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Statement on Libby, OverDrive, and Screen Reader Accessibility

It has been brought to the attention of Madison Public Library that OverDrive, one of the providers of electronic publications to our patrons, has been secretly steering people with visual disabilities away from their primary product, the Libby app. OverDrive has chosen to do so through a message, only accessed through screen readers, which states the following:

Welcome to Libby! This is a secret message for screen readers. We are working to improve your experience with this app. In the meantime, our OverDrive app is more accessible. You can find it in the app store. We thank you for your patience.

We discovered that this disparity has existed since the new app was introduced over two years ago. Madison Public Library finds this kind of messaging targeted at the blind and visually impaired community offensive, and we expect OverDrive to immediately resolve the issue by correcting the accessibility issues with the Libby app.

Madison Public Library apologizes to our library patrons who have been impacted, and intends to lead efforts to bring about greater compliance and usability.

The City of Madison and Madison Public Library intend for this statement to reaffirm our commitment to equal access and inclusion for all residents.

February 24, 2020