Improving Access and Inclusion at Bay Area Libraries 

Grant Awarded to Ensure Equitable Access for People With Disabilities

Over the next year, San Mateo County Libraries is working in partnership with San Francisco Public Library, opens a new window and San José Public Library, opens a new window to improve access and inclusion in our public libraries for people with disabilities. To assist with our efforts, we have been awarded a $250,000 Library Services and Technology Act, opens a new window (LSTA) grant, federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, opens a new window that are awarded by the State Library, opens a new window to eligible California Libraries.

San Mateo County Libraries will be collaborating with local non-profits and city/state groups to develop and implement innovative practices and programming that are accessible and designed for all our customers’ needs. Our staff will be trained on disability awareness and inclusive customer service to ensure we are ready and able to help all customers. We aim to cultivate a culture where every community member feels empowered by their abilities and talents to contribute ideas and efforts to our strategies on accessibility and inclusion.

Located in the heart of the Bay Area, San Mateo County Libraries understands the need to create opportunities for all residents to thrive. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 61,974 people in San Mateo County, or 8.3% of the noninstitutionalized population, have a disability of some kind. The U.S. Census estimates that 10.8 percent of California’s population — over 4 million people — lives with a disability.

Libraries are a place for everyone. We strive to create inclusive environments and experiences that reflect the communities we serve and where everyone feels empowered to participate as their full, authentic selves. There is more work to be done, but with the help of our entire community— our staff, customers, partners, and YOU — we can achieve #EqualityForAll.

Have ideas on how we can be more accessible and inclusive? Let us know by:

We want our library to be a place for everyone. Let us know in the comments below how we can transform to better serve you.