Building A More Inclusive Library In Yakima

By Johanna Bejarano

Yakima Valley Libraries are breaking down barriers for special-needs patrons with their services. They’ll provide more access to entertainment and information resources to build a stronger community.

Librarians in Yakima want to make a more inclusive environment; their goal is to expand the assistance for people who cannot go to their facilities.

Sherrie Prentice, Yakima Valley Libraries Outreach Service Manager, explains: “Those with illnesses, whether it be temporary or long term, any kind of disability, we will go to you.”

Patrons have access to services free of charge in the county… Like placing books on hold, getting them delivered or getting digital content.

To use the service you need a library card and need to talk with staff about your needs. Sometimes, a letter from a doctor or social worker may be needed to sign into the service.

And there are additional resources.

Prentice says, “We offer them kindle fires to read or to listen; book stands if they have problems holding a book; disk players, we can loan CD players out to them because if there is any barrier, we can break that barrier down.”

Next year, the Yakima library will add virtual reality services that will help users do physical or breathing exercises to promote their well-being.