SAUGUS — A pair of men’s and women’s bathrooms at the Saugus Public Library have been converted into unisex facilities.
The restrooms, located in the hallway near the Taylor Street entrance of the building, have been converted so that “anyone, regardless of how they identify in terms of gender, can use one if it is available,” according to a post on the library’s website.
“It was a practical decision,” said library director Alan Thibeault, who added that there were no civil rights issues involved in the decision. “We have a lot of moms and female caregivers who attend our story hours. The Taylor Street restrooms are the closest ones to the community room where story hours are held. It has not been unusual to see a few women waiting in line on the women’s room while the men’s room was unoccupied.”
A changing room was installed in the bathroom that was formerly used as a men’s room and temporary signs indicating both men and women can use both facilities have been hung. Both bathrooms are handicap accessible.
There are four other public restrooms in the building; two male and two female. For now, those facilities will remain designated for either a man or a woman.
“Those could be changed easily and I expect we’ll do so eventually,” said Thibeault. “We don’t have a single urinal in the building, so redesignation is easy.”
Permanent unisex signs will be purchased and installed as soon as possible, he said.