Where should I begin? This can sometimes be the most challenging part about developing library services to children with disabilities. In fact, the most common question I receive is about where to start. While there isn’t a one-stop-shop when it comes to expanding your knowledge in this area, I’m pleased to say that there is a plethora of resources out there that can help you on your journey to becoming an advocate for children with disabilities. Basically, what that means is that the first step is to learn. And you’re in luck–here are some of my favorite resources to help you do just that!
Books We are librarians, after all. So, read we must!
- Assistive Technologies in the Library by Barbara T. Mates
- Crash Course in Library Services to People with Disabilities by Ann G. Roberts
- Improving Library Services to People with Disabilities by Courtney Deines-Jones
- Including Families of Children with Special Needs: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians by Carrie Scott Banks
- Library Services for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Lesley S.J. Farmer
- Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together by Kathy MacMillan
- The New Social Story Book, Revised and Expanded by Carol Gray
- The Out-of-Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz
- Programming for Children and Tweens with Autism Spectrum Disorder by Barbara Klipper
Articles Because sometimes you don’t have time to read an entire book.
- Opening Access to Public Libraries for Children with Special Needs and their Families by Joanne Kaeding
- Library Service to Special Population Children and their Caregivers: A Toolkit for Librarians
- “Diversity & Disability: Let’s Start Talking About it” by Christyna Hunter. Public Libraries. (January/February, 2016).
- “Special Needs Storytime, Separation & Accommodation” by Sara White. Public Libraries. (January/February, 2016).
- “A Special Needs Approach: A Study of How Libraries Can Start Programs for Children with Disabilities” by Denice Adkins. Children and Libraries. (Fall, 2015).
- “Making Makerspaces Work for Everyone” by Barbara Klipper. Children and Libraries. Fall, 2014.
- Reaching Out: Library Services to the Developmentally Disabled” by Leslie Lea Nord. Public Libraries. (September/October, 2014).
- “Technology in Children’s Programming: Apps for Children with Special Needs” by Melanie A Lyttle. Children and Libraries. (Summer, 2014).
- Using American Sign Language in Storytime by Dana Horrocks. Jbrary Blog.
- “Program Diversity: Do Libraries Serve Kids with Disabilities?“ by Carly Okyle. School Library Journal. (May, 2014).
- “Implementing Programs for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder” by Rebecca Cruz. Public Libraries. (April, 2014).
Webinars & Videos Because some of us are visual and auditory learners.
- SNAILS Videos
- Accessible to All: Serving Youth and Young Adults with Disabilities presented by Holly Jin and Renee Grassi
- Autism 101 for Libraries presented Mary O’Brian
- Beyond Assistive Technology: Improving Library Services to People with Disabilities presented Kate Todd
- Serving the Underserved: Children with Disabilities at Your Library presented by Renee Grassi
- Tech on the Spec(trum): Making Libraries More Accessible for Children with Special Needs, presented by Holly Jin, hosted by TechSoup
- Creating Welcoming and Accessible Libraries for Children with Special Needs presented by Renee Grassi
- What’s After Storytime: Programming for Children and Tweens with Autism, presented by Barbara Klipper, hosted by ALSC
- Online Learning through ASCLA
- Current and archived Lekotek webinars
- Sensory Storytime: Preschool Programming that Makes Sense for Kids with Autism by Barbara Klipper
- Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders & The Library archived webinar by Ashley Waring
Blogs & Websites Being a librarian means being a student throughout your entire career. These help you keep up with the latest information.
- ALSC Sensory Storytime Pinterest Board
- Disability in Kid Lit
- Inclusive Early Literacy Blog
- Information Connections
- Libraries and Autism
- Opening Public Libraries for Children with Special Needs Blog
- National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
- SNAILS Blog: Special Needs and Inclusive Library Services Networking Group
- Targeting Autism
Youth Department Director at the Glen Ellyn Public Library
Library Service to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers Committee (LSSPCC) Member