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Cobb Co, GA: Library adds "sensory space"; 'it's calm'

July 17, 2023, Atlanta News First: Cobb County Library offers Sensory Space to ensure everyone has access to books

MARIETTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Libraries are for everyone. They’re the place to find your next great summer read and libraries also act as a directory for community resources.

The Cobb County Library system has a program in place to ensure that even our community’s most vulnerable neighbors have access to books.

Cobb County’s Switzer Public Library in Marietta has an Accessibility Services Room or Sensory Space.

“It’s a very welcoming and inviting space. It’s intentional. It’s calm and we created a space where our patrons feel like they can be themselves,” said Renate Elliott, accessibility manager at Cobb County Public Library.

Inside the Sensory Space, you’ll find what’s called assistive technology, like screen readers and magnifiers, and listening to talking books.

Patrons can also get help finding disability resources. But more importantly, their Sensory Space allows library guests to be themselves.

“We recognize that some of our patrons have various methods of soothing themselves called stemming,” said Elliott. “That might look like they need to move, they need to pace. That might look like they need to hum or speak in a whisper, something that may not be easily understood by other patrons. So, this is a safe space for them to do that and get a custom to them being in a library environment.”…

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