Edinburgh Libraries get world recognition with win of Jodi Mattes Trust Award

The City of Edinburgh Council’s libraries service has been recognised as a world leader for delivering innovation in digital access for visually impaired residents.

At a prestigious awards ceremony last week (Thursday 20 May), Edinburgh City Libraries’ was celebrated for supporting the social, learning and employment needs of its blind and partially-sighted users, by making use of groundbreaking digital initiatives.

Attended by organisations and service areas from across the globe, the awards were presented by Baroness Campbell at the British Library in London. The Council’s libraries service joined the Finnish Association of the Deaf and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to pick up a Jodi Award for “delivering innovation in digital access”.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Culture and Sport Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council and a champion of the city’s libraries, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and I am immensely proud of the staff who deliver this important service. The project has resulted in over 100 new users to the library service and new classes and reading groups have formed thanks to the connections made. The Judges praised the proactive approach used by Edinburgh’s library service, and the dedication of all staff involved in the project, and said they were especially impressed with the growth of the special digital service for visual impaired users in such a short space of time.”

Now in their eleventh year, the Jodi Awards were originally set up in celebration of Jodi Mattes (1973-2001), who during her career at the British Museum and RNIB championed inclusivity for disabled people. The Jodi Mattes Trust promotes barrier-free access to cultural collections for disabled people and fosters the cultural equality of disabled people by celebrating best practice through the Jodi Awards; developing guidance for museums, libraries and archives; challenging cultural organisations to do more for the cultural rights of disabled people.

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