Accessible, Inclusive and Sustainable Library

Catalysing connections and empowering people with disabilities to thrive through inclusive reading clubs, guided tours and training opportunities.

The Local Challenge

The city of Terrassa aims to guarantee access to culture, reading and information equitably for residents through the city’s public library. However, not everyone has the same opportunities and the library supports disadvantaged sectors, including people with disabilities. This initiative involves collaborating with a local organisation called LaFact to increase employment opportunities for people with intellectual and other disabilities – helping to promote socialisation, skills development and self-esteem, while normalising disabled people’s presence in public spaces. 

 

The Initiative  

Terrassa’s well-used libraries are ideal for promoting inclusivity. Partnering with LaFact and other disability-focused organisations, they aim to transform library access for people with disabilities. They offer tailored reading clubs, guided tours for special schools and staff training to integrate and empower individuals with disabilities – with the aim of enhancing their autonomy, inclusion and well-being. Tasks undertaken by people with disabilities include emptying the book return mailbox, shelving books, repairing damaged ones, reviewing donations and maintaining the garden. This boosts their self-esteem and normalises their presence and inclusive access to the library. 

 

What’s Next?

Next, Terrassa Library is considering linking up with disability centres to share ideas, spaces and activities, as well as getting volunteers involved to extend services to homes and residences. The goal is to create a network between libraries and institutions supporting people with disabilities to share resources, spaces, activities and services. This collaboration will enhance sustainability, leverage each other’s strengths and exchange experiences. As well as gaining access to reading activities, people with disabilities will gain valuable work experience in the library – helping to catalyse connections and empowering people with disabilities to thrive in this diverse Catalan city.

 

This is an ongoing Europe Challenge project that will be completed in autumn 2024. Stay tuned for more updates and contact theeuropechallenge@culturalfoundation.eu if you have any questions or want to be connected with the team behind the project.

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