Can access be accessible? Facilitating digital access to information for everyone

A key and a lock


The spirit of library science seems to be related to the concept of access to information, a sentiment that is shared by Turock & Friedrich: “For the library and information professions no value is more fundamental than a commitment to providing the people with access to information” (Turock and Friedrich 2009, abstract). In this thesis, I work from the premise that the digital presence of libraries should also be included in this maxim, and that consequently, libraries should work to ensure that their websites function as “intermediaries between literature and readers” (Knut Oterholm & Åse Kristine Tveit, cited in Ridderstrøm, Skjerdingstad, and Vold 2015, 17).

This thesis evaluates two Norwegian library websites, Deichman Public Library1 ( and Norwegian Library of Talking Books and Braille2 (, in light of universal design and accessibility, following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines established by W3C. I will attempt to identify some usability problems, compare the results from the two websites, and discuss some possible causes and resolutions to these problems. The research question guiding this thesis is, “How can two Norwegian library websites improve how they facilitate digital access to information for people with disabilities?”

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