Autism in Libraries
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
2pm Eastern (11am Pacific | 12pm Mountain | 1pm Central)
By Melissa N. Thompson
Description: In recent years, autism has been more broadly defined than it previously had been, and we now understand autism to be an issue of overstimulated nerves — a problem which may be moderate or extreme and which is associated with ADHD, OCD, and other nerve-and-brain differences – which means the autistic person responds differently than the allistic one. Because of more comprehensive support in the schools, more autistic students are attending college and entering the workforce. As a result, their presence in higher ed and in the broader community is growing, in numbers or in visibility or both, and that means we are seeing more people with autism in libraries.
This presentation will focus on some of the ways in which autistic users’ communication and study needs are different from those of allistic users, and what you might need to know in your interactions with them as library users or as employees. We’ll talk about hypersensitivities and how they shape behavior and about different perceptions regarding ambiguities, as well as some things you might want to know about social interaction with autistic users.
About the Presenter: Lara Nesselroad has worked for the University of Oregon Libraries for over 30 years, entirely in user-facing roles. She currently oversees three branches and a primary service point, supervising seven permanent staff and 50-60 students. She is interested in all kinds of inclusion, which to her means making sure that the spaces she oversees are welcoming to all students including nontraditional, autistic, of all shapes and sizes, non-binary, unhoused, and blind or visually impaired students. That’s not an exhaustive list; it’s just the first six examples she thought of today. Out of the library, Lara teaches group exercise, staffs cold-weather shelters for homeless residents, and spoils the disruptive cat who lives in her house; most likely as you read this she is wearing a nerdy t-shirt and/or discussing popular science fiction media with one of her adult children.
To register: Visit https://tinyurl.com/ya4hryyw
Can’t make it to the live show? That’s okay. The session will be recorded and available on the Carterette Series Webinars site for later viewing.
To register for the online event
1. Go to registration page: https://tinyurl.com/ya4hryyw
2. Complete and submit the form.
3. A URL for the event will be emailed to you immediately after registration.
4. If asked for a password to attend the webinar use 0000.
~~~Contact a member of the Carterette Series planning team with questions or suggestions:
Melissa N. Thompson is a graduate student of the Valdosta State University MLIS program and a library assistant at Augusta University’s Reese Library. When her nose isn’t stuck in a book, you can find her reading comics & graphic novels, blending more iced coffee than is normal for one human being, and joining far more committees than is feasible for her schedule.