Storytime goes interactive for kids with special needs

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 5, 2018

 Youth Services Librarian Jennifer Taggart has received awards for the sensory-friendly children’s collection at the Bloomfield Township Public Library.

Youth Services Librarian Jennifer Taggart has received awards for the sensory-friendly children’s collection at the Bloomfield Township Public Library.

File photo by Deb Jacques

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — The next installment of the Bloomfield Township Public Library’s SENSEational Story Time will take place at 11 a.m. this Saturday.

It’s not the first time the library has hosted a storytelling session for differently-abled children, and it certainly won’t be the last. In fact, it’s been more than 10 years that the library has been developing and growing its programming for children with special needs.

“We offer SENSEational Story Time for young ones once a month, usually on Saturday mornings,” said library Assistant Director Tera Moon. “We offer a sensory storytime for differently-abled teens and adults one Monday a month, too.”

The storytime caters to children ages 3-10 who have developmental delays or special social needs brought on by conditions like autism. The sessions are designed to make the stories interactive, with simple storylines and sensory activities that engage the senses of sight and touch, as well as movement and more.

Youth Services Librarian Jen Taggart, who began building the library’s collection for children with special needs more than 10 years ago, was honored as a library innovator for her efforts in 2016 by Library Journal magazine.

The specialized storytime sessions are open to siblings of the guests with special needs, along with those who aren’t residents of Bloomfield Hills.

“These activities are also great for English language learners,” Taggart added.

The SENSEational Story Times usually last around 45 minutes and take place in the youth story room. There’s no cost to attend. The next session is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10. Another session will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 24.

For more information or to register for a place at the storytime, which has limited seating, visit www.BTPL.org or call (248) 642-5800.

The Bloomfield Township Public Library is located at 1099 Lone Pine Road in Bloomfield Township.