Presentation Title: Sensory Spaces: Creating an Inclusive Library Experience

Presenter(s): Ciera Pasturel, School of Information

Abstract: Sensory spaces are dedicated spaces that provide library patrons diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) with a customized experience that caters to their sensory needs. In addition to furnishing a space with sensory equipment, programs and workshops are other affordances that can maximize the potential of the space. Spaces like these reinforce the public library as a welcoming institution that aims to serve every patron and provide each user with an inclusive experience. This Directors Brief presentation, completed in INFO 287: The Hyperlinked Library, is an examination and analysis of Sensory Spaces as a potential participatory service to implement in a hypothetical public library. As an aspiring children’s librarian, I hope that I can implement a Sensory Space at a library I am employed at in the future. The Sensory Space provides a sense of identity and inclusivity that fosters play, learning, and exploration which in turn, creates an environment in which library users feel safe and free to be themselves. In completing this project, I have further educated myself about individuals with ASD and the need to continuously develop library spaces and programs that establish the public library as a welcoming institution.

Link to Recorded Presentation:

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