The ideal of the public library is to be a welcoming place for everyone. With this in mind, the library plans programs to satisfy the intellectual and educational needs and interests of a variety of people regardless of their ages, backgrounds or abilities.
The most obvious example of this diversity is in children’s story times. There are story times available by ages and world languages. There are also several special story times available this fall at the Bellevue Library. Sensory Story Time is a new program aimed at children on the autism spectrum, as well as ADHD and other sensory-seeking special needs.
A regular story time might begin with a welcoming song or a finger play before the books are even opened. There may be an activity in between the books to help kids settle down. These transitions can be rough for some children with different needs, including those on the autism spectrum.
Sensory Story Times will feature the same events, but they will be revealed in a different manner. There will be a visual schedule for children to follow to ease transitions between activities. Included in the story time is a collection of fidget toys, which are small, tactile items often used to calm a child or help them focus and concentrate, or even to relieve the stress of being in a new situation. Sensory Story Times will be held on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 9:15 a.m., beginning Sept. 24. This special story time will be for all ages and no registration is required. American Sign Language story times will be back at the Bellevue Library in October. These story times feature vocabulary building games in ASL and a book translated into ASL. This five week session will run Wednesday evenings October 1-29 at 7 .pm. No registration is required and is also for all ages.