Serving Teens and Adults on the Autism Spectrum

A Guide for Libraries

by Carrie Rogers-Whitehead


Teaches readers how to create successful programming for individuals on the autism spectrum as they age.

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Cover image for Serving Teens and Adults on the Autism Spectrum

August 2020

Libraries Unlimited

Pages 245
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Adult Services and Programs/People with Disabilities
  Librarian's Instructional Role/General
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Understand the unique needs of teens and adults with autism and how to adapt existing library programs to be more inclusive.

Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong condition, but programs and services are mostly for children. As this population ages and the number of adults receiving autism diagnoses grows, are public libraries serving this group? Serving Teens and Adults on the Autism Spectrum offers practical strategies for delivering better service to individuals with autism, from library programming to technology, collections, library volunteers, and the information desk.

Relying on feedback and help from the autism community in her area, Carrie Rogers-Whitehead created programs for children, teens, and young adults on the autism spectrum. In this book, she shares advice on developing programs that focus on teamwork, transitions, and social skills. She explains best practices for reference interviews and teaches readers how their libraries can partner with nonprofit and government entities to develop workforce skills and connect adults with autism to jobs. Ready-made program activities for teens and adults with autism make it easy for libraries to better serve this often misunderstood group.


  • Adapt existing library programs to be more inclusive of individuals with autism
  • Learn tested program ideas specifically aimed at individuals with autism
  • Understand the unique needs of adults with autism and how those needs present differently than they do in children
  • Learn how to better mobilize these members of the community and help them find meaningful work and service opportunities
  • Connect to resources to better understand and create library services for the autism community
Author Info

Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, MLIS, MPA, is founder of Digital Respons-Ability and worked in libraries for more than a decade. Through her library work she created the first sensory program in the state of Utah for individuals with autism and received the Utah Librarian of the Year Award for that work. Rogers-Whitehead regularly trains and consults librarians and continues her work with individuals with autism with Digital Respons-Ability. She is author of Digital Citizenship: Teaching Strategies and Practice from the Field and Teen Fandom and Geek Programming: A Practical Guide for Librarians.

Other Titles of Interest

Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum cover imageEngaging Diverse Learners cover imageWhole Person Librarianship cover image
Designing Adult Services cover imagePublic Library Programs and Services for Midlife and Beyond cover imageInformation Services to Diverse Populations cover image

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