The Bluffton Public Library Board of Trustees approved bids to move forward with its "Access for All" project at its June 26 meeting. The project includes adding push-button automation to entrances on both levels, a curb cut-out on the lower level and magnetic devices to hold open a set of heavy, fire-rated doors to improve access to the elevator from the lower level.
The final project cost is expected to be between $10,000 and $11,000, and the work is expected to be complete by the end of summer.
The timing of these improvements could not be better. Thanks to an LSTA (Library Services and Technology) grant awarded by the State Library of Ohio, the library will be joining the SEO (Serving Every Ohioan) Consortium on July 18 to share resources with 80 library systems in Ohio.
All library patrons will enjoy one shared catalog system that includes over five million items. Patrons will also gain access to a digital download collection to borrow books for e-readers and MP3 players.
"It is wonderful to know that everyone in the community, regardless of physical abilities, will soon have friendly access to the library to enjoy our expanded services," said board president Libby Hostetler.
Library director Cindi Chasse said, "On behalf of the Library Board of Trustees and the entire community, I would like to thank the Friends of the Library, Citizens National Bank, DTR Industries and Grob Systems for their generous support of this community project.
"Personally, I am thrilled to see this dream become a reality for the benefit of our disabled and elderly patrons, in addition to all of our families who visit with small children and strollers. The benefits will be long-lasting."
The library will add a plaque to permanently recognize donors who have contributed $1,000 or more in support of this community project upon its completion. Donation inquiries may be directed to Cindi Chasse at 419-358-5016 or firstname.lastname@example.org.