Behind-the-scenes software update - the library management system is down now. Online account access is unavailable. For ebook access, visit Libby / OverDrive and hoopla directly. Holds and ILL are paused. Limit of 15 checkouts per card per visit. More info >

Multi Sensory Environment

Located on the 4th floor of Main Library

The Multi Sensory Environment is a specialized space that lets you control and manipulate aspects of the world around you, including light, sound, smell, and touch. Research has shown the benefits of time spent in a Multi Sensory Environment for people with sensory processing deficiencies, including autism, intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, hearing and/or vision impairments, physical disabilities or limitations, learning disabilities, speech and/or language impairments, traumatic brain injuries, dementia, and more.

This room can be used along with a caregiver or service provider. It’s designed to stimulate the senses in new and exciting ways while promoting empowerment and freedom.

Designed to encourage interaction between at least two individuals and not the isolation of a single individual, the Multi Sensory Environment must be reserved using the library room reservation page by an adult with a full privileges adult library card. Temporary and Computer Use cards may not be used to reserve a room.

The Multi-Sensory Environment may be requested using the room reservation system online at, by phone or in person. Access to the room is only given during the hours of your reservation. Please notify the library of cancellation prior to the reservation date so that the room may be made available to other patrons.

The Multi Sensory Environment can be reserved in 30-minute increments, with a 15 minute clean up time automatically added onto the end of the reservation. Up to 4 reservations may be made a day.

Special features at Multi Sensory Environment

Padded seat with shoe storage

Bubble tubes with iPad control

Hurricane tube with iPad control

Soft play couch

Fiber optic waterfall with remote control

Marble tactile panels

Sequin tactile panel

Interactive Nanoleaf designs

Fiber optic carpets

Giant bean bags

Fiber optic cable wall sconce

Vibroacoustic waterbed with stereo controller

Ceiling mirror ball

Music iPad and stereo speaker

SNAP projector with projection wheels

Aromatherapy diffuser and oil scents

More about the Multi Sensory Environment


Please be sure to check out our sensory room policy for library rules and procedures.

Video training on how to use the space

To get a better understanding of how to have meaningful interactions in the Multi Sensory Environment, you can participate in a free online, virtual training course titled “A Sensory Solutions Framework” with Dr. Tony. Join the Durham County Library online learning group! All you need is your email address. To access the trainings, visit Using the password “DCLibrary2020”, create your own account to access the unit lessons whenever fits your schedule.

Unit lessons include:

  1. Multi Sensory Environment Story and 8 Factors
  2. The Senses
  3. Creating Meaningful Moments
  4. Colors and Sound
  5. Self-Regulation
  6. Sensory Processing and Autism
  7. Educational Goals
  8. Developing Meaningful Outcomes, Navigating with 9 Destinations

The Multi Sensory Environment was purchased and supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-19-0034-19).


Sarah Alverson


Sarah is the Community Engagement Administrator for Durham County Library, with a background as a Children’s Librarian at Stanford L. Warren Library. Sarah graduated from North Carolina Central University in 2008 with a master’s degree in library science and began work at Durham County Library in 2012.

Pronouns: she/her