Reason #118 – We’re 100% Accessible

Reason #118 - Accessibility

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!

130 Reasons to Celebrate: We Have Amazing Volunteers!

Reason #11 - Amazing VolunteersWe really do.

As we wrap up National Volunteer Week 2014, April 6-12, we need to give a mention to the amazing people that help us run the library. Our volunteers do everything from making important library decisions like our strategic plan (St. Thomas Public Library Board) to helping us run our annual Haunted Library (Teen Advisory Board). We have the Friends of the St. Thomas Public Library to thank for running the Friends Shop in Elgin Mall and seasonally selling books at the Horton Farmer’s Market.  Our Home Library Service volunteers deliver books to patrons’ homes, allowing them to use the library’s services without having to make a trip.

Without volunteers, our services to you wouldn’t be what they are today.  Thank-you.

For more information on what volunteers do, and how they make life better for all of us, check out http://volunteer.ca/nvw2014.