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The social story for Warwick Library

New social learning tools available for all 18 of Warwickshire Libraries help to make the spaces more accessible for all.

Residents with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) can now benefit from an enhanced sensory offer at Warwickshire County Council libraries with the introduction of social stories and floor plans.  

Social stories are used to describe situations, events or new experiences and can help everyone, including those with a physical or learning disability, to feel more at ease when visiting new or unfamiliar places. By providing specific information about what to expect and why, social stories can enable people to feel better prepared, help to manage their expectations and reduce anxiety. 

To enhance its offer for all customers, Warwickshire Libraries has worked with the company Dimensions to produce suitable social stories for all 18 of the service’s library locations.  

The guides include plenty of photos to help customers to the library familiarise themselves with the look, feel and layout before they visit, as well as highlighting environmental factors that may impact people with sensory differences, such as noise levels and crowded areas. Additional sections provide step-by-step instructions on how to take out a library membership, borrow books and make the most of the computers that are freely available to library members and, importantly, who they can ask for help when they are there. 

New floor plans are also now available for each library, adding another visual aide alongside the social stories, to help customers prepare for library visits and reduce any feelings of anxiety or stress.   

The new social stories and floor plans for each library are available on the WCC Find a Library webpage - select the library you would like to visit and scroll down the webpage to the 'Accessibility and Inclusion' section. Physical copies are also available at all 18 library locations across the county.  

Multiple libraries across the county also provide buckets of sensory toys available on request as well as access to BagBooks sensory storytelling kits. Find out more about the sensory activities available at: 

Warwick Library offers dedicated sensory story time and craft sessions for children with SEND, and Stratford Library offers Sensory Hour sessions for children aged 1-4, and 4-11, with equipment including a floor projector, interactive floor mat, and a fibre optic den. Library customers 11 years and over can also use this equipment, please speak to a member of staff to find out more. 

Person interacting with the sensory floor mat at Stratford-upon-Avon Library


Cllr Yousef Dahmash, Portfolio Holder for Customer and Transformation, said: 

“Warwickshire Libraries want to ensure they are spaces that everyone can enjoy, and it is important that customers feel comfortable when they visit. The social stories are an important addition to the service and will help to ensure we are supporting people of all ages with learning disabilities to access and enjoy our libraries and all that they can offer. 

“This initiative expands our existing sensory offer, which has seen our spaces making great progress in offering sensory resources to entertain, energise or calm those who might otherwise find being in a library challenging. By embracing sensory support as part of our child friendly offer in Warwickshire Libraries, we are providing important opportunities for children and young people with SEND to be a part of their communities and enhancing the overall library experience for all of our valued customers.” 

Warwickshire Libraries is also a friend of Child Friendly Warwickshire, which is bringing the county together in a collective effort to ensure all children and young people have a voice that is heard, that they are safe, happy and healthy and that they are equipped with the skills to have the best lives they can.  

For more information about the sensory activities available at Warwickshire Libraries, visit the service’s Eventbrite webpage 

To join your local library for free, visit 

To find out more about Warwickshire’s SEND local offer, visit 


Published: 8th March 2024

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