The Institute of Museum and Library Services Awards Illinois State Library $522,871 for Targeting Autism Training and Education Program

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The Illinois State Library was awarded a 2016 Institute of Museum and Library Services  (IMLS)Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Grant to administer the development and delivery of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) training program to improve library service and programs for the ASD community. Targeting Autism: A Comprehensive Training and Education Program for Librarians is a two-year program based in Illinois, where librarians will learn how to design physical spaces, provide necessary accommodations, and create library services and programs that support the resource and recreational needs of individuals with ASD of all ages. The project will provide in-library site visits and consultations to libraries throughout the state to better inform the development of library ASD service plans and will deliver a train-the-trainer, in-person workshop to 1-2 representatives from 50 libraries in Illinois through a partnership with Dominican University. Illinois State Library will also partner with Syracuse University to create a cluster of customized online ASD learning modules for the existing Project ENABLE website that will be available to library professionals nationwide. Finally, Illinois State Library will hold two annual forums for ASD practitioners, multi-type librarians, and other stakeholders to educate, strengthen collaboration, and build on the national network of support for expanding ASD library services.

Face-to-face classes developed at Dominican University, School of Library and Information Science, a Targeting Autism project partner.  Leading this effort is Sujin Huggins, Ph.D.


In-library training and consultations conducted by Russ Bonanno, consultant and former Director, The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP)

russ bonnano

A cluster of online autism training modules developed for Project ENABLE .  Leading this effort is Ruth Small, Ph.D. and the Project ENABLE team at Syracuse University, a Targeting Autism project partner.

ruth small

Periodic webinars delivered by the ILEAD USA Team Spectra on technology applications that support individuals with autism.

Team Spectra Members include: Jamie Mott, Illinois State Library; Meghan Harmon, Chatham Area Public Library; Amber Creger, Schaumburg Township District Library; Marcus Birch, Illinois State Library; and Matt Henninger, Illinois State Library (not pictured)

Targeting Autism Forums will continue to be held as part of this new initiative.


Alex & Hayden Show      day two 4







The Office of the Illinois Secretary of State and the Illinois State Library are very grateful to IMLS for providing the Illinois State Library and our project partners with the opportunity and resources to develop a national training model designed to empower librarians to better serve the autism community.

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