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Main Library Sensory Room Policy

Printable policy (PDF)


The purpose of the Main Library Sensory Rooms Policy is to provide a basis for equitable service to all customers who request to use the library’s facilities and to clarify the responsibilities of both the library and its customers with regard to the use of Main Library’s Sensory Rooms: the Multi Sensory Environment and the Sensory Calming Room. Durham County Main Library’s Sensory Rooms exist to provide a safe, non-threatening environment to calm or stimulate individuals through each of the senses.


Durham County Main Library makes its Sensory Room facilities available to individuals, local groups and organizations for lawful public use on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use. Permission by the library to use its facilities does not constitute an endorsement by the library staff, the Library Board of Trustees, or the Durham County Board of Commissioners.

Durham County Main Library’s Sensory Rooms are not to be used as a base of operations for any club, business, or organization. Room use cannot exceed room capacity as determined by the Durham County Fire Marshal. The Library reserves the right to decline any reservation for any reason.

Abuse of the Sensory Room Policy may result in loss of room usage privileges.

Multi-Sensory Environment

A valid, full privileges or Courtesy Durham County Library card is required to reserve the Multi Sensory Environment. Temporary and Computer Use cards may not be used to reserve a meeting room. The Multi Sensory Environment may be requested online (https://durhamcountylibrary.org/sensoryroomreservations), by email (Accessibility_Services@dconc.gov), 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. Room reservations are forfeited if the individual or group has not arrived within 15 minutes of the scheduled start of the reservation. Room reservations will terminate one hour prior to the close of the library. Attending a Multi Sensory Environment Open House is strongly encouraged, but not required, prior to first room reservation. Please note that the room must be used with at least one adult facilitator to guide and support the experience. This person can be a parent/guardian, caregiver, direct support professional, teacher or therapist.

Sensory Calming Room

No library card or reservation is needed to access the Sensory Calming Room. The Sensory Calming Room is intended to be used as needed for sensory soothing. Supervision is required for anyone under the age of 15.


Multi-Sensory Environment

  • Attending a Multi Sensory Environment Open House is strongly encouraged, but not required, prior to first room reservation.
  • Reservation requests may be made no more than 30 days in advance.
  • Each reservation is subject to approval by library staff.
  • Reservation requests must include the customer’s name, phone number, email address, and any affiliated groups or organizations.
  • Reservations are for 30-minute increments, with an additional 15 minute cleaning time automatically added to the end of every reservation.
  • There is a maximum of two hours of total reservations outstanding per customer or group at any time.
  • There is a maximum of four 30-minute reservations per day, per location. The reservations may be for two consecutive hours but may not exceed two hours (does not include the cleaning time added to the end of every reservation).

Sensory Calming Room

  • No room reservation is required.
  • Room is to be used for sensory soothing as needed.
  • Supervision is required for anyone under the age of 15.


Use of the Multi Sensory Environment and Sensory Calming Room is free. No food is allowed.

Customers who use the Sensory Rooms accept responsibility for costs for additional cleaning and/or repairs due to damage done to library property.

Any damage or room use fees will be assessed to the library card number associated with the reservation.


It is the responsibility of all library staff to understand this policy fully so as to ensure fair and equitable application. It is the responsibility of the Deputy Director, Assistant Director for Planning and Facilities, and Community Engagement Administrator with the advice of the Board of Trustees, to interpret, monitor and recommend updates to this policy. The Library Director is the final authority regarding restrictions on the use of the library.

Effective July 2023