Access: a Library Designed with Everyone in Mind
by Claudine Perrault, Library Director
Enter the Library, and our goal is to make you feel welcome. Whether you’re a regular or it’s your first visit, our motto is, “We’re glad you’re here!”
Happily, in our 2017 Patron Satisfaction Survey, 95% of respondents said the Library made them feel welcome. That’s great, and we’re working each day to reach 100%.
A warm and friendly staff is a key ingredient. But it’s also important to design our physical spaces in ways that make you feel comfortable, confident, and empowered to access the services you need.
We regularly assess our physical spaces with those goals in mind. One of the Trustees’ top priorities is to assure accessible services for patrons with special needs.
Built in 1991, the downtown library has served us well. Facility improvements over the years have helped us address changing community needs, shifting trends in libraries, as well as compliance with today’s ADA standards.
Recent examples of that include renovating the second-floor restroom for easier wheelchair access, including a newly-added door closer, a touchless faucet, and better counter height and hand rails for better grip and safety.
Throughout the building, rounded door knobs have been replaced with easier-to-grip lever handles. Directional signage around doors and entryways includes Braille lettering to better guide patrons. And although pets are not permitted inside the Library, we do welcome service animals who are designated to assist persons with disabilities.
The Library’s recent website re-design was guided by ADA standards. All website users are now enjoying the faster load times and easy-to-browse calendar. And the new colors and layouts are not only appealing but ADA-compliant as well.
We’ll continue working to assure our spaces are inviting and accessible to everyone. Yet we know some of our residents are unable to travel to the Library due to physical or visual impairments. That’s where our House Calls program comes to the rescue.
To our House Calls clients, we deliver! For patrons eligible for this service, we work with you to identify the print books, talking books and other materials that you’d enjoy. Volunteers then arrange for delivery and pick-up of materials. To find out more, contact Gretel at 970-586-8116, extension 827.
Finally, when it comes to accessing the Library, we know there’s one big topic likely on your mind: parking. It’s on our minds too. We are grateful to be working with our partners at the Town of Estes Park. Watch for announcements about Parking Outreach information sessions happening later this month.
The Library doors are open so that you may find your place of comfort, purpose, and happiness.