Thoughts for a Soggy Monday

So, it’s Monday. All my Boston friends are snowed in and out here we are in quite a soggy state with all the rain. But I will not be complaining about the rain because: 1. we desperately need the rain and 2. I’ve always been quite fond of rain. However, with the rain comes the inevitable, slightly muddled brain so I’m only going to tackle one issue today, faithful readers, more will come later this week.

At my library, I’m often referred to as the library point person on accessibility. I don’t mind this in the slightest because I honestly can see nothing wrong with insisting on accessibility. If it wasn’t just that I work at a university that mandates accessible resources online, I would still be on team accessibility. I mean, I’m a librarian, librarians are all about access, and accessibility is just one facet on getting the greatest number of people to our resources and services. This is a very long way of saying that this article on Amazon allowing authors and publishers to disable Kindle’s read aloud function makes me sad.

I totally understand that we need to protect authors’ copyrights and the profitability of audio books. But getting a computer to read aloud text is not the same as an audio book as Neil Gaiman eloquently argues on his blog post. And this comes from a Newbery Award-winning author. Gaiman later followed up on this point with this post where he convinced his agent that read aloud was okay. I think if you can’t see the benefit of this feature after reading Brook McCall’s letter on Gaiman’s journal, well I really have nothing more to say about that.

Honestly, accessibility isn’t just a laudable goal. It should be a down on the ground, every day of your life commitment of not forcing some people to live as if they don’t deserve the same access as others simply because of a disability. I think this is especially relevant to librarians and, yes, I think that is all I have to say on that.

Have a great rest of your Monday. I’ll see you later this week.

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