Improving Accessibility at the Library

Online Accessibility Tool Now Available on Libraries’ Online Catalog

Morristown, NJ – MAIN member public libraries recently launched a new service, Browsealoud, on their online
catalog to help patrons who may find it difficult to read text online, have literacy problems, or for those whom
English is a secondary language. It includes text‐to‐speech screen reading, text magnification, screen masking, and
translation for 99 languages (40 of which Browsealoud can also speak). These tools will allow the library to extend
services to patrons experiencing a variety of access challenges such as low literacy, vision impairment, language
barriers, and attention and focus disorders.

Browsealoud is available to anyone visiting the library’s online catalog. Lyn Begraft, Director of the Long Hill
Township Public Library and MAIN Vice President believes this will assuredly be a true benefit to library patrons.
“We are delighted to be able to offer a library catalog that is both user‐friendly and accessible to all of our
patrons,” stated Ms. Begraft.

“The MAIN online catalog has had similar products integrated into it in the past,” explained MAIN Executive
Director Phillip Berg. “But with Browsealoud we are attempting to empower library patrons who may have
impairments or are just not fluent in reading English. We are very pleased to have one button on our catalog to
serve both purposes as it simplifies the user experience and prevents needing to subscribe to two different
services.”

MAIN was originally created in 1980 when a number of Morris County’s libraries were automated with a shared
computer system. Over time, it has evolved into a full‐fledged public library consortium in and around the County,
which offers its members cost‐sharing opportunities, technical support, and an organizational structure conducive
to collaboration and efficient management of tax dollars.

Browsealoud was developed by Texthelp, a company that has been creating accessibility tools for over 20 years,
and supplied by Library Market, a web development and marketing firm for libraries based out of Jonesboro,
Arkansas.

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For further information, please contact Phillip Berg, MAIN Executive Director, or visit http://www.mainlib.org

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