Date of Award

12-2020

Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper

Degree Name

Information Media - Library Media: M.S.

Department

Information Media

College

School of Education

First Advisor

Jennifer Hill

Second Advisor

Davidson Blanchard

Third Advisor

Brian Valentini

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Library, Media Center, Library Media Specialist, Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to investigate how school librarians can help support students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The research questions that were addressed in this paper are: 1. What strategies can library media specialists use to make the school library environment inclusive for students with autism spectrum disorder? 2. How can librarians help reduce student anxiety when entering the library? The methods used for this research was an evaluation of selected research articles that were collected from EbscoHost, the Illinois Library Association, School Library Journal, and Google Scholar. Keywords and phrases that were used for this research were “Autism Spectrum Disorder and libraries”, “Autism and school libraries” and “librarians and patrons with autism”. Research was scarce of this subject. The results show the importance of having a spaced that was universally designed to support all learners with thoughtful consideration to lighting, the physical space and clear signage. Having library staff that was trained with assistive technology and communication skills was also significant in the findings. Having a media program that was inclusive was also pivotal. The research also shows a strong need for professional development opportunities for all media center staff on how to best support a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the media center. The concluded results of the analysis of research available affirms the importance of having a school media center that is inclusive to all students by having a trained Library Media Specialist on staff that has a range of skills to help create an environment that is supportive to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

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