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Project Description

Page history last edited by Lynnette 12 years, 3 months ago

 

There is a strategic need for libraries to provide services in proactive, creative and welcoming ways to children and adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  Monroe Township Library, in collaboration with six other INFOLINK member libraries and with the contract money received from the “Welcoming Library Spaces for the Autism Community and Their Families” has developed a plan to foster the relationship between libraries and their local autism communities. As a public service to our community, it is imperative that all staff members are aware and knowledgeable to interact with the autism community. With the received funds, all collaborating libraries will educate their staff members on autism spectrum disorder. Collaborating libraries will hire and schedule professionals with the knowledge of the autism community to come speak to staff members and change their level of awareness about this growing population. Collaborating libraries will also host a series of programs specifically aimed for the autism community and their families. These programs will include parenting workshops, sibling support programs, storytimes specifically aimed for the autism community and a special tie-in program for children with autism during the 2009 “Be Creative @ Your Library” Summer Reading Program. Storytime and program ideas include yoga classes, pet therapy, and musical performances. In addition, all collaborating libraries will educate the public on autism during Autism Awareness month in April by setting up a display with flyers, posters and a movie showing. Participating libraries would like to take an active role in fulfilling its role as a life-long learning institution by having available resources that cover the recreation and learning activities of the autistic community across all levels from early intervention to adulthood. While most libraries will not be able to reach such a long-range individually, partnership amongst libraries and institutions will allow us to play our part in the broader ability for these resources to be available to those that need them. Thus, all collaborating libraries will share a joint webpage that lists resources for the autism community that will be available from each library’s main homepage.   Libraries will also plan on consulting with previous libraries that have participated in the first year of the contract and make use of the resources they have developed.

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