VALA2022 Onsite Session 14 Kelly

AI, accessibility and digital collections: examining the practical application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance the accessibility of the digital collections of the State Library of Victoria


Wednesday 15 June 2022, 14:10 – 14:40

Justin Kelly
  • Business Analyst, Collections
  • State Library of Victoria

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Read the paper and view the presentation recording and slides here:


A library’s digital collection can often represent the best of that library. These items can engage an audience, broaden understanding and enhance research. However, too often, due to legacy technical limitations, these digital items are not fully available to an audience with accessibility limitations. This paper focuses on digital images with particular focus on images with handwritten or non-standard text components. It aims to address the accessibility concerns, utilising existing methods to improve accessibility for such items; detailing the development, challenges, lessons learnt and the next steps of the project. It will also discuss the open source software that was developed as part of the 2019 State Library of Victoria’s Digital Fellowship to improve the accessibility of SLV’s digital collections using artificial intelligence (AI).


Justin Kelly is the 2019 recipient of the Digital Fellowship from the State Library of Victoria. During his fellowship, Justin examined the use state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence technologies to enrich and bring new depth and possibilities to the Library’s digital image collection focused on the various facets of accessibility. Resulting from the fellowship, Justin has developed new open source AI based technology focused specially for the GLAMR sector. Justin will discuss the new technology and it’s practical application of AI for enhancing the accessibility for a libraries digital collections. Justin is currently the Business Data Analyst at State Library of Victoria, Justin has a passion for data visualisation and analytics have lead a number of VALA TechCamp workshops on data visualisation with Tableau and PowerBI. Prior to working at the State Library of Victoria, Justin was a Data Engineer and Web Developer at Swinburne University, focusing on data warehousing, machine learning, visualisation, computer vision and cloud technologies. These skills combined with his years of experience with library systems provide a unique understanding of library technologies and also cutting-edge cloud technologies.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License