I feel for Saul Chase and the individuals who are not able to open doors on their own at the Pack Library [“Bring Back the Automatic Doors,” Dec. 1 Xpress]. I agree 100 percent that there needs to be assistance [for the disabled] to enter the library, but the automatic door is not the best option.
In an informal study of the automatic-door use at Pack Library, I personally have never seen someone who actually needed it use the automatic door! As a health educator, I would often sit there and watch as 99 percent of able-bodied people used the automatic door.
According to the N.C. Health Info website, three out of five of my friends in North Carolina are either overweight or obese. I think we could forego the automatic door to encourage more movement in North Carolinians’ everyday life. Pushing or pulling a door open isn’t going to cure obesity, but I feel we are enabling people to make unhealthy/lazy choices in their daily life. America is great; we have cars. Cars are glorified in America, but at what cost? Our health? Our weight?
My solution? A doorbell. When a person comes to the door [who] cannot physically open it (what the automatic door was intended for), they ring the doorbell. Then the security officer at the library or maybe a library attendant comes and opens the door. This would implement movement in the library employees’ day and empower people who can open doors to do so, all while meeting the needs of our citizens.
If people are moving large boxes in and out of the library, we could use a small door wedge. If it’s only one trip, then the doorbell could be utilized again. Not only would we be facilitating a little bit of fitness, but also chivalry, kindness and interaction with our fellow Ashevilleans.
— Mark Strazzer