Libraries and Accessibility
The Ministry of Culture carries out several actions in favour of access to books and reading for those who are prevented from reading because of a disability.
- 18% of the French population has a disability rate of 80% or more, whatever the nature of the disability (visual, auditory, motor, cognitive, mental or psychic);
- about 26% of the French population has a disability in the broad sense (recognized administratively or having a strong impact in daily life);
- with the lengthening of the life span, it is estimated that by 2050, about a third of the French population will be over 60 years old; 15% will be over 75 years old;
- between 5% and 10% of the works published each year in France are accessible to people prevented from reading because of a disability;
- In France, fewer than 10,000 people practise Braille.
A mailing list for exchange between library professionals
The mailing list email@example.com is established, with the objective of disseminate information about library accessibility (events, study days, trainings, schemes...) and facilitate the sharing of best practices between library professionals: accessibility of collections, services (on site and remotely), accessibility of library sites and portals, accessibility of buildings and interior fittings, etc.
This mailing list is moderate In particular, commercial messages are excluded.
Anyone working in a public or academic library, or in an associative library, can subscribe to the mailing list and make a contribution.
Actions of the Book and Reading Service in favour of persons prevented from reading because of a disability
The State provides financial and structuring support for a number of actions in public reading libraries:
- The Special assistance from the General Decentralisation Fund (DGD) can finance actions related to the accessibility of libraries (buildings, interior design, collections, materials). This envelope is taught by the Counsellors Book and Reading in DRAC (Regional Directorates of Cultural Affairs).
- Les Aids to the development of reading for the prevented audiences of the National Book Centre (CNL), are intended to support projects developed by libraries in favour of disadvantaged groups requiring special measures to ensure equal access to books and reading. These aids benefit the public prevented from reading because of their disability, their detention, their hospitalization, their loss of autonomy; are also concerned the public geographically, culturally or socially distant from books and reading, Priority will be given to network actions aimed at users in smaller municipalities.
- The Book and Reading Service also awards grants to national associations, working for the access to the written word of persons prevented. Priority is given to actions developed in partnership with public reading libraries, at a national level.
As part of the grants granted by the Book and Reading Service, it supports the operation Daisy in your libraries carried out by the Media Library of the Association Valentin Haüy (AVH), for the dissemination of the Daisy reading offer in public reading libraries. Proposals for partnerships between territorial libraries and the AVH media library include access to the download platform Aeola, the provision of CDs of Daisy audio books and 2 Daisy reading devices, as well as the expertise and support provided by the AVH Media Library team.
From 2015 onwards, the'Public reading observatory develops the questionnaires sent each year to municipal, inter-municipal and departmental libraries, in order to integrate all the issues related to accessibility in libraries (built environment, website, collections, materials, cultural action).
The Book and Reading Service works in close cooperation with the Accessibility commission of the Association des bibliothécaires de France (ABF), as well as with the national mission Reading & disability of the Public Information Library (BPI).
Finally, the DGMIC - Book and Reading Service regularly publishes a Digital accessibility barometer in public reading.
DGMIC study “Public and public reading prevented. Synthesis of the study conducted by the Crédoc” (2017)
At the request of the Media and Cultural Industries Branch (CMIB) of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Crédoc conducted a study of public reading libraries. (municipal and intercommunal libraries serving municipalities of more than 10,000 inhabitants; departmental libraries) in order to draw up a complete inventory of the actions and partnerships implemented in favour of the deprived populations, and identify areas for improvement. TheDGMIC study “Public and public reading prevented. Synthesis of the study conducted by the Crédoc” (2017) is freely available.
By prevented persons, we mean persons with disabilities, persons hospitalized or in health facilities, as well as persons under the control of the courts (adults and minors, open and closed environments).
The objective of this study is to be able, over time, to better respond to the challenge of access for all to books and reading.
The copyright exception for persons with disabilities
In order to develop accessible publishing for people prevented from reading because of a disability, theException "handicap" to copyright, defined in Articles L 122-5, L 122-5-1, L 122-5-2 and R 122-13 to R 122-22 of the Intellectual Property Code, allows organizations with a ministerial authorization to produce adapted versions of copyrighted works, without prior authorization or remuneration of the rights holders, in order to make them available to persons prevented from reading because of a disability.
This adaptation can, under certain conditions, be made from the digital files transmitted by the publishers via the PLATON platform (Platform for the transfer of digital works), managed by the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Created in 2010, the PLATON platform allows secure file exchange between the 700 registered publishers and approved structures. In 2014, from the publishers' digital files, 4,000 titles resulted in 8,000 adaptations in Braille, large print, Daisy text or Daisy audio.
In 2014-2015, the Ministry of Culture and Communication organized a consultation on improving access to books and reading for people with disabilities, involving the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of Education, representatives of rights holders, persons with disabilities and the Bibliothèque nationale de France. This consultation identified progress to be made and three objectives to be achieved in the draft law on "Freedom of creation, architecture and heritage":
- Improve the definition of the beneficiaries of the exception mechanism, including the inclusion of DYS (dyslexia, dyspraxia, etc.);
- improve the adaptation activity carried out within the framework of the exception, in terms of pooling and formats;
- under certain conditions, allow file exchanges between countries in anticipation of the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty (2013).