The Hanna Municipal Library is excited to launch Thursday Sensory Hours
Starting February 8th, the Hanna Municipal Library will be extending our Thursday hours until 6pm to include Sensory Hour. We encourage families and individuals who need a bit more time to process, dimmer lighting, noise cancellation, calm down spaces or extra stimulation to come in and enjoy the inclusivity of the library.
Our Sensory Hour isn’t about creating a silent and rigid library, in fact, it’s just the opposite! Our library is always happy to hear conversations happening and children’s laughter, that is something we will always encourage. We hope to see individuals and families in the library that may have had the stigma that the library is a place that they had to fit into a quiet box. Often, sensory processing difficulties do come with stimming or verbal expressions, being overwhelmed by too many people and not always comfortable bringing yourself or a child to many places, and we hope to bridge the gap and have inclusion for everyone. During our later Thursday hours if the library is too loud, bright, or overwhelming, we will have our conference room available for quieting reading with several suggested titles set out for browsing, to accommodate those needing a quiet place. We will limit our day-to-day noises during these hours, this will include paper shredders, mass amounts of printing or other loud unsettling noises.
Being overwhelmed with sensory triggers is not limited to one age group, so we hope to attract community members of all ages. As we see our uptake on Sensory Hour, we will get a better feel for what our community needs from this initiative. This could mean an hour of sensory toys and a place for children who may be over stimulated to have them excited to be part of a library experience, followed by an hour of quiet or playing calming music during the duration of the program.
This is also a great opportunity for community networking for individuals, families, and caregivers, to share resources or make a connection.
During our Sensory Hours, we will be open for regular services, such as browsing and pick up of holds, to all community members. Our public access computers will not be available for gaming purposes at this time, as often gaming becomes and overly loud and over stimulating environment. We do have late Tuesday hours and Saturday hours to accommodate those who want to game or have our typical library atmosphere.
Sensory hour will be hosted Thursdays from 4-6, unless otherwise posted. We are eager to hear community feedback and for input on what patrons feel will make this initiative fit their needs.