The “Autism Welcome Here: Library Programs, Services and More” Grant Committee announced the Oceanside Public Library was one of two grant recipients this year. The Oceanside Public Library will receive $4,000 to support the “Autism-Friendly Lending Library and Family Events” program.
This grant is sponsored by Libraries and Autism: We’re Connected and funded by the grant’s creator, retired librarian Barbara Klipper. This grant honors the memory of Meg Kolaya and her groundbreaking work as co-founder of Libraries and Autism, as well as her contributions in promoting inclusion, connecting libraries and the autism community, and bringing awareness to the needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The Oceanside Public Library will implement an Autism-Friendly Lending Library Collection that will support children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), their parents, caregivers, and educators. The circulating collection will include books and resources relating to ASD, therapeutic toys, assistive technology, and speech and language card sets. The Library will also host and create autism-friendly events, assistive technology workshops, outreach to local elementary school special education classrooms, and biweekly sensory story times designed to be inclusive of children with autism based on best practices learned in staff workshops.
Marie Town, Principal Librarian in Youth Services at the Oceanside Public Library said, “Oceanside Public Library is thrilled to be a recipient of the Autism Welcome Here grant! The Library is excited for this opportunity which will greatly improve access to much needed resources and support for families, provide Library staff and volunteers with a better understanding of how to create more inclusive and beneficial services, and help children with autism spectrum disorder and their families feel more welcome in the Oceanside community. Library staff look forward to continuing to learn, developing supportive partnerships and getting to know better the families that we are here to serve, as this new project is implemented!”