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Durham, NC: Library adds sensory room with vibrating water bed for autistic kids

Mar 8, 2023, WRAL, Raleigh, NC: From seeds to sensory rooms: Step inside Durham's 'Library of Things,' where you can borrow almost anything

You can leave the downtown library here with free packs of seeds, borrowed tools, a borrowed laptop and a WiFi hotspot, plus a podcast you recorded and a model that you 3D printed.

Also books. Durham County libraries have books, of course. But like a growing number of libraries around the state, Durham has embraced “the library of things,” making the library a community center for much more than reading.

This downtown facility, still new after a $44 million rebuild, has a place for teenagers to play video games, computers where kids can do homework and a sensory room where young people with autism spectrum disorder, or anyone else, can lay on a waterbed that vibrates to music….

The Durham library’s sensory room has fiber-optic light tubes that cascade over a chair, and a waterbed that vibrates to music. The room caters to people who sometimes struggle to process the world around them. Families reserve the room, and six people can go inside at a time. …

These sensory rooms are an uncommon but growing offering in North Carolina. Granville County libraries recently added sensory carts, which are smaller and more mobile, but in the same vein….


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