[kids-lib] Serving children and teens with autism and their families

Katie Anderson katie.anderson at state.or.us
Wed Sep 17 09:49:14 PDT 2014

Hi! There is a great conversation on ALA’s Association for Rural and Small Libraries listserv about serving youth on the autism spectrum. I know some of this information has been shared here before, but as more and more children are being diagnosed on the spectrum (new reports suggest 1 in 68 children<http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html> so, whether or not you know it, they are in your community and in your library) we should be aware of their special needs whether or not we’re planning programs/services explicitly for autistic youth. If any of you have other resources or advice to share, please do share it on this listserv!

There are a lot of great resources to support libraries serving youth (and adults) with autism available on the Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected website: http://www.librariesandautism.org/newresources.htm.

TechSoup for Libraries has some resources available on serving youth on the spectrum:

·        Archived webinar (2013): Tech on the Spec(trum): Making libraries more accessible for children with special needs https://cc.readytalk.com/cc/s/meetingArchive?eventId=rfsktmmfj0d4

·        Holly Jin (Skokie Public Library) shared a long list of resources for serving youth on the spectrum: http://techsoupforlibraries.org/blog/tech-on-the-spectrum-webinar-follow-up

·        TechSoup also published a Spotlight article on Skokie Public Library’s work with accessible technology: http://techsoupforlibraries.org/spotlight/making-technology-accessible-to-everybody

If you are considering including autistic children in your current storytimes or considering to start a storytime explicitly for autistic children, then here are two resources for planning and implementing what are typically called Sensory Storytimes:

·        ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children’s Sensory Story Tots program design: http://www.ala.org/alsc/sensory-story-tots

·        ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children’s blog post Sensory Storytime: A (brief) How-To Guide: http://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2012/03/sensory-storytime-a-brief-how-to-guide/

There are also three books on the topic that may be very useful:

·        Scott Banks, C. (2014). Including Families of Children with Special Needs: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. Chicago, IL: Neal-Schuman.

·        Klipper, B. (2014). Programming for Children and Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Chicago, IL: ALA Editions.

·        Farmer, L.S.J. (2013). Library Services for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

The above titles are available for interlibrary loan from the Oregon State Library. If you would like to request this or other materials from the Oregon State Library please use your library's established interlibrary loan process (e.g. OCLC or ALA request form).  Otherwise, send your full name, the name of your library, complete title information, shipping address, and a phone number to the document delivery department at library.request at state.or.us<mailto:library.request at state.or.us> or (fax) 503-588-7119. Items will be checked out to your library, not to you personally, for 4 weeks (print materials) or 2 weeks (videos). Materials will be delivered via mail or Orbis Cascade Alliance Courier, and you may return them the same way. Normally a single copy is purchased and is loaned on a first-come-first-serve basis. You may be put on a hold list for several weeks. Thank you for your patience.

Most library staff are able to use their library’s interlibrary loan service to borrow professional development material. However, if you do not have access to these services or are not currently affiliated with a library, please contact me (katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>) to discuss alternative options for borrowing the material.

Katie Anderson, Library Support and Development Services

* Youth Services Consultant * Oregon Center for the Book Coordinator *

Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, OR 97301

katie.anderson at state.or.us<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>, 503-378-2528


On Tue, 9/16/14, Elizabeth Gray <Elizabeth.Gray at YOLOCOUNTY.ORG<mailto:Elizabeth.Gray at YOLOCOUNTY.ORG>> wrote:

Subject: [ARSL_LISTSERV] serving children with autism and their families


Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 10:32 AM

 Hi folks,

I need to pick your brains

(no not like a zombie, although maybe librarians are a bit  like zombies in that respect….)

 Does anyone have

experience serving families who have children on the autism  spectrum?

 We are just starting to think about this.  Our library  will have a Panel Discussion with parents of children with  autism during Disability Awareness month (October).

 I’d like to put out

a survey to all the participants about what library services  they find most helpful or what services they would find  helpful or something like that.

 Any info on how to reach

out to this population, any sample surveys or outreach  materials would be SOOOO helpful!

 You can reply off the list

if you’d like.

 Thanks again,


 Elizabeth Gray, MLIS, MFA

Assistant County


Yolo County

Library –

We connect people and ideas


Strengths Signature

Themes:  Ideation / Input / Adaptability /  Connectedness / Intellection


 Yolo County Library

226 Buckeye St.

 Woodland, CA 95695

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