Staff Report

One in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and the Santa Barbara Public Library is offering new programs for local families.

As part of these programs, the Central Library in Santa Barbara is offering a sensory story time at 1:30 p.m. on the first and last Saturday of each month.

Sensory story time aims to provide a welcoming, inclusive environment for all children to learn and grow. Small groups, structure, and sensory activities create an environment for sensory seekers and the sensory sensitive.

The story time will be a bit shorter than traditional ones, with more time for sensory play and social skill-building. This session is best for ages 3-7, but all ages and abilities are welcome.

Registration is required for sensory story time in order to keep the class size small.

In addition to children’s programming, Santa Barbara Public Library is partnering with the Koegel Autism Center at UCSB to present highly engaging information to the community in the monthly Autism Seminar & Discussion (ASD) Series, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month in the Faulkner Gallery at the Central Library, 40 E Anapamu St.

This partnership will enable the internationally recognized Koegel Autism Center to share its innovative autism research and clinical training expertise with the wider Santa Barbara community.

“Santa Barbara Public Library endeavors to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all, so we hope that families with children who may find the busy, vibrant atmosphere and larger class sizes of our other story times overstimulating, will find this a more comfortable and inviting learning experience,” said Library Director Jessica Cadiente. “And of course we’re thrilled to be able to work with the Koegel Autism Center to make their research and expertise more accessible to the community.”

Future presentations in the ASD Series will focus on sharing strength-based, motivational interventions and supports for individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorders.

Visit the Santa Barbara Public Library System online at for information about library hours, locations, programs and services. All library programs are free and open to the public.