We are accessible!
Recently, the Province of Ontario passed laws requiring that all companies, organizations and government agencies make their services more accessible. Although the new legislation also applies to libraries, accessibility is nothing new for us! A principle of service for libraries has always been that we serve all ages and levels of abilities. The province has set standards physical buildings, such as requiring wider doorways, ramps instead of stairs, and elevators with raised buttons. There are also guidelines for customer service, such as making sure that our important documents are available in multiple formats.
St. Thomas Public Library has many services for accessibility. With assistance from the Lions Club of St. Thomas, we have an accessibility station, including a special computer with touch screen, a text magnifier, and a text-to-voice reader. We have an audiobook collection of over 1,000 items and a Large Print collection of almost 10,000 items for the visually impaired. Recently, we redesigned our website with new accessibility standards in mind. (Go to http://stthomaspubliclibrary.ca/ and check out the accessibility options in the top left-hand corner of the page.) And for those who are unable to get to the library, our Home Library Service provides selection and delivery of materials to visually impaired and home-bound persons by staff and volunteers.
When it comes to the library building, we’ve been given the “Thumbs Up” certification by the St. Thomas Thumbs Up Committee for being accessible to the community. Some of our accessibility features include: ramps and hand rails at both the main and lower entrances with automatic doors, accessible/family washrooms on all three levels of the library, aisles that meet the 81 cm accessibility code (for walkers, scooters, strollers, etc.) that are free from clutter, an upgraded elevator to include braille, light-up display, and sound communication, and all of our door handles can be opened easily with one hand (among many other standards.)
All our staff and volunteers are trained on the principles of accessibility, and we can help you!
In this age of consumerism we have stores the size of football fields, online retailers that sell everything from books to groceries, and ads that are depressingly targeted to your web-browsing history. It seems like everyone is vying for your money and attention, no wonder we feel the need to buy so much stuff. The library is one of the last public spaces where you won’t be bombarded by advertisements, and your money is of no consequence to your borrowing privileges.
Here at the library you can go home loaded with items, and you won’t have to spend a dime. Books, audiobooks, DVDs, Blu-Rays, magazines, CDs, videogames and even e-readers. Come in and browse, maybe you’ll get that retail therapy buzz without having to part with any money! And remember that you’re welcome no matter your income level. You don’t need to wear your brand-name clothing or designer sunglasses, just come as you are.
Have a road trip planned this summer? Why not fit some reading in on the way? You can pick from a wide selection of audiobooks at the library to play while you’re on the way to the cottage, or anywhere! This way there are no arguments about radio stations or what type of music to listen to. You may want to take a drive just to get some some time with your book! Audiobooks are also great if you have a long commute to work, or put one on while you’re cooking or cleaning. Audiobooks can help you fit in reading wherever you can!
Check out our selection of audiobooks for adults here, juvenile audiobooks here, and teen audiobooks here.
‘Tis the season for gift giving and shopping confusion: do you give them a laptop, eReader, or a tablet? Which one is best? Which devices are compatible with library eBooks and eAudiobooks?
We can help! St. Thomas Public Library is having a free presentation to help with buying decisions when it comes to gadgets and devices, led by the library’s eServices Specialist Peter Atkinson.
Saturday, November 17, 2012
10:00 a.m. to Noon
Carnegie Room, lower level
After the presentation, stick around to have your questions answered or help with devices. (If you need help with a device, please bring all necessary cables and attachments.) No registration required. Free Admission!
For more information, call the library at 519-631-6050.