For 20 years, much of Ruth Jensen’s hearing has been interfered with by any background noise.

Even when she sat in the front row at a public event or presentation, the problem persisted.

But now the 79-year-old doesn’t have to worry about that when attending events in the Verona Public Library’s community room.

The library’s new hearing loop, a hearing-enhanced sound system installed in May, can minimize background noise and bring “the sound directly in the ears.”

“It’s like the person is standing right in front of you and talking to you personally,” Jensen said.

The wire loop installed under floor, provides magnetic and wireless signals that can be picked up by a hearing aid. As long as speakers use the paired microphone, people within the loop can hear clearer and sharper sound by setting their devices to “T” or “Telecoil” mode.

Library director Stacey Burkart said in a news release the hearing loop is a positive step for the library to better serve the community members who need hearing assistance. She hopes patrons who hesitated to attend presentations because they have a hard time hearing will be encouraged to come out and join in future programs and events.

The system was initiated by Mayor Jon Hochkammer when the library planned on replacing carpets in the community room in May. Having worked with many people with hearing disabilities, Hochkammer knows some people were embarrassed to admit they can’t hear. He wanted to include them in the activities and conversations.

“It’s unfortunate that they can’t hear what the speaker’s saying. The hearing loop should be something we move forward in future,” Hochkammer told the Press.

The $3,200 hearing loop was funded by a grant from Epic.

Contact Helu Wang at helu.wang@wcinet.com.