Accessibility of library and information services
This plan describes the current state of accessibility of HAMK’s Library and Information Services, as well as measures to improve accessibility.
For the library, accessibility means that the library ensures the use of information materials, library facilities, and library services is as easy as possible for all user groups. The library provides services for both HAMK and HAMI students and staff and also for users outside the higher education community.
Information material services
The library collection is built, maintained, and developed for the needs learning, teaching, and research at HAMK and HAMI. The information material provided by the library is focused on e-materials that are available regardless of time and place. The accessibility features of foreign materials are advanced and support the use of reading aids. The accessibility features of Finnish materials continue to develop.
Both printed and e-collections are actively maintained so that the collections are up to date and the required material can be easily found. A person with a print disability can sign up for Celia’s services through the library to order, for example, printed course books in an accessible format.
The library provides instructions and guidance on the use of information material, especially e-materials. The online library contains information on alternative ways of accessing e-materials and the accessibility features of services.
The acquired e-material can be accessed with HAMK user IDs. Customers without HAMK user IDs can access the e-collections locally on HAMK campus. Printed material can be used by all library customers.
Information search guidance
The library organises information search guidance for students through contact lessons and remote connections. Materials related to guidance are offered in an accessible format to students using those channels that students anyway use for their studies, such as Moodle. Not all shared lecture recordings are subtitled.
Students and staff have an opportunity to reserve personal guidance for information search.
The library also produces self-study materials, such as videos. In accordance to HAMK guidelines, the videos are shared in Kaltura and they are subtitled.
Library customer service and use of information materials
The library serves its customers via many channels. Each campus has a library location with staff present 1–5 days a week. Library also uses telepresence robots to offer a local service on campuses in the form of a video connection. In addition to local service, the library’s customer service can be reached during office hours by e-mail and telephone.
The library’s online library is HAMK Finna, whose platform service is managed by the National Library of Finland. Finna’s development has a strong focus on accessibility and usability. The library maintains the HAMK Finna view, ensuring its accessibility. Finna complies with the AA level of the WCAG 2.1 criteria. Finna’s instructions describe which matters the organisations must take into account when taking care of the accessibility of their own Finna view.
The instructions for using the library are stored in an accessible format on the library’s website, Intranet, and the HAMK Finna online service. The instructions use simple, ordinary language. The instructions are also available as videos. A virtual escape game has been created to guide in library use.
The library provides the entire HAMK with the services of Celia, the centre of expertise in accessible literature and publishing, The library gives guidance on how to use Celia’s services and a customer with a print disability is able to sign up for Celia through the library.
Library facilities and self-service
Library facilities and printed material are available to students and staff on self-service according to the opening hours of the campus. Instructions for accessing the library’s facilities can be found on the website. It is not possible to arrange direct access to all of the library’s facilities. Information on accessibility can be found from the campus libraries’ contact details on the library’s website.
At the moment there are no induction loops in the library facilities.
The self-service devices, with the exception of computers used only for browsing HAMK Finna, are places on electrically operated tables with adjustable height. Some of the library’s printed material is on tall shelves.
RDI support services
HAMK’s RDI support services are provided by a multi-professional RDI support team. The RDI support team has representatives from the library, Information Management, Communications and Project Services. Library and Information Services are responsible for co-ordinating the RDI support services.
RDI support services are available to all HAMK staff and students. HAMK ServiceDesk is the service channel for the RDI support team. RDI support services do not have their own customer service point, but the RDI support services are offered both on campuses and remotely as required by the client. In order to improve accessibility, a pop up customer service point will be organised at the University Centre a few times in 2023. This gives the customers a chance to visit the services on site.
The RDI support instructions are available both on HAMK’s public website and on HAMK’s Intranet on the page Research and development. In addition, some instructions can be found in HAMK’s Digipedaohjeet and instruction videos are available in Kaltura. The instructions and forms on both the public website and in the Intranet are always accessible. HAMK’s accessibility guidelines are followed in the production of instruction videos.
The guidelines will be reviewed during the 2023 website reform and the goal will be to make them as easy to find as possible.
Publications follow the accessibility guidelines of the publishers. In addition, most of HAMK’s publications can be read openly online, which means that anyone can use them without logging in or paying a separate fee.
The service provider’s accessibility guidelines are followed when publishing research data and producing description data.
The theses are archived in the joint Theseus Repository of the universities of applied sciences or in an internal HAMK thesis archive in an accessible PDF/A format. The student is responsible for the accessibility of their thesis content. The Theseus guidelines describe how to create an accessible thesis.
HAMK Publications services is responsible for the publication processes of the online journal HAMK Unlimited and the blog HAMK Beat. The services also support the publications by providing guidance for writing and publishing.
The online journal HAMK Unlimited is an accessible website. The editorial staff strive to ensure that the texts and related images and tables are as accessible as possible. The same applies to the reviewed HAMK Beat blog.
E-publications are made accessible. The editorial staff also pay attention to the accessibility of the publications’ language.
The author is responsible for content accessibility. The Publications services provide help to authors to improve the linguistic accessibility of texts.
The library has a designated accessibility expert who co-ordinates the library’s accessibility work and is a part of HAMK’s network of accessibility experts. The library also has an accessibility committee, whose members work in different library teams. The members of the committee are responsible for maintaining accessibility competence, especially in matters related to the tasks of their team. The accessibility committee is responsible for maintaining and developing accessibility awareness in the library and for guiding the staff in matters related to accessibility.
Each staff member is responsible for the accessibility of functions, documents and other content related to their work. Staff members must be able to produce accessible documents related to their work.
New people are introduced to accessibility issues that are part of their own work.
Objectives for 2023
- Reforming the website and library services’ guidelines
- Improving the accessibility of instructions on materials
- Exploring how to support hearing-impaired customers at service points and in the working spaces provided by the library
- Assessing the accessibility of the library furniture
Head of Library and Information Services
Information Systems Specialist