Inclusion Advisory Committee Meeting Summary 13 September 2017

Meeting summary of the third Inclusion Advisory Committee meeting, 13 September 2017

The Committee’s third meeting took place on Wednesday 13 September from 4-6pm. 

The meeting commenced with the Chair acknolwedging country and confirming the previous meeting's minutes and actions. 

The first agenda item for discussion was presented by Security Coordinator Mr Abel Morales and on the subject of emergency evacuation procedures. Mr Morales provided detail as to how Library evacuations are conducted. He also highlighted the addition of new warning lights have been installed in the Reading Rooms, Sir William Dixson Research Library, the set aside room and the Donald Horne Fellows Room that flash when the initial alert tone and evacuation tones are sounded. SMS messaging has also been introduced to alert people with disability of emergencies, including those with a hearing impairment. Members provided feedback a about the evacuation procedures including a suggestion that people with disability could present themselves when they are visiting the Library to alert staff that they will require assistance in the event of an evacuation.

After this presentation, the group was introduced to Dr John Vallance, the new State Librarian. Dr Vallance talked about some of his initial plans for the Library including  a permanent exhibition of pictures from the Library’s collection, public exhibitions including digital immersive experiences in the new Mitchell Galleries and a new focus on the fundamental, core activities of the Library including improving catalogue services for readers. Dr Vallance also outlined his intention to progress the installation of a new access ramp into the Mitchell Library and sought the feedback of members including  on the desired width of the ramp.

Ms Morwenna Collette from Accessible Arts joined the meeting to talk about the organisation's Accessing Sydney Collectively campaign. Ms Collette explained that the campaign launched in March 2017 in partnership with the City of Sydney and 12 partner arts organisations, including the State Library of NSW. The campaign is designed to help remove online barriers for people with disability and create greater access to the arts and cultural life across the city. Members offered suggestions including the inclusion of other organisations as part of the campaign including the Public Library network. Members also suggested International Day for People With Disability could be a good opportunity to publicise the campaign in conjunction with the Library.

Lastly Ms Anna Corkhill, Curator and Ms Jenna Bain, Digial Projects Lead joined the meeting to showcase Amplify, the Library's online oral history platform which uses speech-recognition software to provide transcripts. Ms Corkhill outlined that the automated transcripts are approximately 75% accurate and that corrections are provided by digital volunteers. The Library uses various publicity measure to recruit volunteers for the transcription process. Members were interested in how the platform displayed the accuracy of transcriptions and Ms Bain exaplined that this was done through a colour coding system. Members also suggested the Library's recent interview recordings of people with disability could be added to the Amplify platform. 

The meeting concluded with discussion about planning for an event for International Day for People With Disability.

The Committee will meet again on Wednesday 13 December 2017.