TECH.LIBRARY focuses on 3 main objectives:


Favour the exchange of best practices among staff of different libraries on services and ICT tools for the involvement of visually impaired users.


Expand library staffs’ digital competencies through tailored training activities on ICT tools.


Establish a network of libraries for cooperation in responding to visually impaired users’ needs.


The project idea was built on a shared necessity among public libraries’ staff: how to deal with the visually impaired people in libraries?

New technologies have opened up new possibilities for reading and for participatory activities targeted to people with disabilities. These days, visually impaired users can indeed access specific computer programmes, Internet and digital resources using innovative instruments like screen magnifying monitors, screen readers and speech synthesis, Braille displays.

Such services are gradually being supplied also in Public and Academic Libraries; however, library services for blind and visually impaired people vary from country to country and specialized libraries for blind users generally maintain a central role in serving this type of reader. In most countries, the services of such libraries are not even integrated in the local/national library system.

Even thought libraries for blind people are generally well equipped, the request for specialized services for visually impaired in local or national systems is raising constantly.

Unfortunately, regular libraries’ staff cannot afford this demand. The framework at EU level is not uniform and therefore provides uneven support: in some countries like Sweden and Denmark the application of digital technologies to the delivery of alternative format materials is already very advanced, whereas in many others the process is not yet efficient.

At EU level, there is no single “best practice” model for providing library and information services to visually impaired users.

After evaluating this context, 2 main issues arose:

  • library staff is generally poorly aware of the ICT tools services for the involvement of visually impaired users and successful experiences and best practices are very little known;
  • library staff’s digital competencies are usually not adequate to face this challenge.

These issues have been further explored through on-line and face to face comparisons and then through a questionnaire investigating the state-of-the art on competencies, awareness and experiences of libraries to face this issue.

As a result, the project focuses on 3 main objectives:

  1. Promote the exchange of best practices among staff of different libraries on ICT tools and services for the involvement of visually impaired readers
  2. Develop library staff’s digital competencies through training activities on ICT tools
  3. Establish a network of libraries for cooperation in involvement of visually impaired users.


TECH.LIBRARY represents a concrete opportunity for European libraries to communicate and collaborate, improve the skills of their staff, develop innovative approaches, exchange new practices in areas of common interest; this will contribute to foster competitiveness and employability, personal development, active citizenship, social inclusion beyond EU internal borders.

Lastly, the project will concretely promote the participation of disadvantaged groups in society. Activities will in fact be addressed to all staff categories in the involved libraries:

  • Management personnel (directors, managers, etc.)
  • Librarians working in close contact with users and responsible for shelving, data entry, processing library materials, secretarial tasks, etc.
  • Specialised staff: computer system managers, marketing and financial staff, etc.
  • Support staff


This instrument will support the libraries’ staff in their exchanging of best practices activities and training activities. It will give the opportunity to libraries staff to create network and to manage relationships through a structured instrument.

Different functionalities will allow libraries’ staff to:

  • get trained
  • get informed
  • share experiences and opinions
  • networking and cooperate
  • communicate
  • disseminate project/libraries activities and initiatives.

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