NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
The Clarenville Public Library, with funding from Eastern Health, will be renovating its children’s section to be more inclusive to all patrons.
The library was the recent recipient of a $10,000 grant following librarian Tanya Blackmore’s application to the Healthy Communities Partnership Fund.
The funds will go towards renovating the children’s section of the library to better address patrons with special needs, as well as support more programming and staff training aimed at better helping patrons.
“I’m always surprised when I apply for something and actually get it, because you never know who you’re competing against and what kind of really cool projects or beneficial projects are being applied for,” explained Blackmore, who said she received the letter from Eastern Health in July— coincidentally enough, just moments before leading a children’s program.
Blackmore said the funding will be used to create an inclusive space for children with ADHD, autism and sensory processing disorders.
“The idea is to expand the kids area and put in a sensory wall, some new furniture, some mobile shelving for the books, and once we get the space done, then we’ll start on the programming side of it,” she said.
She hopes that the renovations and new programs will mean that more patrons will be able to enjoy the library.
“The idea is that we’re not just building this for the patrons we already have. It’s building it so that others will know that it’s here and that maybe they’ll start to come and use it,” she said.
“There’s always an opportunity to learn more, and to grow. There’s always opportunity to offer more inclusive opportunities for everyone. As a community, and as a society, we need to be looking for ways to include everyone in every aspect of our day-to-day lives.”- Treshana Gosse
Blackmore said her desire is that the space is somewhere all children can learn a little more about each other.
“You get all children in there playing, and using the space for whatever programming, or picking out books, and they get used to each other,” she said. “So everybody gets a feel for the other people in the community.”
The library has partnered with the Autism Society to help with the renovations, programming and staff training.
“Tanya thought that there was more the library could do in terms of providing inclusion and inclusive activities for library goers, and floated the idea by us,” said Treshana Gosse, regional assistant manager at the Austim Society’s Eastern Regional Office in Clarenville. “We thought it was a great idea and agreed to support her in any way.
“I think that space at the library will turn into a place that is comfortable for any person with a disability.”
Gosse added, “There’s always an opportunity to learn more, and to grow. There’s always opportunity to offer more inclusive opportunities for everyone. As a community, and as a society, we need to be looking for ways to include everyone in every aspect of our day-to-day lives. So I think this is one step forward for sure.”
Blackmore hopes to start renovations this September and would like to have everything in place by next summer.