Library Story Time programming is a space where families can enjoy reading picture books aloud and singing songs along with their local librarian. For Christine Earp, library services coordinator for the Lake Jackson Branch, taking her own children to Story Time programming was always somewhat of a challenge.
“My children have had a big impact on how I do my job,” says Earp. “I have a fully neurodivergent family and I have firsthand experience seeing the differences between an autistic individual and neurotypical individual, and the things that keep them away from a place like the library. My first son would run around a lot at Story Time which was hard, and my second son who is autistic did the same thing and was even less engaged.”
In 2019, Earp began working on increasing services for neurodivergent individuals. With the support of her manager and the library’s administration, she formed a team that focused on developing new, more inclusive programming for all.
The Leon County library system partnered with FSU’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) on training librarians and other staff members to earn “autism-friendly business” status for the local library branches.
Read the rest of the story by visiting the Tallahassee Democrat
or read more by downloading the article here.