Reader supports Library Square concept

January 3, 2018   ·   0 Comments

(Re: “Lower” concept approved for Library Square, December 13)

I applaud the Town of Aurora’s decision to approve a modified Option 2 (the “lower” concept) over Option 1 for the Library Square re-design.
The debate over the two concepts had not come to my attention until I stumbled upon a Facebook post by the Aurora Public Library that urged patrons to support Option 1 of the Library Square.
In a series of posts that followed, the library argued that Option 2 was incompatible with accessibility.
“Ontario has been a leader in promoting equal access to all with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). APL is committed to being an accessible resource for all ages and abilities,” the post read. “Please email our Town Councillors to keep our library accessible to all of our customers – urge them to support Concept 1 for Library Square!”
I was infuriated that the library neglected to mention that in fact in any of their posts that both of the original proposals followed the AODA and accessibility bylaws. Instead, the APL implied that Option 2 was ableist and discriminatory.
Not only did the APL omit any mention of the pros or cons of either proposal, but I fear that these posts misinformed library patrons to advocate for Option 1, ergo propagating APL management’s own agenda.
It is ironic that the APL argues that accessibility is their top priority, when, for years library patrons have injured themselves in the parking lot due to dilapidated walkways and crumbling steps.
The APL has had sixteen years to increase accessibility for its patrons, but today it boasts only two accessible parking spaces in the back lot.
At last Tuesday’s town council meeting, APL Board Chair Nancy Eveleigh Browne said that there is “only one chance to get this right” of the library concept.
I agree wholeheartedly.
In choosing the modified Option 2, the Town has made clear that it prioritizes bringing together a community with this new project. Option 2 will yield a beautiful public space for Aurorans to come together as a community, instead of the parking garage eyesore that Option 1 proposed.
For years, Aurora has needed an injection of vitality and innovation to its downtown core. The revitalization of library square provides the APL and the surrounding area with a long overdue facelift.
Nearly a week after the Council meeting, the library released a short statement on Facebook that “the changes made to the original design presented on December 5th are a step in the right direction.”
I only hope that the APL can keep up.

Adelaide Mayberry



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