Not For Children 4

Not For Children, originally uploaded by herzogbr.

Brian Herzog writes:

These are the signs next to the button that automatically opens the Library’s front doors, to provide easy entrance to people who have trouble opening the door.

As the comment mentioned, it of course is a great play thing for children. I don’t know how effective our signs are, but I have a feeling that the big arrow is probably irresistible to kids – even those who can’t read.

But I think signs, in general, are band-aids, and a real solution (or the real problem) lies in the very design. I don’t know how this could be designed differently, but there’s got to be a more effective approach to the situation.

4 thoughts on “Not For Children

  • Megan

    This disgusts me, this assumption that children =/= disabled.

    Because there are no children who might actually have difficulties opening doors. And there are no children who have impaired mobility. And there are no children who use wheelchairs or scooters or crutches in order to navigate the world.

    I’m spitting mad.

  • Michael Casey

    I guess I have to ask, is the whole purpose for this signage the fact that the batteries wear out more often due to use? Couldn’t the batteries just be replaced every quarter or month?

    I have to assume that there are plenty of times when mom (or dad) asks their kid to press the button because they have their hands full with books or bags.

  • Theresa

    I agree that the signs are more of a band-aid on the problem. As a Circulation Dept Librarian, I have seen tiny kids hit those buttons & let themselves out the front doors – right into the parking lot traffic. If I had a dime for every little kid I’ve stopped from leaving the building without a parent – I could retire.

    We’ve also had issues with junior high kids jumping up in the air & doing really cool side kicks into the handicapped button.

    My feeling is that most signs get ignored & you can’t “retrain” the public to act the way that you want them to. What are the alternatives to posting signs ? Scowlding your patrons ? Having Security “watch” those rogue button pushers ? Or do we just sit back & roll our eyes at our co-workers every time it happens ?

    Librarians have a reputation for being fussbudgets & these signs back up the very stereotype that we are trying to break away from.

    On a personal note – My kids (age 7 & 9) are not allowed to push the handicapped buttons, not since our stroller days.

  • Jeff Donlan

    It might be too late for the library in the photo (for now), but the rest of us can remember for the next entrance we design to make them robust enough so that everyone may use the automatic doors. We should hope that every patron going in and out will be as loaded as the average supermarket shopper, who enjoys an automatic door experience on every trip. Although I haven’t used any cool side kicks, I confess I have used my foot to push the button at our library. I wish we’d installed sliding doors as we’d originally planned ten years ago, but the traditional openers been quite sturdy.

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