Welcoming Autistic Students to Academic Libraries Through Innovative Space Utilization

Kerry Walton, Rachel McMullin


“If the library can serve as a safe and welcoming place for these students, it will help contribute to their ultimate college success.” (Anderson, 2018). Certain characteristics of autism spectrum disorder can make it challenging for autistic college students to make use of academic libraries. High levels of sensory stimulation and the need to understand and comply with neurotypical social norms can make library spaces feel unwelcoming and difficult to use. West Chester University Libraries decided to develop a dedicated space for our growing cohort of autistic students to study. This article will discuss the reasons why autistic students may find academic libraries challenging as well as the considerations and process of developing a separate space for autistic students within a library.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/palrap.2021.259

Copyright (c) 2021 Kerry Walton, Rachel McMullin

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