Karen Harris (left) leads a tour group at Gwinnett County Public Library. Two county library branches are offering special sensory hours for autistic children and their parents.

Gwinnett libraries hosting ‘sensory friendly’ browsing hours

Two Gwinnett County libraries will host a Sensory Friendly Browsing Hour for special needs kids and their parents.

The Suwanee and Dacula branches will be the first to hold these hours, which are designed to be quieter and calmer than during normal library hours. 

This environment can be helpful for autistic children who get overstimulated or stressed in public places like libraries, spokesperson Clifford Ibarrondo said in a release.

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“Families with children on the autism spectrum often avoid libraries and other similar public places,” said Amy Billings, youth services manager for the county library system.

Allowing them access to the library when it is otherwise closed to the public “gives them a safe space to learn about our resources in a calm and quiet environment which minimizes overstimulation and stress.”

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Suwanee’s Sensory Friendly Browsing Hour will be on March 12 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., an hour before the library’s scheduled opening. 

The Dacula branch will host an hour on March 26, also from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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