Serving Teens and Adults on the Autism Spectrum: A Guide for Libraries

Libraries Unlimited. 2020. 148p. pap. $55. ISBN 9781440874819.
In this practical guide, Rogers-Whitehead argues that libraries are in a unique position to provide support to teens and adults who are on the spectrum, particularly as they age out of services provided by institutions such as public school systems. While public librarians are clearly the target audience, many of the ideas and resources shared may be relevant to school and academic librarians as well. The book begins with an overview of autism spectrum disorder, then discusses how libraries can help meet the needs of people on the spectrum. Rogers-Whitehead covers physical and digital accessibility, employment opportunities, outreach and community partnerships, programming examples for teens and adults, collection development, and more. The author discloses in the preface that she herself is not on the spectrum, but she does share examples from her own work as a librarian serving those who are, and she includes excerpts from interviews with library staff and patrons who are on the spectrum. She repeatedly encourages readers to seek out feedback from patrons who are on the spectrum about how to improve library services. Extensive references follow each chapter, and the author shares additional websites and resources throughout. An appendix outlines additional programming ideas.
VERDICT An exceedingly thorough starting place for understanding how libraries may better serve and support patrons who are on the spectrum.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing