Design Inclusive Spaces with Accessibility and Universal Design

Carli Spina
Gladys Marcus Library

About this Item

Design Inclusive Spaces with Accessibility and Universal Design
Contributor Names
Spina, Carli (Author)
Originally published as chapter 15 of "Designing Libraries for the 21st Century," by the Association of College and Research Libraries, 2022.
As spaces that are used by a wide range of people, it is important that libraries be built with the needs of a diverse set of users in mind. Without this focus on usability for individuals with varied needs, libraries become spaces that exclude both potential patrons and employees. In addition, many libraries are subject to laws that set minimum legal accessibility standards to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not excluded from spaces and services. It is therefore both ethically and, potentially, legally imperative that libraries focus on inclusion throughout their design process. Unfortunately, all too frequently, topics of accessibility and inclusivity are sidelined during building projects, limiting the options available when they are finally considered.
Through thoughtful design, it is possible to build spaces that are comfortable, welcoming, and inclusive for users and meet any relevant legal requirements. To achieve this, it is important to understand accessibility requirements and best practices, as well as the principles of Universal Design. Taken together, these offer guidance for successful design projects. This chapter introduces these topics, explains how they can improve library spaces, and suggests best practices for integrating them into building projects.
Library buildings--Barrier-free design
Libraries--Space utilization
Universal design
Libraries and people with disabilities
In Copyright
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
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FIT Repository ID: fc_000002
Related Materials
Hickerson H. T. Lippincott J. K. & Crema L. (2022). Designing libraries for the 21st century. Association of College & Research Libraries.
Open access edition of Designing libraries for the 21st century
Association of College & Research Libraries


Spina, C. (2022). Design Inclusive Spaces with Accessibility and Universal Design. FIT Institutional Repository.
Spina, Carli. Design Inclusive Spaces with Accessibility and Universal Design. 2022. FIT Digital Repository,
Spina, Carli. "Design Inclusive Spaces with Accessibility and Universal Design." FIT Digital Repository, 2022.