Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery

Guideline 283 - Library Services to Users with Disabilities

Final Approval 2/18/2020

Staff of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery provide services to support all of our users, regardless of disability status. We are happy to provide additional services for the research and personal information access needs of users who require accommodations due to a disability.

The AOK Library provides the following services for library users with disabilities:

The Assistive Technology Room, (Library 455) provides access to specialized hardware and software through a collaboration between the Library’s IT department and the Office of Student Disability Services. See the Assistive Technology Room webpage for the complete list of current equipment and procedures for using this room.

Research Assistance and Consultations

Librarians and staff provide assistance to all users who require help with identifying and locating research materials. Staffing patterns and service desk traffic may affect the amount of time that staff can spend with any individual user. Users who need specialized assistance are encouraged to make appointments with the subject librarian for the academic discipline they are researching to ensure uninterrupted assistance and the availability of the type of support requested.

Individuals with low or limited vision, or other sensory impairments including deafness, who may need access to alternative formats or assistive technology for research access are encouraged to share their access request information at the time of appointment request. Library staff will consult with the Office of Accessibility & Disability Services if accommodation assistance is needed to facilitate the access.

Ask a Librarian

Users who need accommodations are encouraged to submit reference questions via the Ask a Librarian link on the Library's Web site. Librarians will provide online chat service during designated hours, and will respond via email to queries received outside of those hours. These services do not include in-depth research or renewing, retrieving, or holding library materials.

Book Retrieval

Library staff may assist users with retrieving materials from the book stacks as staffing patterns and service desk traffic permit. We recommend that users make an appointment or request assistance in advance by contacting the Circulation department. If no staff member is available to assist a user immediately, staff will retrieve and/or photocopy materials and notify the user when their materials are available.

Photocopying and Scanning

UMBC users with visual disabilities may request scans of research materials via Interlibrary Loan. We are able to exceed copyright limitations on scanning for these users as follows:

-For books the Library owns, Interlibrary Loan will scan the entire book and deliver it as a PDF with Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Note that such requests may take up to five business days to complete.

-For books the Library does not own, Interlibrary Loan may:
oAsk the user to provide a copy, which ILL will scan and deliver as an OCR PDF. Note that such requests may take up to five business days following receipt of the book from the user.

oPurchase a copy of the book, if appropriate for the Library’s collection, up to a cost of $100. For books costing more than $100, the Library may ask the user to cover the difference. The user will be consulted before any book is purchased for this purpose. Note that such requests may take up to five business days following receipt of the book, order and delivery times will vary.

-For books the Library does not own, which are not appropriate to purchase for the collection, and which cannot be supplied by the user, the Library (ILL?) may request a copy of the book from another library. We may scan portions of the book, up to limits prescribed by copyright law, and deliver those portions as OCR PDFs.

Service Animals

Trained service animals, dogs and in some cases miniature horses, as described in Guideline 232 –Animals in the Library, are permitted in the Library & Gallery when assisting a user with a disability. All other animals, including emotional support animals (aka therapy or comfort animals), are not recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are not permitted in the Library.

Students with Disabilities

All enrolled UMBC students with disabilities who would like to request accommodation support are strongly encouraged to register with the Office of Student Disability Services(SDS), located in Room 212 in the Mathematics/Psychology Building within the Office of Accessibility & Disability Services. Information about disability services for students is also available online at Staff members in SDS meet with students individually to discuss their access needs and to coordinate accommodations. SDS does not provide personal assistance to students such as carrying books, loans of wheelchairs or crutches, golf carts for transport, personal attendants or other travel assistance to classrooms or residence halls.

Assistive Technology Loan

In partnership with SDS, the Library’s Digital Media Lab (Library 216H) offers a selection of assistive technology devices which SDS-registered users may borrow. Details of this program are available on the DML website:

Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery . University of Maryland, Baltimore County . 1000 Hilltop Circle . Baltimore MD 21250
(410) 455-2232. Questions and comments to: Web Services Librarian