BC Libraries Cooperative formed an Accessibility Committee in the Fall of 2022 to help prepare the Co-op to provide services that are in line with the Accessible British Columbia Act. While this legislation does not apply to the Co-op at this point, it is applicable to public libraries, which means that the Co-op has to ensure that the services it provides to its members are free from accessibility barriers.
With recommendations from the Accessibility Committee, the Co-op is committed to increasing staff awareness of digital accessibility standards for all of our member services and documentation.
The Co-op is also involved in the Public Library Accessibility Working Group.
Current Work on Accessibility in Evergreen
2023 public catalogue accessibility review: The Co-op received one-time funding from the BC Public Libraries Branch to review accessibility of all of our public-facing services. Sitka’s Evergreen public catalogue will be reviewed in late 2023, with testing by our own NNELS staff. NNELS staff include a number of staff with lived experience with perceptual or print disabilities, including severe or total impairment of sight. NNELS staff have engaged with publishers and e-resource vendors in Canada to provide testing and evaluation of their services, so we are happy to have the opportunity for NNELS staff to bring their testing and evaluation experience to the Co-op’s own services. Testing will include a number of key patron workflows in the public catalogue using standard screen reader technologies. Any areas for improvement will be shared with the wider Evergreen community for incorporation into developer guidelines and roadmaps.
Evergreen Developer’s Accessibility Guide: This guide is intended for use by the wider Evergreen developer community.
Past Work on Accessibility in Evergreen
2019 Evergreen Accessibility Report: An accessibility review of Evergreen was conducted in 2019 by the Georgia Tech Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (with input from the Georgia PINES library system). Evergreen was found to be largely accessible, but recommendations for improvement were incorporated into subsequent upgrades and/or future development roadmaps.
Rewrite/Upgrade of the public catalogue to Bootstrap: The newest version of the public catalogue, which Sitka is using, was written in Bootstrap. The Bootstrap redesign was led by Chris Burton, an Evergreen developer working with Niagara Falls Public Library (ON) and was intended to enhance the navigation, responsiveness, and accessibility (WCAG 2.0 AA) of the public catalogue. W3C Validator was used to ensure the HTML is valid and the WAVE Accessibility Evaluation Tool was used to assist in ensuring accessibility of the public catalogue.