Developing the capacity of teacher-librarians to meet the diverse needs of all schoolchildren: Project ENABLE

William N. Myhill, Renee Franklin Hill, Kristen Link, Ruth V. Small, Kelly Bunch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


US school libraries are required to ensure that schoolchildren and school staff with disabilities have equal opportunity to use and benefit from library facilities and information services under federal law. However, evidence indicates teacher-librarians (TLs) often lack the training, knowledge and skills to provide programmes and services that meet the needs of students with disabilities. Project ENABLE (Expanding Nondiscriminatory Access by Librarians Everywhere) was created to respond to this shortfall by designing, implementing and evaluating a professional development programme in New York State. The project applies a social model of disability to help 100 TLs, special educators and general educators further develop their skills and resources by teaming together to create an inclusive environment for all students. This is achieved through the use of universal design principles, appropriate assistive and other technologies, an emphasis on person-first language and sensitivity simulations, a focus on inclusive lesson planning, and by developing collaboration capacity among participant teams. Curriculum development, data collection and analyses are presented. The effect of the Project ENABLE trainings was significant in terms of higher levels of skill and knowledge reported by participants for creating accessible library programmes, advancing inclusive education and building effective collaborations. Drawing from their workshop learning and resources, participant teams developed action plans to implement during the 2011-2012 school year. This project underscores the importance of TLs in the education of all students, including those with disabilities. Higher education and local professional development programmes must place greater emphasis on preparing TLs to perform this role effectively and confidently.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-216
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Research in Special Educational Needs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Digital media
  • Disability
  • Inclusive education
  • Library services
  • Social model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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