CALL FOR PROPOSALS! Spring 2020 Library Conference in Kentucky Focusing on Diversity & Inclusion

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Libraries in Action: Promoting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Our Communities

The 2020 KLA/SLA Joint Spring Conference planning committee welcomes proposals for mini-sessions, panel discussions, and lightning round talks for “Libraries in Action: Promoting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Our Communities,” to be held March 25-27 at Lake Cumberland State Park.

Deadline for Proposal Submissions:   Monday, December 2nd



To submit, please complete the submission form: (https://forms.gle/sAMUPoBVAT9iUaL99)

Your proposal should include:

Presenter(s) name

Institution name

 Library name

 Title of your presentation

 Short (250 word) abstract

There is Still Time to Apply for an “Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More”Grant

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GRANT PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:  For the fifth year, this grant will award a total of $5,000.00, with all of the funds either awarded to one proposal or divided among several applicants, depending on the applications received. All types of libraries in the United States or Canada are encouraged to apply.  Proposals will be eligible that fund projects and/or services directed at any age group. Applicants may propose to initiate a new, creative program or service or enhance one that they currently offer. All proposed projects must benefit people with autism or their families, directly or indirectly. Funds may be used to hire a trainer to present a workshop, buy program materials, pay for staff coverage, etc., so long as these expenses further the library’s ability to serve people with autism through the proposed initiative.   Click HEREto see the previous grant winners and funded projects.

  • The application deadline:                                  Monday, December 2, 2019         
  • The winning applicant(s) will be notified by:  Monday, March 2, 2020       
  • The grant-funding period:                                   April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2021


SELECTION CRITERIA – Each application must show evidence of:

  • A clear, well-planned and organized description of the project.
  • Significant potential impact.
  • Institutional support.
  • People with autism, family members or other community stakeholders who are involved in the project development and/or its implementation.
  • A project that can be replicated in other communities.
  • An understanding of the needs of people with autism and/or best practices in working with this population.
  • A sustainability/continuation plan of the service or program after the end of the grant period.
  • The need for outside funding to execute the project.



The 2020-2021 grant forms can be downloaded at the three linked headings below:

Crisis Center Toolkit Helps Workers Identify & Support Autistic Callers

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reaching out

Suicide rates are a national concern, and although more studies are needed,  individuals on the autism spectrum are challenged with depression, anxiety, sensory and social issues, all  which impact emotions and impede daily life.


Thanks to Erin Miller, speaker at the 2019 Forum, Self-Advocate and Co-Founder of SAVE IRIS (Include, Respect I Self-Direct) for sharing this important toolkit:

Crisis Supports for the Autism Community

The Recent Webinar “A Spectrum of Shelves: Building a Library Collection for People with Autism” is now available for viewing.

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Jen taggart

Jennifer Taggart, Librarian, Bloomfield Township Public Library & Accessibility Services Speaker & Consultant



If you were unable to attend this valuable webinar, presented by Jennifer Taggart, a national leader and expert on accessibility in library services and collection development, you can view her complete presentation here:

For more great resources and innovative ideas about inclusive library services, check out Jennifer’s blog,  Adaptive Umbrella 





Targeting Autism Initiative Featured in the October issue of The International Journal of Information, Diversity & Inclusion

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Targeting Autism in Libraries:cover_issue_2229_en_US
A Comprehensive and Collaborative Training
Program for Librarians

This article describes the Targeting Autism program, funded by multiple grants from the Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS). This program was created to provide free training to the librarians of the State of Illinois on providing quality services and programs to patrons with autism. The State Library of Illinois leads the project, in partnership with Dominican University and Syracuse University and in collaboration with dozens of autism related organizations. The Targeting Autism program has included a variety of educational opportunities—in-person annual forums, group workshops, follow-up individualized coaching, webinars, blogs, and an online self-paced, in-depth training program for individuals or groups through Project ENABLE (Expanding Non-discriminatory Access to Librarians Everywhere) to librarians in Illinois and beyond. The program is a model for the development of similar programs both nationally and internationally.

The complete article is available at:

The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion, 3(4), 2019
ISSN 2574-3430, jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/ijidi/index
DOI: 10.33137/ijidi.v3i4.32998

“A Spectrum on the Shelves: Building a Library Collection for People with Autism” – Targeting Autism Webinar, Sept. 17, 2019

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Jen taggart

Jennifer Taggart

Assistant Department Head of Youth Services, Bloomfield Township Public Library (Michigan)
Accessibility Services Speaker & Consultant

As we conduct much needed diversity audits of the materials on our shelves, we need to be including materials for the neurodivergent community in this analysis. Attendees will gain awareness and a working knowledge of autism spectrum disorder along with common neurodevelopmental disorders that can coincide with autism.  In this interactive webinar, we will identify adaptive materials and multimedia geared to cognitive, motor, visual, auditory, sensory and social skills development.  Insight given on collaboration with autistic self-advocates, caregivers, special education professionals and rehabilitative therapists to help plan appropriate collection components. Attendees will also take away tips on processing, sustainability, and marketing.

Jen Taggart is Assistant Head of Youth Services and librarian responsible for the Youth Special Needs Collection  at the Bloomfield Township (MI) Public Library. She has presented on accessibility in library services and collection development nationally, in addition to creating the biennial Adaptive Umbrella Workshop for librarians working with people who have disabilities. She also co-developed the Special Needs Services Roundtable (SNSR) of Michigan librarians providing services for children, teens, and adults with disabilities and serves as programming chair of the Michigan Alliance for Cultural Accessibility (MACA). In 2009, Jen received the Michigan Library Association Children’s Services Division Award of Merit for her development of the Special Needs Collection and innovative youth programs and was named a Mover & Shaker by Library Journal in 2016. You can also find her blogging about inclusive services at Adaptive Umbrella 

This free webinar is open to all and will be held on Tuesday, September 17th, from 12:30-1:30pm (CST).  To enter the Adobe room at the time of the event, click: A Spectrum on the Shelves: Building a Library Collection for People with Autism

If you plan to attend the webinar, please click:  Suzanne Schriar ,  to send an email.  Include your name and name of library (if applicable). 

On the day of the webinar and prior to the start time, please test your connection at: http://webjunctionillinois.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm


Check out NADD : an association for persons with developmental disabilities and mental health needs

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Thanks to Erin Miller, 2019 Targeting Autism Forum presenter, for alerting us to this wonderful organization and wealth of resources within.  The organization, NADD,  National Association for the Dually Diagnosed was founded in 1983 by Robert J. Fletcher, and was based on the following premise that individuals with both developmental disabilities and mental health issues remained unidentified, untreated and underserved.  NADD was established as a multidisciplinary association of professionals to promote the education of the professional community concerning the realities of dual disability so that the issues and problems can be successfully addressed.

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