The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

ADA concerns addressed at Dayton Memorial Library


October 1, 2020

Michele Smith

Dayton Memorial Librarian Kristie Korslund standing beneath the space that will be used for an elevator lift to provide easy access to downstairs library collections.

DAYTON-Librarian Kristie Korslund said Dayton Memorial Library staff attended a conference on Space Planning Progress last November. They learned about traffic flow and how to maximize patron enthusiasm for library collections.

When patrons are finally allowed back inside the Dayton Memorial Library, they will be pleased to see what has taken place since the building closed in March because of COVID-19.

The library board and staff have moved forward with making upgrades on the main floor level and at the downstairs level, so they are wheelchair accessible.

There is a fresh coat of paint, new carpet, new shelves, new computer work stations, and new work tables on the main floor, and the collection desk that ate up the middle of the room is gone.

To make the aisles in the Fiction section more wheelchair friendly, a row was removed, and shorter shelves were added to the ends of those remaining, said Korslund.

The shelves removed from the Fiction section are now downstairs in the new Archive Room, where patrons can access local history, genealogy, and newspapers, without the need to make an appointment., she said.

Two new ADA unisex bathrooms are located downstairs, and new lighted Exit signs have been installed. The Children's Library area has been expanded to provide more room between tables, shelves, and desks. Within the next few weeks, an elevator lift will be installed for improved ADA access to the downstairs collection from street-level.

The Dayton Memorial Library has been the beneficiary of a partnership between the Washington State Legislature and the Washington State Library.

In May of 2019, a Rural Needs Assessment was done at the library. The study identified issues the library would need to address, including extensive interior renovation, restroom upgrades, a new HVAC system, at an estimated cost of $ 2.8 million.

In November 2019, the Columbia County Rural Library board set aside $270,000 from its 2020 budget for these capital expenditures.


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