JJ Pionke, Applied Health Sciences Librarian & Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), has received first place in the Illinois Association of College & Research Libraries Forum (IACRL) People’s Choice Award in Scholarly Publishing. Pionke earned the highest number of votes, for his article “Library Employee Views of Disability and Accessibility”, in Journal of Library Administration.
The IACRL People’s Choice Award in Scholarly Publishing gives academic and research librarians throughout Illinois the opportunity to read and evaluate scholarly works by their peers and then vote on a favorite. It also presents Illinois research and academic librarians with the opportunity to share their findings outside of a conference or other formal setting. Voting is open to all staff members at Illinois academic and research libraries, consortia, and related organizations. Pionke received 46.7% votes for his article.
Pionke’s winning article is a study that explored library employee attitudes toward people with disabilities and accessibility and aimed to determine the training needs of current library employees. Data revealed from the study indicates that “librarians across library types generally feel unprepared to work with patrons with disabilities.”
Based on the results, Pionke shared several recommendations for improvement within the profession, “including creating a more robust training program focused on accessibility and disability, examining policies from local through national levels, and improving recruitment and retention of people with disabilities into the profession.”
Pionke and the other winners will present on their articles either at future meetings of the IACRL Journal Club or in a separate webinar.