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libraries and autism: we're connected

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The AUTISM WELCOME HERE: Library Programs, Services and More Grant
Announces the 2016 First Year Grant Winners.

Libraries and Autism is honored to be sponsoring an ongoing grant offering, started in 2016, called,
   AUTISM WELCOME HERE: Library Programs, Services and More

The grant honors Meg Kolaya, co-founder of Libraries and Autism: We're Connected and a pioneer in the area of library service to people with autism. This grant is a direct outcome of the Illinois State Library's broad and ambitious project, Targeting Autism: A National Forum on Serving Library Patrons on the Spectrum that we participated in last March.

The grant is funded by Barbara Klipper, retired librarian, consultant and trainer, and the author of two important books. Programming for Children and Teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ALA Editions, 2014) is a must-have for both new and veteran librarians. Barbara's deep knowledge and experience on the subject makes her guidance on serving these library users and their families invaluable.   And her new book, The Secret Rules of Social Networking (AAPC Publishing, 2015), is a one-of-a-kind resource for teens and young adults with ASD or other social skills deficits that outlines the unstated rules that guide relationships in the real world and online as well.

The response to the first year of the grant (2016) was impressive and speaks not only to the ongoing need, but to the willingness and effectiveness of librarians all over the country who are doing amazing things. Thank you for your applications and for your efforts to serve people with autism in your library.

Applications for the 2017 grant(s) will be accepted starting September 1, 2016. The application deadline will be December 1, 2016. Successful applicants will be notified on March 1, 2017. All others will receive word soon after.

button    Take a look at this Libraries and Autism FEATURE:
   Life Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism by Ron Suskind

In 2008 the Scotch Plains Public Library and the Fanwood Memorial Library, together with our partners, created Libraries and Autism: We're Connected. This award winning project produced a customer service training video and website primarily for library staff to help them serve individuals with autism and their families more effectively. The video focuses on what you need to know about autism and will empower you with specific techniques to offer more inclusive service to this growing and underserved population.

The resources here on the website, along with the on-site training workshops which have been presented to hundreds of librarians around the country, expand on our customer service video to address the real world implementation of best practices and universal service for people with ASD and their families and helps staff to improve their ability to provide excellent, inclusive, universal customer service to everyone who uses the library.

Every library we visit tells us the same story of increasing numbers of families dealing with ASD who are turning to their public library for resources, programs and a community center where they are welcome. We stress communication, customer service, using individuals on the spectrum and with other developmental disabilities as staff and volunteers in the library, programming strategies that work, connecting with local experts, and the importance of empowering staff to be willing to 'do something'.


September 14, 2016
Millburn (NJ) Free Public Library
Libraries and Autism: We're Connected Workshop - 9:00 a.m.

May 16, 2016
NJLA Annual Conference
Pre-Conference, Open to All: ADA Compliance and Beyond at your Library: Making Your Library A Welcoming Place, Atlantic City, NJ

March 10, 11, 2016
Targeting Autism Forum
Helping Libraries Support the ASD Community, Illinois State Library, Springfield, IL

See where we've presented in the past

For information on how to schedule an
In-Depth Training Workshop
for your own library or group,
please contact us at
button To receive a free "Libraries and Autism: We're Connected" Decal or a copy of the 2014 re-edited update of the DVD for your library, please contact us at and be sure to include your mailing address.

We encourage you to explore this site and make free use of our support resources.
email your comments and questionsPlease contact us anytime with questions, inquiries, comments or progamming suggestions, and take the time to let us know if the video and any of these materials have been of use to you.

Special thanks to Ben, Brianna and Marco and their families, without whom this video would not have been possible.

Library Connections
We acknowledge the invaluable contributions of:

Adrienne Robertiello, Community Autism Educator for Children's Specialized Hospital and founder of Community Partnership for People with Autism, who inspired this project and helped create our logo, graphics and customizable resources.

Dr. Linda Meyer, Executive Director, Autism New Jersey .

Dr. Jill Harris, Ph.D. Director of program development and the ABA program at Children's Specialized Hospital

Cheryl O'Connor, Executive Director, LibraryLinkNJ

The Staff of Scotch Plains Public Library and Fanwood Memorial Library.

Video Director and Producer, Mary Olive Smith.

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All content is copyright Ⓒ 2008 - 2016 by Libraries and Autism and Fanwood (NJ) Memorial Library.
Free non-commercial use of any of these materials is permitted and encouraged to support autism awareness and inclusion.
Please acknowledge this project and link back to our site.