Introduction to LibA11y

A guide for making our library content accessible

In the library world, we create a lot of content. This guide is designed to help you make this content accessible to everyone. In addition to explaining how to make our content accessible, this guide aims to explain why these methods are needed. We hope this knowledge makes it easier to implement.

How to use this guide

You can read this guide multiple ways. You can read it beginning to end. You can jump directly to the section you immediately need. You can read details about how library patrons use screen readers to better understand how these content solutions work— or jump right to the solutions section. Videos created by the U.S. Dept. of Education show a lot of the recommendations in action. Grab what you need and return for additional information as you find time. Definitely install the WAVE testing tool to help you check your work.

5 quick tips to immediately improve your content accessibility

  1. Use headings for your content headlines (h1, h2, h3). Keep your headings in logical order to provide an outline for your document.

  2. Include alternative text to convey the content of your images.

  3. Ensure all your videos include closed captions and/or transcripts.

  4. Don't rely on color to convey information and make sure your text has good color contrast.

  5. The text of your links should be meaningful even taken out of context.

What does "LibA11y" mean?

Lib is for the wonderful world of libraries. A11y is a common numeronym for accessibility — 11 being the number of characters between the A and Y. Phonetically, a11y makes us allies for universal access.


Version 1.2 updated in 2024 by Jerry Yarnetsky, web services librarian at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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