For immediate release | May 20, 2013

Library services for youth with autism spectrum disorders

CHICAGO — Autism is now the second most commonly diagnosed serious developmental disability, and the number of children identified as autistic continues to grow. “Library Services for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” published by ALA Editions, introduces what autism spectrum disorders are and identifies the great need to build and manage programs for autistic youth. Lesley S.J. Farmer offers librarians in or outside a school environment all the information they need to build a library literacy program geared towards these children. Designed to both awaken sensitivities of library staff and address the questions of those who are already aware of the issue, this book:

  • Shows how autistic children are increasingly mainstreamed into traditional library and school programs and identifies the special needs and issues they face in a library setting;
  • Equips readers to meet the needs of young autistic library users with practical tools for training library staff, teachers and volunteers;
  • Explains hyperlexia, the main barrier to the development of literacy among autistic children and how programs using sensory experiences can strengthen both literacy skills and socialization;
  • Proposes strategies for using library design to ensure that materials and resources are accessible to all patrons;
  • Includes a glossary of terms and bibliography of additional resources.

Farmer, professor at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), coordinates the Librarianship Program. She earned her MS in library science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and received her doctorate in adult education from Temple University. Farmer has worked as a librarian in K–12 school settings, as well as in public, special and academic libraries. She is incoming chair of the Education Section of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and she is the International Association of School Librarianship’s vice president of association relations. Farmer is a Fulbright Scholar and has received the Distinguished Scholarly Activity Award from CSULB, several professional association awards and national and international grants. Farmer’s research interests include information literacy, assessment, collaboration and educational technology. A frequent presenter and writer for the profession, Farmer has published two dozen professional books and more than a hundred professional book chapters and articles.

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Related Links

"Library Services for Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders"

"Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors through Reading"

"Teen Girls and Technology: What's the Problem, What's the Solution?"


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

American Library Association

ALA Editions