On formats and access

Happy new year! I’m starting off 2017 with a look at inclusivity in reading formats. Over the weekend, Eb tweeted a thread about book formats and access that I think bears repeating:

I recommend reading the whole thread, but basically, it boils down to this: no format for a book (eBook, large print, audiobook, etc.) is better or worse than any other. To advocate “traditional” print books above other formats is to deny access to readers who are visually-impaired, or who comprehend content better when they hear it, or who have a physical disability that prevents them from holding a hardback book comfortably. eBooks are great for people who can’t afford print books and don’t have transportation to the library. Audiobooks help struggling readers keep up with their peers and develop a love of reading. And on the days when anxiety makes it impossible for me to read a print book, I am so, so grateful for audiobooks.

I will always love traditional print books. I will always buy traditional print books, both for myself and for my library’s collection. But my library will also always have books in multiple formats, because different readers have different preferences and needs.

Here’s to another year of serving all readers, in whatever way they choose to read.


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