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May 16, 2014 / Christian M.

Voyaging to the Future, Learning Spaces, and Global Access

Looking to the future of NLM!

On Wednesday, the National Library of Medicine hosted a symposium: “NLM 1984-2014: Voyaging to the Future.” The day-long symposium reflected on the past thirty years of NLM accomplishments and innovations under the leadership of our director Dr. Donald Lindberg. Topics included training future leaders, funding and building informatics, information for consumers, outreach partnerships and more. You can watch a recording of the symposium here. The purpose of this event is not just to pat ourselves on the back; it’s a precursor to the new long range planning that will begin next year. NLM is seeking feedback from its stakeholders and user community. There is also a new Voyaging to the Future blog where you can provide your feedback. NLM wants to here from you! Please take some time and visit the blog to share memories about your experience with NLM or its resources, and also to provide your input on what you think NLM’s priorities should be going forward. Your voice counts!

Strategic Priorities of IMLS Funding

Also looking to the future is the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Yesterday, IMLS held the second of three stakeholder meetings geared towards providing insight into funding priorities, particularly for the National Leadership Grant program. The first meeting in April focused on access to digital content,  and yesterday’s meeting focused on learning spaces in libraries. There is one more meeting scheduled for June 5th, 9am – 4pm CT, that will focus on STEM learning in libraries. Librarians and the general public are invited to watch the presentations live online and join in the discussion through Twitter using hashtag #imlsfocus. You can find more information and recordings of the meetings here.

 Global Accessibility Awareness Day

I just learned yesterday  that May 15th is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). This day is dedicated to raising awareness and educating people about digital access and the users of technology with different disabilities. The GAAD website contains links to various organizations that have special events or activities planned for the day. There is also a list of exercises to do to “walk in the shoes” of those with disabilities, such as going mouseless for an hour, checking the color contrast on a webpage, or trying out adaptive software tools. You can follow Twitter conversations on this topic with the hashtags #GAAD and #a11y.  I’m definitely marking my calendar for next year so I can be prepared to join in the promotion and to check out local public events.

Side note: In celebration of GAAD, Deque Systems is offering one month of free access to their course “Web Accessibility Fundamentals.” Free registration is available until June 15th. You can register here.



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