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Library Addresses Accessibility, Transparency Issues

Board members continue to try to clear the air.

Ever since news broke of the , the new library board has been trying to turn the page toward a fresh start.

At last night's board meeting, members continued to discuss various topics focusing on how to make the library a more transparent and accessible place for patrons.

Earlier: .

Complying with accessibility standards

Board member Paul Berg said troubleshooting has begun regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance for the library.

ADA lists various standards for building designs in order to assist those with disabilities including wheelchair ramps and accessible routes. 

The library currently doesn’t meet certain accessibility code standards for those with disabilities. Berg said the library will work with an outside consultant to determine the scope of work and a timeline for the project, which is still in its infancy.

“Obviously nothing is in cement,” he said. “We are just starting the proposal.”

Resident Laura Frisch voiced her concern about the library’s current lack of accessibility during the public participation portion of the meeting.

“My mother is wheelchair-bound and she lives in Morton Grove and she couldn’t come to activities in (the Baxter Room). She couldn’t access 90 percent of the non-fiction books that are here in the library. I do appreciate that circulation and reference is wonderful about getting books for people," she said. “But it’s still a matter of we’re living in the 1970s, early 1980s, in this library for accessibility.” 

Berg said it would cost an estimated $4.1 million dollars to get the building up to Illinois Accessibility Code standards.

Library appoints FOIA officers

Board members approved the appointment of Natalya Fishman, head of reference services, and Kevin Justie, interim co-director, as the library's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) officers. Both Fishman and Justie will "receive Open Meetings Act training from the Illinois attorney general.”

At last month's board meeting, Justie noted that the library also made FOIA request information available on the bulletin board and on the library's website.

Recently Patch obtained a series of papers through a FOIA request regarding issues with the previous board. In the papers, current board members allege that previous board members had  so that the library could fund a new building.

Also during the meeting, the board adopted an email and record retention/destruction policy. The policy requires that all library-related emails between personnel be retained for one year.  

New Head of Youth Services 

Board members announced their new head of the Youth Services Department Ann Finstad. Finstad previously served as a children’s librarian at the Winnetka Public Library. She started her position at the Morton Grove Public Library this past Monday, Oct. 10.

 

Stay tuned to Patch for more information on the Morton Grove Library board.

Tony Kovacs October 16, 2011 at 04:05 AM
I guess a lot of people think as Blanch DuBois did in "Streetcar Named Desire" that we could "rely on the kindness of strangers", i.e., Skokie can act as our Library. Reciprocity means just that. Borrowing can not be a one way street. I doubt Skokie residents use our Library that much. Any figures on this would be interesting? I can live with three books at a time as I don't multi-task!
Pat Craig October 16, 2011 at 11:28 AM
THE SYSTEM OF INTERLIBRARY LOAN STILL RESTS ON THE BELIEF THAT ALL LIBRARIES SHOULD BE WILLING TO LEND IF THEY ARE WILLING TO BORROW, (-ALA website) Morton Grove, Evanston, Skokie and a number of other libraries in the area are part of a consortium that has an interlibrary loan agreement. To the best of my knowledge, they all ascribe to the principles of the American Library Association. One of those principles is that a member library may not use interlibrary loans as a substitutes for local collection responsibility, however, their code is quite specific regarding the intent of the agreement. Specifically: "Interlibrary loan (ILL) is intended to complement local collections and is not a substitute for good library collections intended to meet the routine needs of users. ILL is based on a tradition of sharing resources between various types and sizes of libraries and rests on the belief that no library, no matter how large or well supported, is self-sufficient in today's world. It is also evident that some libraries are net borrowers (borrow more than they lend) and others are net lenders (lend more than they borrow), BUT THE SYSTEM OF INTERLIBRARY LOAN STILL RESTS ON THE BELIEF THAT ALL LIBRARIES SHOULD BE WILLING TO LEND IF THEY ARE WILLING TO BORROW."( Source ALA web site http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/rusa/resources/guidelines/interlibraryloancode.cfm )
Tony Kovacs October 16, 2011 at 04:40 PM
Partick, Sounds like "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need!" But at a certain point, Skokie must decide if Morton Grove meets the basic requirement you cite. T
Bob W. October 18, 2011 at 04:40 PM
That kid from the bugle already wrote about skokie http://www.buglenewspapers.com/news/article_fd007a64-eb87-11e0-a5a5-0019bb30f31a.html I agree. It's about time to give some of this up.
sherwin dubren October 18, 2011 at 08:44 PM
Trustee Daniel Hoffman was quoted in the Niles Bugle that much of the current problems with Skokie Library was the result of an ugly election. If it was ugly, it was the consequence of the former MG library board with their end run tactics to get a new library building despite the objections of a majority of MG residents. There was evidence of cover ups revealed from FOI's. Hyering of lawyers by this former board to find ways around the legal roadblocks to get a new library built, etc. Laura Frisch's comments about doing a referendum on the current budget is hypocritical, since she and others never pushed for one to build a new library. I believe someone in Morton Grove made it well known to Skokie about a passing comment of residents here using their library. I think that issue was not the crux of the BPAC campaign. It was all about not wanting to spend over 20 million for a new library. Skokie felt we are abusing their lending privileges, and extended their restrictions to other libraries to make it appear as if they were not picking just on Morton Grove. Their reactions to comments made at Morton Grove are mean spirited, and have no basis in logic or foundation in improving efficiency at their end.

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