About the Library Services to People with Special Needs Section

Our Mission

The Section for Library Services to People with Special Needs (LSN) provides an international forum for the discussion of ideas, sharing of experiences and development of tools designed to promote and improve the effectiveness of library and information services to special needs groups, and the promotion of national and international cooperation at all levels.

These groups include, but are not limited to, people who are in hospitals, nursing homes, and other care facilities; people in prisons; people who are experiencing homelessness; people with physical disabilities; people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deafblind; people with dyslexia; and people with cognitive and mental disabilities.

Our Priorities

Barrier Reduction:  As you can see, the LSN Section has a broad scope.  One factor brings us together:  removing barriers that libraries may unintentionally have for people with special needs.  All the people served by our mission may need special help in receiving library services.  Our Section strives to help libraries overcome these barriers.

Guidelines and Checklists:  We help libraries deliver services to people with special needs by developing guidelines and checklists for libraries to use.  Most recently we have issued guidelines in the following areas or are currently working on the following guidelines:

Library Services to People with Dyslexia (2014)

Library Services to People Experiencing Homelessness (2017)

Guidelines on Library Service to the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind (Fall, 2020)

Library Services to Refugees, Immigrants, Migrants, and Asylum Seekers (2021)

Guidelines for Accessibility to Library Programs and Services (2022)

Accessibility at IFLA/WLIC Conferences: For the last three WLIC conferences, LSN has reported on IFLA actions that increased accessibility to people with special needs and what might have been improved.  In 2018, LSN issued a Checklist on Accessibility at IFLA Conferences,which IFLA used in choosing sites for subsequent conferences.

We believe in accessibility for all – without barriers.

How to be in touch with us:

Website:  https://www.ifla.org/lsn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ifla.lsn/

Library Services to People with Special Needs

Last update: 9 July 2021