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 https://durhamcountylibrary.org/sensoryroomreservations, 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 https://qualityoflifeinstitute.org/dcl/. Using the password “DCLibrary2020”, create your own account to access the unit lessons whenever fits your schedule.
Unit lessons include:
- Multi Sensory Environment Story and 8 Factors
- The Senses
- Creating Meaningful Moments
- Colors and Sound
- Sensory Processing and Autism
- Educational Goals
- 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 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.