Child Advocacy

Programming for Children with Special Needs, Part One

by Tricia Bohanon Twarogowski With budgetary and staffing issues currently facing libraries, children’s programming managers and staff may wonder, “Why begin a new storytime program for children with special needs and their families?” The answer: to provide support for a vastly underserved area of our population. Efforts to provide special needs programming are an important aspect of library service which results in numerous rewards for families, communities and libraries. During the summer of 2008 when two parents inquired separately about storytimes specifically geared towards children with special needs at the Matthews Branch of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County (PLCMC), I saw an opportunity. At the time, this type of programming was not offered at PLCMC so I scheduled a date for August 2008 to respond to the expressed interest. What I learned as a result–if two parents convey an interest in special needs programming, many parents who…