,” commented Anne Prestamo, Dean of the Libraries at Florida International University and President of ASERL’s Board of Directors.
UPDATE: This program is now operating as the Library Accessibility Alliance (LAA).