National Library of New Zealand
Harvested by the National Library of New Zealand on: May 22 2018 at 3:17:08 GMT
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Accessibility standards

This page records some of the more significant accessibility barriers still found throughout the site. It isn't comprehensive, but should give an idea of the sorts of issues users may face when visiting. We have these issues in our backlog of improvements.

Latest improvements

The extra information (including the object title) available in the Gallery view is now accessible without having to hover over the image with the mouse.

Search results pages now have distinct titles based on the pagination and filters used, including Collection, Subject Heading, Type, and Date.

Still to do

Keyboard accessibility

There are some issues with using keyboard navigation on the site.

  • Most links on the site don't give any indication of focus, making it extremely difficult to use keyboard-only navigation. A few links and buttons do indicate focus, but it is not very strong, and is still not very useful.
  • Hovering over some icons and buttons with a mouse makes tooltips with extra information appear. These tooltips are not keyboard accessible, and cannot be activated by keyboard.

Colour contrast

The placeholder text in several text entry fields, including the main search box, has poor colour contrast making it difficult for some users to read.

Text resizing

There are a few minor problems that make text illegible or confusing when resized to 200%, including the radio buttons on the Advanced Search page.


When an error interrupts the submission of a form, it may not be clear to visually impaired users that anything has gone wrong.


Many images have alternative text (using the alt attribute) that simply repeats the associated text without adequately describing the image itself. This can leave users who can't see the images at a significant disadvantage.

Icons are used to identify certain passages of text as purely informational. They are loaded as CSS background images on empty, generic HTML elements. This mean they have no text equivalent and are therefore imperceptible to users who cannot see the images.

Links to external sites include a small indicative image showing that the link takes you off-site. This image is a CSS background image without a text equivalent, meaning these links are not properly identified as external.

Page titles

Pages of filtered search results need some further improvements to their titles.

Making this site accessible

It's important that websites can be accessed and used by the widest possible range of people. We have tested the National Library site against accessibility standards, and found several areas that need attention.

We are currently working on these known issues. If you find any other problems, please email us at