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Pictured at the launch of the Tipperary County Council Library Service’s Sensory Library are (L-R) Áine Beausang, Librarian; Ann Marie Brophy, Senior Executive Librarian; Cllr. Michael Smith; Marguerite Ryan, Chairperson – Autism Awareness Roscrea; Marissa Hayes, Autism Awareness Roscrea. (Photo Credit: PJ Wright).

Quiet Time & Quiet Space

Each of our libraries now provide a ‘Quiet Space’ kit for use by visitors to the library. Consisting of a pop-up den, beanbag, colour changing cylinder, ear defenders, squidgy sparkle fidgets and more, these spaces will allow a person to get away from a particular situation, cool down and collect themselves without having to leave the library. We hope the quiet spaces will be a great support for individuals and families who do experience distress while they are visiting the library. Some of our libraries have a small section away from all the noise and people, like the sensory spaces in Clonmel, Tipperary and Roscrea libraries.   Each of our libraries will implement ‘Quiet Time’ during their weekly opening hours. A great way to allow individuals and families affected by autism to enjoy the library, hassle free, we will provide a dedicated time to access the library when the space will be made more sensory friendly, for example by turning down lights, keeping noise levels low, ensuring there are no events on in the library at that time. Library staff are well trained in understanding the needs of the customers with autism and we want families to enjoy themselves without feeling self-conscious.

Sensory Toys & Resources Lending Service

The service is a specialist sensory toys and resources collection to assist children with special needs or learning differences. The aim of the collection is to support children and their parents in choosing and utilising these specialist toys for the developmental growth of the children. These toys are designed to support the development of important skills including gross motor skills, fine motor skills, communication skills and visual perception skills.   Speaking at the launch, Cllr Michael Smith said “This sensory toy lending service will improve the library experience and services for children, teens and adults with sensory impairments, additional needs, learning differences, those on the Autism spectrum, and their parents, guardians and carers. The sensory toy lending service allows families to borrow toys that fit the needs and interests of the child at the time, without the expense of purchasing them.” The Sensory Toy and Resources Collection is available for lending to members of Tipperary County Council Library Service. To borrow, users must have a letter of referral from an Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Physiotherapist, Medical Practitioner, Resource Teacher or other professional working with them.  

Please contact Library Headquarters on for further information. These initiatives have received funding from the Department of Rural and Community Development.

To view the Sensory Toys and Resources catalogue click the button below:

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