Serving Teens and Adults on the Autism Spectrum
A Guide for Libraries
by Carrie Rogers-Whitehead
October 2020, 148pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-7481-9
$60, £47, 53€, A83
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7482-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

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

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
Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, MLIS, MPA, is founder of Digital Respons-Ability and has 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.


2021 Outstanding Reference Source—Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), February 4, 2021


"Recommended for all public libraries as an essential guide to provide support for an underserved community."—Library Journal, Starred Review, January 1, 2021

"An exceedingly thorough starting place for understanding how libraries may better serve and support patrons who are on the spectrum."—School Library Journal, January 1, 2021

"A no-nonsense, timely guide that belongs in most library professional development collections."—Booklist Online, April 30, 2021

"Finally! Here is a well-researched and much-needed practical guide to serving teens and adults with autism in the library. The author's warmth, passion, and experience serving this population shines in this valuable, beneficial work. Librarians have been lacking this resource and will want to add this to their professional bookshelf, as inclusive library services are vital to our communities." —Tricia Bohanon Twarogowski, Librarian and Autism Library Services Advocate/Trainer
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