What Libraries need to know about the Accessible BC Act from a Librarian


Happy blind person reading Braille on park bench, with cane next to him

As a librarian with a disability, I’m excited to see how the Accessible BC Act opens the door for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our sector. After attending Untapped Accessibility’s recent webinar, Accessibility in 2023: Trends and Legislation You Need to Know, I reflected on the various types of libraries I’ve worked in and the challenges we regularly face regarding funding, staffing, and access to resources.

Libraries will need to comply with the Accessible BC Act by September 1, 2023. Here are my suggestions for each of the three requirements under the Act:

Accessibility Committees

When creating the accessibility committee, include staff with a disability as they are familiar with the day-to-day accessibility barriers in libraries. Including local or campus organizations supporting disabled communities is an opportunity to receive valuable input and strengthen our relationships.

The Act also requires that at least half of the committee members have a disability or be part of a disability organization, and one member must have an indigenous background. 

Libraries supporting similar communities may partner to share work and ideas. A collaborative approach is a good strategy for meeting the deadline

Accessibility Plans

You do not need to reinvent the wheel in creating the accessibility plan. If your library already has a plan, review it, update and align it with the Accessible BC Act. Alternatively, if one does not exist, the first step is to review the  FAQ about the Accessible B.C. regulation for organizations. I recommend contacting colleagues or searching peer libraries for suggestions. All good plans begin with research and brainstorming, and the final draft will be unique to your library.

Feedback Mechanism

Many libraries have already established a process for receiving public feedback. We have mechanisms already in place and will triage when feedback is received. However, the committee needs to ensure that the mechanism for feedback is accessible. I suggest reviewing the B.C. government’s feedback site for ideas.

Reach Out For Support

Untapped Accessibility – a team of accessibility consultants who can advise you on how to comply with the Act.

Workplace Accessibility Grant – this provides direct support to small organizations employers in British Columbia by providing direct financial assistance towards creating an accessible work environment for persons with disabilities.

Challenging and Rewarding

These tasks may seem daunting, given our daily responsibilities, but we enjoy interacting with the communities we serve; thus, the work is rewarding. And challenges may lie ahead to meet the deadline of September 1st, 2023, but I am confident B.C. libraries will achieve the goal.  


As librarian for over 16 years, Anna enjoys serving diverse communities. She recently completed her Master’s in Educational Technology at UBC. Anna worked at McGill Libraries for many years; her last role was Head Librarian. She then moved to Miami, Florida, where she worked at the University of Miami Libraries as Head of Education and Outreach and their Digital Media.