Creativity for everyone: creating a more inclusive library

Libraries are the heart of the city, heart of the town. They fill a needed space in society as free, accessible, welcoming, and safe. A place where you can explore ideas, learn, create stories, explore histories and experience; at any age and any stage.

Libraries can help to explore possibilities in creativity. They also welcome a diverse population with varied abilities, including people with autism spectrum conditions. Autism can affect how a person experiences the world around them, they can see, hear and feel the world in a different way to other people.

Two students drawing ideas for The Great and Grand Rumpus exhibition, 2021.

Sensory-friendly experiences

State Library is always working towards developing a more safe and welcoming place, and including developing a more inclusive program and developing expertise to create inclusive programs for those on the autism spectrum. State Library already works with Autism Queensland who deliver Studio G, a digital media meetup, with young adults on the autism spectrum, supporting development of social, job and life skills with mentors experienced in creative industries.

Recently, State Library of Queensland has been building a magical wonderland of large cardboard sculptures, brought to life by interactive digital projections. These stories have been crafted and sculpted by local community, based on ideas by local school children. An exhibition of this nature can be overwhelming to people with autism, and the very idea of coming to a place, such as the State Library, may be intimidating due to its unfamiliarity, large scale, or perceived notion of silence, leading to an overstimulating experience or challenging behaviour.

A welcoming place

State Library has tailored a program to build capability for State Library to work with the neurodiverse population and to work with young people on the autism spectrum to co-develop activities for young children with autism to better enjoy The Great and Grand Rumpus exhibition, and programs into the future. State Library is a place of access, and a safe and welcoming place for all. We provide a place to enhance equality, equity, diversity and inclusion, to represent Queensland and Queenslanders. With your help, we hope to create an enhanced representation of diversity, and to represent possibilities to others in developing a more inclusive society.

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