Friday, February 26, 2010

Libraries and Autism: We're Connected

From the Libraries and Autism: We're Connected Website

"The Scotch Plains Public Library and the Fanwood Memorial Library, together with our partners, produced a customer service training video 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."

I recently had the good fortune to attend the NMRLS* day-long training on “Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected” at the Reading Public Library on January 28. Inspired by what I learned at this workshop, I coordinated a follow-up training for staff of WMRLS member libraries on Tuesday, February 23. Our WMRLS program was a joint collaboration with the Community Resources for People with Autism, a organization that provides support, information, and practical help for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families living in western Massachusetts. Jason Litto, Family Support Manager of Community Resources for People with Autism, served as our guest specialist and provided invaluable amplification on the Joint Libraries’ Autism PowerPoint and Video Staff Training Resources. By holding our program at the Community Resources for People with Autism Center, our librarian participants also benefited by a tour of this facility and an overview of the services that Jason and his colleagues provide.

~ Janet Eckert, WMRLS

*NMRLS is currently administering an LSTA grant project  on Serving Children With Autism

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