Project A+ is a research study that discovered solutions to serving academic library users with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The research protocol included working with three diverse academic libraries, librarians, disability services personnel, autism experts, academic librarians and students on the autism spectrum to gather data on the types of library settings, activities, services, and materials that students with ASD prefer. This resulting manual for academic librarians is intended to assist them in reducing library anxiety and supporting success in students with ASD and their use of the library.
The 132-page A+ manual includes six chapters which have been designed to provide helpful information and strategies for academic librarians and library staff interacting with individuals with autism. The chapters include objectives, content information, videos, checklists, examples, and links to additional resources.
- About Autism: provides information about ASD, life with ASD on college campuses, and why understanding it is important for librarians and library staff.
- The Library Environment: explores the importance of the library environment and how, by understanding and organizing the environment, you can support students with autism.
- Communication: describes common social communication behaviors of students with ASD.
- Social Interaction: explains opportunities librarians can create for social interaction among students with ASD, as well as diffusion techniques for negative interactions.
- Technology: examines how libraries can enhance the social and vocational independence of individuals with ASD by harnessing the power of technology.
- Employment: discusses employing students with ASD in the library in various roles, as well as improving hiring practices for all members of this population.
Download the A+ implementation manual at Florida State University’s digital repository DigiNole.