Local Disabilities Committee: Support Library Renovation and Expansion at Manchester ATM


To the Editor and Residents of Manchester:

I am writing as a member of the Americans with Disabilities Advisory Committee.  At our last meeting, the Board voted unanimously to support the Board and staff or our library in their efforts to make the library truly welcoming and accessible for all.  By doing this they are not just following a legal mandate; they are making the library and it's many and varied assets and programs available to every resident of this town.  

If you are not familiar with the library, you may not realize the current difficulties encountered by anyone with accessibility issues.  Currently, the young adult programs are held on the upper level over the stacks, reached only by a full flight of somewhat difficult metal stairs.  Imagine the feelings of a young person with physical challenges facing this obstacle.

For even younger library users, one must make a reservation for Story Hour because the space in the children's room is very limited.  And I was told by a local grandmother that she had to change her grandson's diaper on the floor of the main room because there is no changing table.  This brings me to the problem of the existing restroom.  This very small facility, tucked into a corner of the reading room is hardly adequate for anyone, but certainly completely inaccessible to anyone in a wheelchair or even a walker or a parent with a child in a stroller.

The Library staff and Board have spent years and countless hours to bring a plan that will insure accessibility while preserving the historical beauty of the library building.

Please support them by voting yes at Town Meeting on April 24th.

Gretchen Wood

Lisa Bonneville

Beth Heisey

Laurie Werle

Caitlin Eppes

ADA Advisory Committee