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Inclusive Services

To suggest additions, please email Sherry Machones at smachones@northernwaters.org.

Inclusive Services Assessment Guide

The Inclusive Services Assessment and Guide for Wisconsin Public Libraries was produced by the Public Library Development TeamInclusivity
Download the document under the “Inclusive Services” section at this link.

Participants in the inaugural 2018 Inclusive Services Institute developed this self-assessment tool and guide so that libraries are better able to evaluate the inclusivity of their spaces, programming, services, and administrative operations.

Read More about this Resource.

What does it mean to be Inclusive?

Wisconsin public libraries are places where everyone should be safe, welcomed, and respected in experiences such as
(but not limited to):

  • Arrival at the building (transportation, physical accessibility, signage, hours of service, greetings by library staff)
  • Intersections with library policies (getting a library card, using a computer, paying a fine)
  • Perusal, use, and request of library materials (navigating the aisles, accessing Wi-Fi, individual privacy, diversity
    of collection)

Continue Reading this Statement from the Division of Libraries and Technology (May 25, 2017). 

What’s New

The latest Inclusive Services Update can be found on the Jan. 11, 2021, Digital Lites post.


BrailleThe Wisconsin Talking Book and Braille Library provides books and magazines in two formats: braille and audio recorded books. The library also lends audio-described DVDs and equipment.

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) also serve the blind, as well as those with impaired vision, physical limitations, and reading disabilities.


The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) and The American Library Association (ALA) have partnered through the Libraries Transform public awareness campaign to create a free toolkit to help library professionals raise awareness of how libraries provide trusted health information to their communities.






According to the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services (DHS), Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are already straining Wisconsin’s long-term care system, and the number of people affected is expected to increase dramatically as the baby boom generation ages. DHS estimates that in 2015 there were 115,000 Wisconsin residents with dementia. Read more…


CAT4PL logoThe Creative Aging Toolkit for Public Libraries is a free, online resource for librarians. It offers access to information about aging and libraries, creative aging research, and best practices in the field. The toolkit contains insights, tips, tools and templates to be used when planning, implementing and sustaining successful programs.


ASGCLA logoThe Association of Specialized, Government and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASGCLA) is excited to announce the update of 15 Library Accessibility Toolkits to help better serve patrons. These toolkits were developed to help library professionals understand the challenges and opportunities presented by issues of equitable access for library users. Issues include 1) users with mental health issues  2) users with learning and/or attention issues 3) users with developmental disabilities 4) users with sensory disabilities 5) users with service animals 6) users who need assistive technology and 7) users with physical disabilities.

The press release and more information on the toolkits can be found here.

In September of 2018, ASCLA officially changed its name to Association of Specialized, Government and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASGCLA) as it merged with the Federal and Armed Forces Libraries Round Table (FAFLRT).  Collaborating with the division will be approximately 300 federal and armed forces librarians that will strengthen the voice for specialized libraries.


Collaboration Toolkit photoThe Public Library and School Library Collaboration Toolkit is itself an example of collaborative planning and effort. The Interdivisional Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation (SPLC) worked for three years to create a resource useful for all librarians and library staff working with children, students, and teens.

Download a PDF of the Public Library and School Library Collaboration Toolkit.

Wisconsin Valley Library Service
300 N 1st Street
Wausau, WI 54403