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Corrimal library to cater for special needs families in an after hours program

A NEW program to provide a safe, low-sensory and welcoming space for families living with autism or whose children are more comfortable in a low-sensory environment will be launched at Corrimal Library.

Starting later this month (February), Wollongong City Council will deliver the after hours program at Corrimal Library to provide access to resources and activities that might otherwise be inaccessible. Wollongong Library will follow in March.

Families will have the opportunity to bring their children to the library for a range of programs and activities, to borrow an item or to just spend time exploring and relax.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the Council realises that for these families, a trip to the library can sometimes feel overwhelming.

“We want all members of our community to feel welcome and confident to visit our libraries. Libraries are safe spaces and it’s important that we continue to offer services that are relevant to all members of our diverse community,” Cr Bradbery said.

“From community feedback, we’ve found that some families living with autism or who have children with other special needs, feel unsure about coming to their local library. The Library After Hours program aims to take some of the pressure off and encourage these families to visit and enjoy all that our libraries have to offer at their own pace.”

As part of the program, each of the participating libraries will be offering a range of activities including sensory story time, games, treasure hunts and a behind the scenes sneak peek at what happens in the library.

“The best part of Library After Hours is that it offers people an opportunity to socialise with others in a welcoming and safe space. This is especially important as we know that it can be hard to find the time and space to connect with other families when you are living with autism,” said Cr Bradbery.

“The program is very flexible, and children and their families are welcome to spend their time participating in as many or as few activities as they like. Or if they’d rather read or borrow, they can browse the collections and relax.”

Bookings are essential and can be made via Eventbrite.

Wollongong City Libraries will continue to operate in line with the NSW Government Public Health Orders, including adhering to social distancing requirements.

Locations, dates and times:

  • Corrimal – Thursday 18 February from 5.30 to 7.30pm
  • Wollongong – Friday 19 March from 6.15 to 8.15pm
  • Corrimal – Thursday 15 April from 5.30 to 7.30pm
  • Wollongong – Friday 21 May from 6.15 to 8.15pm
  • Corrimal – Thursday 17 June from 5.30 to 7.30pm
  • Wollongong – Friday 16 July from 6.15 to 8.15pm
  • Corrimal – Thursday 19 August from 5.30 to 7.30pm
  • Wollongong – Friday 17 September from 6.15 to 8.15pm
  • Corrimal – Thursday 21 October from 5.30 to 7.30pm
  • Wollongong – Friday 19 November from 6.15 to 8.15pm
  • Corrimal – Thursday 16 December from 5.30 to 7.30pm

For more information visit the Wollongong City Libraries website.


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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