Autism Friendly Libraries
On 10 June 2016, ASCEL launched an "Autism Friendly Libraries film for library staff across England. Following research showing that more than 9 in 10 people with autism would use their library more if some autism friendly adjustments were made, the Association of Senior Children’s and Education Librarians (ASCEL) is to offer training and support to all 3000 of the nation’s public libraries.
The research, conducted by social care organisation Dimensions, showed that whilst people with autism are already more likely than other people to use a library, a few changes could lead to 92% increasing their use of their local library.
The film commissioned by ASCEL and developed by Dimensionsand accompanied by fact sheets, signage and social stories, has been made possible thanks to public funding by Arts Council England. It will receive its first screening today at the Society of Chief Librarians annual seminar in Warwickshire.
The film features children, young people and their parents and families talking about the impact public libraries have on their lives and the adjustments and the understanding they need from staff to make thelibrary experience a great one."
The film is available on YouTube.
In addition, there is a range of support documents to download:
- Autism Friendly Libraries Top Tips
- Autism Friendly Libraries Poster – Libraries can use this when all staff have watched the film and agreed what they are going to change as a result
- Autism Friendly Libraries Social Story example based on Chelmsford Library
- Autism Friendly Libraries Social Story Template – Libraries can adapt this so that it is relevant for their own libraries (or library) and put it on their websites or local sites
- Example Library Map – Dimensions say that having a map of the library that people can access also helps people with autism understand what to expect
as well as Autism Friendly Libraries Sharing Good Practice: