Home Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library Policies Access for Special Needs Customers

Hillsborough County
Department of Library Services
LS304
Policies and Procedures Manual

Subject: Access for Special Needs Customers

Effective: December 1, 2014

Supercedes: April 1, 2010

Review: 2 Years

  1. Purpose:
    1. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Title II (Public Services) and Title III (Public Accommodations), Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Libraries (the “Library”) endeavors to make reference sources and services available to customers with special needs.
  2. Policy:
    1. The Library extends the same reference & user instruction to all its customers. For those with special needs, assistive technologies are available. A complete listing of equipment and locations is available under "Americans with Disabilities… Accessible Library Services" on the library’s Web Page.
    2. Physical barriers to service are eliminated whenever possible. When obstacles do exist, the Library staff assists with retrieval and use of materials, equipment and facilities.
    3. The Talking Book Library provides library service to qualifying blind and physically handicapped individuals. Eligibility and registration information is available at every agency and on the library’s Web page.
    4. Interpretation services for non-English speaking and hearing impaired customers is provided by the Library on a limited basis.
  3. Procedure:
    1. Non-English Speaking Customers: Every effort is made to serve the non- English speaking customer at the agency where the inquiry was received. The request should be referred to an agency staff member who speaks the same language. When no one is available at the agency that speaks the language of the customer, staff will proceed as follows:
      1. If the language is Spanish:
        1. Consult the Hillsborough County Staff Language Talent Pool (under Communications & Digital Media Services on COIN, the county’s Intranet) to locate a Spanish speaking employee. Call from the information desk to request help. Briefly explain the situation, and let the customer speak directly to the translator.
        2. Over-the-phone language interpretation services are available to assist Spanish Speaking customers via telephone. Access instruction and language lists can be found on MERLIN, the library’s Intranet.
        3. If no Spanish-speaking staff are available – or at the customer’s request- dial the Library’s Spanish voice mail number so that the customer can leave a message for a later callback.
      2. If the language is other than Spanish:
        1. Consult the Hillsborough County Staff Language Talent Pool (under Communications & Digital Media Services on COIN, the county’s Intranet) to locate an employee who speaks the same language. Then call from the reference desk to request help. Briefly explain the situation, and let the customer speak directly to the translator.
        2. Over-the-phone language interpretation services are available to assist non-English speaking customers via telephone. Access instruction and language lists can be found on MERLIN, the library’s Intranet.
        3. If an employee fluent in that language is not available, try to communicate to the customer to have a translator call the library or accompany him or her on the next visit.
  4. Authority:

    Pursuant to Section 5(1) of Chapter 84-443, Laws of Florida, the Public Library Board has the duty and the responsibility, among others, to serve in a recommending capacity to the Director of Library Services and to the County Administrator in respect to all matters pertaining to the public library.