Sustainable accessibility

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A public library is a building, a place and a range of services. An underlying assumption behind public libraries is that they are for all. However, being for all is not the same as being accessible for all. Not everyone can use the public library, take advantage of its services or feel welcome there.

This Lunch Bag Bite lecture will introduce to the concept ”sustainable accessibility” (Pionke 2016) in relation to the public library. ”Sustainable accessibility” builds on ideas about sustainability, accessibility and Universal Design. By combining these perspectives, the concept provides a framework for working with accessibility in the design or re-development of building, places and services. Moreover, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals and Leave No One Behind agenda, the framework provides a more inclusive and sustainable way of understanding and talking about accessibility.


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Scientific articles

Engström, L. (2021). ”Bibliotek För Alla?: En Studie Om Tillgänglighet Och Delaktighet i Folkbiblioteksplaner”. Nordic Journal of Library and Information Studies 2 (2): 1–18.

Pionke, J.J. (2016). ”Sustainable Library Services for All”. Library Management 37 (6/7): 317–25.

Pionke, J.J. (2017). ”Toward Holistic Accessibility: Narratives from Functionally Diverse Patrons”. Reference and User Services Quarterly 57 (1): 48–56.

Del Mar, K. (2021). ”Public Sphere Institutions or Safe Spaces — Can Libraries Be Both?” In New Librarianship Symposia Series: Fall 2021. Vol. 2021. New Librarianship Symposia Series.

In respect of our presenters at Lunch Bag Lectures, the terms, language and use of concepts that the researchers find appropriate in their field of research are used according to their choice.


Mia Høj Mathiasson

Mia Høj Mathiasson is a postdoc at the University of Copenhagen

Member of the Bevica Foundation’s PhD network

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