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Library After Hours program – a safe space for families with children with autism

Young girl in library looking for books

Wollongong City Libraries is introducing a new program to provide a safe, low-sensory and welcoming space for families living with autism or whose children are more comfortable in a low-sensory environment.

A trip to the Library can sometimes feel overwhelming, starting in February 2021, Corrimal Library will deliver the first Library After Hours program to provide access to resources and activities that might otherwise be inaccessible. Families will have the opportunity to bring their children to the Library for a range of programs and activities, to borrow an item or to just spend time exploring and relax.

The program will be delivered after hours at Corrimal and Wollongong Libraries on a monthly schedule.

“We want all members of our community to feel welcome and confident to visit our Libraries. Libraries are safe spaces and it’s important that we continue to offer services that are relevant to all members of our diverse community,” said Wollongong City Council Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM.

“From community feedback, we’ve found that some families living with autism or who have children with other disabilities, feel unsure about coming to their local Library. The Library After Hours program aims to take some of the pressure off and encourage these families to visit and enjoy all that our libraries have to offer at their own pace.”

As part of the program, each of the participating Libraries will be offering a range of activities including sensory Storytime, games, treasure hunts and a behind the scenes sneak peek at what happens in the Library.

“The best part of Library After Hours is that it offers people an opportunity to socialise with others in a welcoming and safe space. This is especially important as we know that it can be hard to find the time and space to connect with other families when you are living with autism,” said Cr Bradbery.

“The program is very flexible, and children and their families are welcome to spend their time participating in as many or as few activities as they like. Or if they’d rather read or borrow, they can browse the collections and relax.”

Bookings are essential and can be made via Eventbrite.

For more information visit the Wollongong City Libraries website.

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