Library News

Seniors, Disabled Say They are Unlikely to Use New Mt. Pleasant Library

*** For Immediate Release ***
*** Contact Robin Diener 202 431-9254 ***

July 29, 2010, Mt. Pleasant, Washington, DC -- Residents of Samuel Kelsey Apartments expressed dismay when a paper ramp was rolled out in their parking lot on Tuesday to simulate what it would be like to use a 120 foot long and 7 foot high ramp, planned as part of a new main entrance to the Mt. Pleasant Library two blocks from their home. See video here >>

Its a hill, too long and too high said Deloris Kilgore, a Ward One resident who took the opportunity to explore the simulated ramp. We need [the ramp] to stay like it is.

Kilgore was referring to an existing ramp, located at the front of the library, 40 feet long and 3 feet deep. Neighborhood advocates are suggesting that the existing ramp simply be improved as part of the multi-million dollar renovation of the historic Carnegie funded building, to allow disabled and elderly people to continue to enter through the front of the building. The proposed new entrance will not even be visible from the front of the library.

Another Ward One senior, Ron Gray, who is also a home health care worker, was adamant: Its too hard for people with limited mobility... seven feet high. Its too much.

Seniors are a key constituency of the DC Public Library, with programs designed specifically for them, such as the popular classes in email and internet literacy in partnership with Byteback.

More than 700 residents of Ward One signed a petition delivered to their Councilmember Jim Graham asking that the addition be halted. Graham was invited to the Kelsey Apts roll out on Tuesday, by Tenants Association President Ron Gray, but declined to attend in order to address PEPCO issues at the request of Mayor Adrian Fenty, according to Graham's office.

After a "roll-out" in Freedom Plaza across from the Wilson building, two weeks ago, which Graham also did not attend, a rolled-up paper ramp was delivered to his office for unrolling at his convenience. Graham's office is adjacent to that of Harry Thomas, Chairman of the Library Committee of the DC Council.

Images and Video below >>

Ron Gray walking the ramp, video below...