Fox River Grove Memorial Library is proud to offer a Sensory Storytime on the second Monday of every month at 10:30 a.m. The next Sensory Storytime takes place on Monday, June 12, 2023. This program differs from the Library’s regular storytimes in that enrollment is more limited; transitions are managed with verbal, visual, and audio cues; repetition and routine are incorporated more heavily with the environment controlled for comforting predictability; and there is an area within the space that allows participants to retreat without leaving the room. There is also an advocacy series for caregivers run by a community partner in the works.
The Library has made strides to help serve patrons with sensory integration disorder (SID) or sensory processing disorder (SPD), neurological conditions in which the brain has trouble receiving information from the senses. SID/SPD affects those with diagnoses of not only autism spectrum disorder, but also ADHD, learning disabilities, OCD, anxiety, depression, and even giftedness. In September 2022, Fox River Grove Memorial Library was awarded a $3,000 grant from Dollar General Literacy Foundation to jumpstart a collection of sensory materials to better serve patrons.
All youth programming at Fox River Grove Memorial Library is inclusive, offering visual schedules, adaptive seating, and sensory tools. The Youth Services department has covers on the ceiling light fixtures to filter out the fluorescence; many tactile objects for in-house use, including a hopscotch mat and a light table with manipulatives; a “calming corner” safe space to regulate emotions with minimal stimulation; and assorted tools and visual signage for how to experience, embrace, and navigate emotions in a healthy and safe manner. A variety of sensory objects, kits, and games are also available for checkout. Additionally, the Library offers communication cards, noise-canceling headphones, weighted lap mats, light sensitivity glasses, and an assortment of fidgets in both the Adult Services and Youth Services departments. All of this is intended to help patrons of all abilities have a more enjoyable experience of Library services, programs, and collections.
Today's guest blog post is by Elaina Komala, Fox River Grove Memorial Library