(Voorhees, NJ) – The Camden County Library System has purchased noise-cancelling headphones for children with auditory sensitivities to utilize on-site thanks to the efforts of a student-created GoFundMe campaign.
“This project was designed by Emily Whitley, a graduate student studying school counseling and the daughter of one of our librarians. She created the GoFundMe campaign to fill a need she saw for children with sensory sensitivities,” said Freeholder Bill Moen, liaison to the Camden County Library System. “The headphones will be made available to children who have sensory processing issues or autism so they can enjoy the library without distractions.”
Children living with Sensory Sensitivities (SS) may be extra sensitive to tactile senses, auditory stimulation, visual stimulation, olfactory stimulation or any combination of these. The most common SS is auditory. Not only can loud noises be overwhelming for some children, they can also be painful. Research has shown that these children benefit from Sensory Sensitive Environments. SS is commonly linked to Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“In our sensory-heavy world, children with auditory sensitives may find it difficult to visit the library,” Moen said. “These headphones will offer children less anxiety, less pain and less sensory difficulties to allow them to experience the library with their peers.”
The noise-canceling headphones are currently available for children to use at the Vogelson branch in Voorhees Township and the South County branch in Winslow Township.
“Children with sensory sensitivities may have difficulty spending time in public spaces that overload their heightened senses, which means that these spaces, like libraries, are not readily available to them. But a library is a place of exploration, learning, and fun that everyone should be able to use. Thus, the noise-cancelling headphone initiative within the Camden County library system, so that libraries are more accessible to, and enjoyable for, children with auditory sensitivities,” said Emily Whitley the graduate student that created the GoFundMe campaign.
Established in 1921, Camden County Library System seeks to meet the recreational, informational and educational needs of its customers with locations in Camden, Bellmawr, Gloucester Township, Haddon Township, Merchantville, Winslow Township and Voorhees Township. The Library is governed and supported by the Camden County Board of Freeholders and the Camden County Library Commission.