Accessibility at PPL
Providence Public Library (PPL) is committed to providing Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant facilities for all of our patrons. However, due to the age and structure of our facilities, there are times when PPL’s building cannot be fully ADA accessible, especially to those patrons in wheelchairs.
Book Stacks and Computer Lab
The majority of our book stacks have narrow aisles and are not navigable by patrons using wheelchairs; recognizing these limitations, our Information Services staff provide book/material messenger services for those who cannot access the non-ADA compliant book stack areas. If you are in need of this service, please speak to a staff member at the Information Services Desk on Floor 1, and they will bring any requested materials from the general collection back to the desk for you to use or check out. To reach the Information Services Desk, enter through the Empire Street doors and take the elevator to Floor 1.
Special Collections or Rhode Island Collections materials are available for use only in the Special Collections Reading Room on Floor 3. To reach the Special Collections Reading Room, enter through the Empire Street doors and take the elevators to Floor 3.
The Jack Reed Informations Commons on Floor 1 is physically accessible, with a door that may require assistance (which library staff can provide). To learn more about assistive technology available to patrons using computers at PPL, see the “Assistive Technology and Services” section below.
Elevators and navigational signage throughout the building include text in Braille.
Meeting and Event Spaces
Meeting and event spaces throughout the building, including the ground floor Workshop and meeting rooms, 1st floor Jack Reed Information Commons and meeting rooms, Grand Hall & Garden Courtyard, and 3rd floor Donald J. Farish Auditorium, Seminar Room, Martha P. Sherman Mural Room, Joan Thompson Boghossian Gallery, and Grand Stair Balcony, can all be accessed via the stacks elevator (reachable through the main entrance on Empire Street during the Library’s open hours). Some of these rooms may have doors that require assistance.
There are four event restrooms in the Grand Hall, two of which are ADA compliant.
During special events such as weddings, guests enter the building via the Library’s Washington Street entrance, which is equipped with an ADA-compliant ramp.
Assistive Technology and Services
Assistive technology offered at PPL
- Reading magnifier
- Magnifying glasses
- Assistive listening devices (available for events in the Donald J. Farish Auditorium)
- Standard assistive technology on computers in our computer lab including Magnifier, Speech-to-Text, and Voice Recognition
Assistive services offered at PPL
- Book messenger service for those who cannot access the book stacks
- Assistance downloading audiobooks or e-books through Overdrive
- Access to free Braille and audio reading materials through the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled
Under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, trained service animals are permitted in all parts of the building that are open to the public. Read more about federal regulations regarding service animals.