I decided to visit some local libraries and write wheelchair accessibility reviews. I first went to the Middleboro Library which I have been to many times but not to look at accessibility issues. First thing I noticed was that the handicapped parking spaces were right up front and convenient to the main entry door!
The only downfall is the dangerous slope at the end of the handicapped parking spcae. If you have a lift in the back like I do, when you get out you will want to be very careful as I flew out of the back and was not expecting the slope at the end. I’m lucky my friends were there to stop my wheelchair before it went into the street. I did mention this to Joanne Tannone, a very nice library technician.
When entering the library I really like how they have the automatic doors and both the outer and inner doors open up at once when you push the button for the automatic doors, which makes it very easy for someone who is disabled to enter.
The Library has an elevator that brings you to the main floor and to the upper and lower floors as well. The elevator is of a good size and my friends and I fit in it well and I had no problems getting in and out of the elevator.
The aisles in the library are wide enough for my chair but at the end of some aisles I had some trouble turning my chair. My chair is bigger than average as it’s a tilt in space type of wheelchair but most wheelchairs I believe will have no problems getting around the aisles.
My favorite part of the Middleboro library was finding out about General Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton) and seeing his life size portrait. They also have life size portrait of Mrs. Tom Thumb (Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump) and her sister, Minnie Warren (Huldah Pierce Bump) and Count Primo Magri. They were all very famous little people and performed with the most famous circus Ringly and Barnum Brothers Circus in the 1800′s and they were very big stars at the time and known world wide. Tom Thumb was only 25 inches tall and only weighed 15 pounds!
Joanne Tannone, the library technician was very kind and helpful. She told us some great new information. We saw pictures of Tom Thumb and his wife and we were curious why they had large portraits of them in the Middleboro library and Joanne helped us get a book with all sorts of great information. Tom Thumb and his wife were residents of Middleboro Massachusetts and were the most famous Little People in the world. They were invited by Royalty and many important people to special functions.
I told my mom and she was really surprised for she had always thought Tom Thumb was just a fairy tale but to my delightful surprise it’s not. I was also delighted to learn they were residents of my home town of Middleboro MA. Joanne also printed out some information on the museum that has the largest collection of memorabilia of the little couple and their family. It’s located very close by the library and in walking distance. The Tom Thumb museum behind the police station is only open July-September on Wed. from 10-3 or by appointment. My friends and I visited it in August.
I also enjoyed seeing the taxidermy birds and rodents in glass cages on the top floor! I don’t think my mom would have liked to see the Eastern Bluebird dead and stuffed but it was kind of cool for they were so lifelike.
The Middleboro Library doesn’t have the great computer that the Plymouth Library does which is called Kuswiel program for people who are disabled and have visions problems like I do. I had a difficult time seeing the writing in some of the books. The Middleboro Library is not accessible as the Plymouth Library so I will go to Plymouth for my library needs. (see my Plymouth Library review)
I give the Middleboro Library FOUR STARS and the Library Technicians FIVE STARS for they are wonderful and very helpful. The Middleboro Library can earn the fifth star if they lesson the slope in the handicap parking spaces in the front of the building which I feel are unsafe and added some services for disabled similar to the Plymouth Library.