JCPL Column: Library focuses on accessibility

Libraries are for everyone.

Johnson County Public Library is always looking for new ways to make our buildings and resources more accessible. The library has a variety of services and tools to increase accessibility.

For services, we offer both curbside and to-your-door home delivery. Curbside is intended for anyone who can make it to the library but doesn’t wish to come inside. This service is great for parents with young kids. Patrons will call their branch when they arrive, and staff will bring their items to their car. Additionally, the library offers delivery services for anyone unable to come to the library due to disability or illness. Patrons can contact their nearest JCPL branch to set up a date and time for no-contact delivery to their home.

In addition to the services mentioned above, the library offers items to increase accessibility in our buildings. Each JCPL Branch has the following mobility devices available for use while visiting the library: adult-sized wheelchair, rollator walker, shopping cart and shopping baskets.

Each branch also has dedicated accessibility workstations or assistive technology items available for use while in the library. These items include a large-print keyboard and a trackball mouse, so you can comfortably use our public computers and laptops. We also have sensory kits available for use during your visit. These kits contain a variety of items including a pressure mesh vest, an eye mask, a sensory brush and a sensory tunnel. Ask a staff member at a Welcome Desk to borrow noise-muffling headphones for adults and children.

Our Library of Things includes assistive technology tools that can be checked out with a library card. These include Enchroma glasses, a Ruby HD magnifier and memory kits. Enchroma glasses can help those with color blindness be able to see colors without losing accuracy or clarity. The Ruby HD is a handheld electronic magnifier that can display more text than a traditional magnifier and magnify text up to 24 times. Memory kits are available for those who work with or are a caregiver to someone with dementia or other memory impairment. These kits contain items such as puzzles, games, books, CDs, DVDs and other sensory items to help engage the individual in a meaningful experience.

Library staff can also help you search for accessible materials via our catalog, locate accessibility features within our digital resources and use assistive technology available with our computers.

We welcome suggestions for accessibility tools or resources that patrons find helpful. If you are interested in learning more about the library’s accessibility resources and services, visit PageAfterPage.org/accessibility. The library is a welcoming space for all.

Stefanie Davis, White River Branch Library Adult Services Librarian. JCPL staff members share in writing this bi-monthly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected]