Saturday, November 28, 2015

375 New London, MN Public Library

Fortunately the librarian in Spicer had tipped me off that the New London library was in the lower level of a building. Even so, my GPS and I did some extra driving around town, and I even inquired of a young man out with two dogs, before I spotted the library...which I had passed at least once. The library shares the building with a dental office, an interesting combination.

My trip was going so smoothly that I arrived in New London before the library opened. Fortunately, it is across the street from McKale's Family Restaurant, where I had a tasty hot roast beef sandwich served by a very nice young woman.

The library is entered through a lobby shared with the dentist's office, and is reached down a flight of stairs. At the request of my knees I looked around for an elevator, but there is none. No accessibility? There must be an alternative that I hadn't spotted. I managed the stairs.

The library is one of the smaller ones I've visited, but it has all the basics: a corner for kids and teens, an alcove of picture books, three "stack" shelves of fiction and one of non-fiction, plus a small reference collection. I didn't mention any computers in my notes, but there must have been one or two.

I always look for "something new" at each library, and here it was a sign on what appeared to be a back door, stating that library staff should under no circumstances use this door. I couldn't resist, I had to ask the librarian, "What about a fire?"  Well... "And what about access?" I asked. I learned that there is a ramp outside that door that could provide access, but "under no circumstances..."

I've visited libraries that have minimal accommodation for people with mobility issues. Perhaps a lift that will raise a person in a wheelchair to another level, or a small elevator tucked into a corner of an otherwise-intact Carnegie library. But this is the first library I've visited that has not addressed accessibility at all. At least the town has a library, and that is good. this even legal?

And if, Heaven forfend, there is ever a fire...the heck with the sign on that door, just get out!

The library website is at; I couldn't find a Facebook page.