Samuel Kent Willis

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Prior to entering librarianship, Samuel Willis worked as an instructor in mathematics, and is a member of Kappa Mu Epsilon and Beta Phi Mu honorary societies. He became Technology Development Librarian at Wichita State University after receiving his Masters in Library Science from Emporia State University’s School of Library and Information Management in 2014. He is responsible for maintaining the library catalog, discovery layer, website, and several other systems. He also works routinely with vendors to improve the usability and accessibility of their services and collections.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
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    Filling the gap in database usability
    (Library and Information Technology Association, 2020-12-21) Willis, Samuel K.; O'Reilly, Faye
    Library database vendors often revamp simpler interfaces of their database platforms with script-enriched interfaces to make them more attractive. Sadly, these enhancements often overlook users who rely on assistive technology, leaving electronic content difficult for this user base despite the potential of electronic materials to be easier for them to access and read than print materials. Even when providers are somewhat aware of this user group's needs there are questions about the effect of their efforts to date and whether accessibility documentation from them can be relied upon. This study examines selected vendors’ VPAT reports (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template) through a manual assessment of their database platforms to determine their overall accessibility.
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    Enhancing visibility of vendor accessibility documentation
    (American Library Association, 2018-09-01) Willis, Samuel K.; O'Reilly, Faye
    With higher education increasingly being online or having online components, it is important to ensure that online materials are accessible for persons with print and other disabilities. Library-related research has focused on the need for academic libraries to have accessible websites, in part to reach patrons who are participating in distance-education programs. A key component of a library's website, however, is the materials it avails to patrons through vendor platforms outside the direct control of the library, making it more involved to address accessibility concerns. Librarians must communicate the need for accessible digital files to vendors so they will prioritize it. In much the same way as contracted workers constructing a physical space for a federal or federally funded agency must follow ADA standards for accessibility, so software vendors should be required to design virtual spaces to be accessible. A main objective of this study was to determine a method of increasing the visibility of vendor accessibility documentation for the benefit of our users. It is important that we, as service providers for the public good, act as a bridge between vendors and the patrons we serve.