Merton Libraries to improve access for blind

Merton’s libraries are improving their access and offering more, as part of the Six Steps to Library Services for Blind and Partially Sighted People campaign.

By pledging to support this campaign, libraries across the borough will provide collections of large print and audio books, make sure accessible technology is available, and have a library champion for the reading needs of blind and partially sighted people.

The Six Steps campaign is a joint initiative by the Society of Chief Librarians, Scottish Library & Information Council and Share the Vision. The majority of library services across the country have signed up, improving services for the two million blind and partially sighted people in the UK.

Cabinet member for communities and culture, Councillor Martin Whelton said: “We work hard to make sure that all of Merton’s services are accessible to all residents, regardless of disabilities or differences. We have chosen to join the Six Steps campaign to show our commitment to improving library access for those with additional needs.”

For more information or to find your nearest library visit http://www.merton.gov.uk/libraries.

Notes to editors:

· For the full list of library authorities signed up to Six Steps see http://www.goscl.com

· The Society of Chief Librarians (SCL) is a local government association made up of the chief librarian of each library authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. SCL takes a leading role in the development of public libraries, through sharing best practices, advocating for continuous improvement on behalf of local people, and leading the debate on the future of the public library service. http://www.goscl.com

· Share the Vision (STV) is a partnership of UK libraries and library organisations that work together to improve the accessibility of library services for blind and partially sighted people. http://www.share-the-vision.org.uk

· The Scottish Library & Information Council [SLIC] is the independent advisory body to the Scottish Government and Scottish ministers on library and information matters. The Council offers leadership focus and support to the Scottish library and information sector, coordinating and promoting national service developments to benefit Scotland’s people and enrich our cultural, educational and economic landscape. SLIC members include all local authority, higher education, further education organisations, NHS Trust library services, as well as other specialist library and information organisations. http://www.slainte.org.uk

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Press Contact:
Leoni Munslow
Communications Assistant
London Borough of Merton
020 8545 4654