Collingwood Library volunteers call for social change
Collingwood Public Library celebrates National Access Awareness Week
May 28 to June 4
May 28 to June 2 is National Access Awareness Week! To celebrate, the Collingwood Public Library is launching several new initiatives in consultation with volunteers living with disabilities to expand community participation of library programs and services. This week will also be dedicated to disability education, assessing current library services, and making practical improvements.
On Monday May 29, two volunteers, who live with disabilities, will be evaluating the accessibility of the Library, focusing on the physical environment, communications practices, and service delivery. The audit will result in a report to library management outlining comments and suggestions they have for improving the accessibility of library spaces and services.
“Having a disability can be very isolating,” says Mary Weldon, one of the volunteers.”I think it’s important for people with disabilities to be involved in designing public spaces because we can help prevent barriers that someone without a disability wouldn’t see.”
Jenn Murley, the Library’s Accessibility Coordinator, believes the Collingwood Public Library is lucky to have volunteers who are willing to share their personal stories and knowledge of accessibility. “Without their help,” she says, “we would never succeed in operating a barrier-free public space.”
On Monday, May 29 at 1:15 p.m., the media is invited to the Collingwood Public Library to observe the audit in action and interview the participants carrying it out. If possible, it would be helpful to have some questions ahead of time in order to facilitate the interview process. Please send your questions to Jenn Murley at the contact information below.
Adult Reading Circle
Monday May 29 is also the date of the kick-off meeting of the Adult Reading Circle, a new twice-monthly library program for people who have lost their love of reading due to a permanent or temporary disability, or low literacy. The program is designed to increase adult literacy and is intended to provide patrons with a safe place to share stories, meet new people, engage in conversations, and enjoy being read aloud to. This program is in partnership with E3.
Throughout National Access Awareness Week, a video will be posted every day on the Library’s Facebook and Twitter pages. The videos will share the unique personal stories of library volunteers and include tips on communicating with people with communication, hearing, and mental health disabilities. Volunteers will also describe what National Access Awareness Week means to them. Check out facebook.com/collingwoodpubliclibrary and twitter.com/CollingwoodPL
The Collingwood Public Library is committed to guiding our community in the pursuit of information, the wonder of lifelong learning, and the enrichment of social and cultural experiences. At the heart of the community, the Collingwood Public Library is an inclusive environment seeking universal accessibility.
For more information, contact Dorothy Gebert or
Accessibility/AV Services Coordinator