I. Introduction

The term "special needs youth" covers a diverse group of children and teens. At the most basic level, it refers to any nontraditional or disadvantaged populations. These are patrons who are marginalized in their communities such as teen parents, youth in foster care, homeless teens and runaways, homeschooled students, and members of the LGBTQ community as well as people with disabilities. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, approximately 13% of youth (aged 3-21) are identified as having a disability,[1] which can include physical disabilities, visual impairments, hearing impairments, learning disabilities (e.g. dyslexia), cognitive disabilities, intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities (e.g. autism spectrum disorders), and mental illness. They can be congenital (i.e. present from birth) or acquired, and can be visible (e.g. readily apparent to the casual observer) or invisible (e.g. not identifiable unless explicitly disclosed). Unfortunately, there are less readily available statistics for other "at-risk" youth which often relies on self-reporting, but they all represent a part of the population that may be neglected in a traditional library setting. There is no "one size fits all" model for library services for special needs youth. Many librarians, like other adults, make assumptions about teens who do not fit the mold.[2] But as communities diversify, librarians must become sensitive to the needs of all individuals and adopt a flexible approach to library access, collections, and programs.

II. Access

When most people think of access, they think of wheelchair ramps and elevators. While these things are important, "access" is a much broader concept that addresses a variety of barriers to places, communities, and information. There are many ways to improve access to your library space, and even small changes can make a big difference (Wojahn, 2006).

Facilities

The American Library Association's Library Services for People with Disabilities Policy lists some of the basic requirements of reasonable building accommodations. These include "accessible parking, clear paths of travel to and throughout the facility, entrances with adequate, clear openings or automatic doors, handrails, ramps and elevators, accessible tables and public service desks, and accessible public conveniences such as restrooms, drinking fountains, public telephones and TTYs. Other reasonable modifications may include visible alarms in rest rooms and general usage areas and signs that have Braille and easily visible character size, font, contrast and finish" (ASCLA, 2001). Youth services librarians may also consider their facilities in terms of"how [to] arrange the chairs within a reading space or how students check out materials" (Wojahn, 2006).

Questions to ask about your facilities: Are your bookshelves, reference desk, reading areas, and computer stations accessible to children who use wheelchairs? Who have visual impairments? Hearing impairments? Other mobility issues? Reading and learning disabilities? If they are not, what could you do to make these areas easier to use? Are there children, families, or organizations in your community who would be able to give you feedback?

Technology


There are many types of assistive or adaptive technologies that enable patrons with disabilities to use computers and access online information. There are many resources on incorporating these technologies by library environment. Both Microsoft and Apple computers come with built-in accessibility software such as Sound Sentry (converts audio cues to visual cues), Sticky Keys (allows key combination commands to be entered individually), Narrator (reads text aloud), and Magnifier (enlarges text) that provide patrons with moderate disabilities improved access to to computers (ASCLA, 2010). On Windows machines, these attributes can be found in the Microsoft Ease of Access Center (ASCLA, 2010). On Macintosh machines, these attributes can be found under System Preferences > Universal Access.

Assitive technologies for people with more severe impairments is often expensive. ALA's Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) suggests many different types of software designed for people with specific disabilities. Screen reading software such as JAWS ($895) or WindowEyes ($895) translate text into speech for people with visual impairments. People with mobility impairments may benefit from voice recognition or dictation software such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking ($100-200) or Dragon Dictate for Mac ($200), especially when web browsing is enhanced with Mozilla Mouseless Browsing for Firefox (free). Libraries will also need to provide headphones/USB microphones and quiet workspaces for computers equipped with screen reading and voice recognition software. ASCLA also suggests sturdy, adjustable workstations with a variety of mouse, keyboard, joystick, and trackpad options (ASCLA, 2010). Many types of assitive technology require some instruction prior to use, so librarians and library staff need to be familiar with the software and hardware available. Training sessions for staff and/or patrons would be beneficial, especially if when introducing these programs to a library environment serving youth.

E-readers, tablets, and other devices can also provide support to youth with disabilities. E-readers such as Amazon's Kindle allow users to change font size, check dictionary definitions of words within the text, and have text read aloud to them. These tools support developing readers, especially children with learning or reading disabilities (Guernsey, 2011). For tablets such as the iPad, there are many freely-available apps that contain interactive features and other tools (for example, Dragon offers a free dictation app) that may benefit youth with disabilities. School Library Journal's Touch and Go blog contains reviews of apps for children and teens, as does the YALSA blog's "App of the Week" feature. Audiobooks benefit youth with visual impairments and reading disabilities alike. The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) offers free access to Braille books and specially-recorded audiobooks to Americans with visual and physical impairments.

The library's website should also be evaluated for accessibility. Section 508 "requires that Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology is accessible to people with disabilities" (ITAW, 2011). This also applies to federally-funded institutions such as schools and libraries. In general, an accessible web site is keyboard navigable uses high contrast text, and contains text equivalents for all images and videos. The Section 508 web site provides "resources for understanding and implementing Section 508" (ITAW, 2011). The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) web site provides additional information about web accessibility and best practices, as well as tools for evaluating your site's accessibility.

The ALA's wiki page on People with Disabilites has many resources on implementing assistive technologies in libraries. The Alliance for Technology Access has access centers across the US. Individual states and school districts may have additional resources for students in special education programs as well (Wojahn, 2006).

Attitudes


In her article "Everyone's Invited: Ways to Make Your Library More Inviting to Children with Special Needs," Rebecca Hogue Wojahn tells hesitant but accessibility-minded librarians to "the most important change you can make is in your attitude. [...] It’s not enough to simply be tolerant, you must be proactive" (Wojahn, 2006). ASCLA's Library Services to People with Disabilities Policy also states that "libraries should provide training opportunities for all library employees and volunteers in order to sensitize them to issues affecting people with disabilities and to teach effective techniques for providing services for users with disabilities and for working with colleagues with disabilities" (ASCLA, 2001). If the staff are rude or dismissive towards youth with disabilities or other special needs youth (teen parents, homeless youth, etc.), the youth in question will be hesitant to ask for accommodations. Pervasive negative attitudes may also decrease their willingness to ask reference questions, attend library programs, and use library facilities/resources.

ASCLA has several Library Accessibility-What You Need to Know tip sheets about improving library access for different populations of users with disabilities, which provide guidelines about etiquette and behavior. The ALSC Universal Access wiki page offers tips for communicating with children who have autism spectrum disorders.


III. Collection Development


Youth with special needs refers to any user outside of the majority of users. So, that includes youth who have disabilities, pregnant teens or teen parents, LGBTQ, young adults who are homeless, youth in foster care, and youth that are homeschooled (Katz, 2009). You may also consider including young adults who have been incarcerated or otherwise interacted with the juvenile justice system. Glancing at the previous list of potential special needs young adult patrons, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of materials that may not be available in your library. One method to begin a special needs collection is to choose one user group, like youth who are homeless, and build a small collection for that particular group. This is especially effective if your community has a distinctly larger set of one group than the others. A community may have a large number of homeschooled youth, for example, but a low teen pregnancy rate. Selecting one group could involve the community by having local interest groups make donations to the library in honor of that special needs group. Another way to build a generalized collection for youth with special needs is to purchase a few books that address each group of users' needs.

Collection Ideas for Special Needs Youth


Youth with Disabilities
  • Books featuring a person with a disability as the main character ("positive" or nuanced, realistic portrayals of people with disabilities preferred)
  • A variety of adaptable media formats such as e-readers, playaways, audiobooks, large print books, and braille books
  • High interest, low vocabulary books (Hi-Lo)
  • Literature that explains or addresses concerns of people with specific disabilities
  • Information about local resources and community organizations serving youth with disabilities and their families

Pregnant Teens and Teen Parents
  • Parenting books written for the perspective of teens
  • Online collection websites that contain health and pregnancy information
  • Parenting and pregnancy magazines
  • Information about local resources and community organizations serving pregnant teens and teen parents.

LGBTQ Youth
See also the Collection Development section of the GLBTQ Youth page.
  • Books featuring a main character who identifies as LGBTQ ("positive" or nuanced, realistic portrayals of LGBTQI people preferred)
  • Information about local resources and community organizations serving LGBTQ youth.
  • Books about bullying and gender issues
  • Online collection of websites that give personal testimonies and stories about LGBTQ life (such as the It Gets Better Project)

Homeless Youth
  • Information about local shelters and other resources for homeless teens
  • Access to computers, the Internet, and other online resources
  • Books featuring a main character who is or has been homeless

Youth in Foster Care
  • Information about Big Brother/Big Sister programs
  • Information for support systems within the local community
  • Books with a strong independent young adult
  • Books that explain the transition from foster care to college

Homeschooled Youth
See also the Collection Development section of the Homeschoolers page.
  • Information about local resources and community organizations that support homeschooling families
  • Online resources for finding lesson plans, books, and activities on specific topics
  • Religious fiction and/or religious history resources for families who homeschool for religious reasons
  • Curriculum materials (textbooks, DVDs, kits, fiction/nonfiction trade books)

Incarcerated or Juvenile Offender Youth
See also the Collection Development section of the Incarcerated Youth page.
  • Books that feature minorities accurately (The national custody ratio for minorities to whites was 2.8 to 1 in 2010.[3] )
  • Biographies and autobiographies
  • Books on anger management, decision making, grief and loss, gang involvement, poetry, child and sexual abuse, and drug abuse

Awards and Book Lists

In addition to the helpful suggestions listed above, these award and book lists may assist in creating more depth in library collections serving diverse youth.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers List
The Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list is put out annually by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. This annotated bibliography targets titles that teens, who for whatever reason are uninterested in reading, might pick up to read recreationally.[4] The list is often quite long and will include Hi/Lo books that may be useful when building a collection for youth with diverse needs.

Rainbow Project Book List
The Rainbow Project book list is a joint project of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table and the Social Responsibilities Round Table. The Bibliography features recommended fiction and nonfiction titles for readers from 0-18 with significant and authentic GLBTQ content.[5] The bibliography is annotated and includes suggested grade/reading levels, which would be a great reader's advisory tool or for expanding the library collection.

Schneider Family Book Awards
The Schneider Family Book Award is a new addition to the American Library Association’s Media Youth Awards. The award is donated by Dr. Katherine Schneider, and honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Three annual awards are presented for the best Teen, Middle School and Children’s Book.[6]

Stonewall Book Awards
The Stonewall Book Awards are sponsored by the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table. It is the first and most enduring award to honor books with exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience in both literature and nonfiction.[7] It has been awarded annually since 1971 and although it was not specifically intended for youth materials, there has been a specific award for children's and young adult books since 2008.

IV. Programming

The term "special needs" is flexible and its exact definition will vary based on your own community. What groups of youth are considered "outside the norm" in your area? Who is not being served well through your current service model? These questions need to be addressed before making changes to your youth services programming. Below you'll find some general tips and techniques to consider when developing programs for youth with special needs.

General Considerations

  • Staff Knowledge: Staff should become knowledgeable about the groups of special needs youth for whom they'll be developing or adapting programs. This learning can take many forms, including sensitivity training, professional development opportunities, and reading about the target audiences. This type of background information can be extremely useful. For example, using humor during library programs is generally a good idea. However, youth with Asperger's Syndrome tend to miss social cues that indicate that humor is being used and likely will interpret literally what is said (Halvorson, 2006). This example illustrates the importance of knowing your audience.
  • Respect for the Individual: While having background information about your target audience is important, nothing replaces knowing your youth with special needs on an individual level. Disabilities and disorders exist on a continuum. Your teen patron who is homeless may not resemble the homeless teens you've read about. No matter what group a youth with special needs is associated with, recognize and respect that he or she has unique abilities, experiences, and interests separate from the group.
  • Timing: What day and time your programming is offered will affect attendance. When scheduling a program for youth with special needs, think about the groups you want to attend. Will your programs conflict with school? Work? Day programs? Do your homework. Look for calendars online, or post a query about timing on discussion boards your target audience frequents.

Inside the library or out in the community?

Will your programs for special needs youth be located within the library or not? The ideal setting for a librarian would be somewhere in the library, because once your special needs youth have attended your program, they may be willing to investigate other services offered by your library. Unfortunately, locating a program within the library may not be what's best for your special needs youth. Bringing programs to where the youth are can be the best option (Rockefeller & Welch, 2010). Some reasons for locating programs out in the community include:

  • Space concerns: Your library may lack a space to accommodate the number of kids and teenagers you think are interested in attending. Or maybe you have adequate space but it's located in an area with too many distractions--a big obstacle to overcome if you're holding a program for youth on the autism spectrum. Think carefully not just about the number of young people you want to attend, but also about the physical environment in which these youths will be most comfortable.
  • Transportation issues: Rockefeller & Welch (2010) point out that many youths don't have access to public transportation. Many special needs youth will also not have a car or be able to drive one; they may depend on parents or caregivers to offer them a ride. Parents' schedules may conflict with the programs, or parents may not support their children attending the program. Unless the library is within walking distance, these youths may miss out on the program. Even if the library is within walking distance, youth with mobility issues may still be left out. Moving programs to a school, youth center, or community agency may make more sense.
  • Scheduling conflicts: The most convenient time for your special needs youth to attend programs may conflict with established programs at your library. Instead of scheduling new programs at inconvenient times for your special needs youth, consider holding the new programs elsewhere. For example, when librarians at the Vancouver Public Library discovered that the best time for holding their West Side Mother Goose conflicted with other activities at their library, they kept the schedule the same but moved the Mother Goose program to a location in the West Side community (Prendergast, 2011).
  • Comfort: Your special needs youth may have had negative experiences with mainstream youth and/or adults. Some of these negative experiences may have even happened during previous visits to your library. These youths may be uninterested or even afraid of attending programs at your library. In these situations, it may be best to hold the program in a space where your special needs youth already feel safe, such as a school or a community center.

Inclusive or special programming?

Will your programs for special needs youth be open to everyone, or only your target audience? There are benefits to both types of programming listed below. When making a decision, consider your own specific community of special needs youth. There are no right or wrong answers--only solutions that are more responsive to the needs of your young people.

Benefits of Inclusive Programming
  1. Allow children with and without disabilities from the same families to attend the same program
  2. Develop mutual understanding, respect, and even friendships between special needs and mainstream youth
  3. Providing for multiple means of delivery and expression of knowledge/information benefits all youth (Banks, 2004; Jarombek & Leon, 2010)
Benefits of Special Programming
  1. Behaviors among youth with disabilities may be more easily managed in small, specialized programs
  2. Provide socialization and support for special needs youth and their families dealing with similar challenges (Prendergast, 2011)
  3. Because of negative previous experiences with mainstream youth or adults, special needs youth may be unwilling to come to the library unless special programming is offered

Examples of successful programs for special needs youth

  • Columbus (OH) Metropolitan Library/Westmoor Middle School: Avis Kinkead and Wendy Morano wanted to give Kinkead's special education class the experience of regular visits to the public library. Transportation difficulties stood in their way, as nearly all of the students required the use of wheelchairs. Morano came up with the solution--bring the library to the students (Vogel, 2008). For nearly ten years, Morano has made regular monthly visits to Kinkead's class, presenting a program of games, jokes, songs, book talks, and puppet plays all related to that month's reading theme.
  • Ferguson (CT) Library: Sensory Storytime is a program that combines the typical elements of story times (reading aloud, looking at pictures, singing) with movement exercises, crafting, or other kinesthetic activities (Twarogowski, 2010). This type of story time engages all the senses, which is beneficial to all youth. For this reason, the program is open to children without disabilities as well as to the youth with autism spectrum disorders and sensory processing disorders that it was created for.
  • Denver Public Library/Morey Middle School: Students from a special education class at Morey Middle School were visiting the Denver Public Library each week, but these visits lacked structure and as a result disturbed other patrons in the children's area. To keep order and better serve the needs of these students, Emily Dagg, the senior children's/teens's librarian, instituted a volunteer program. She couldn’t ask their teacher about diagnoses because of confidentiality laws, but she was able to determine what these children could do by taking the time to get to know them and observing them perform sample tasks (Dagg, 2006). The kids do everything from cleaning books to shelving videos, according to their abilities and interests.

Program Ideas for Other Special Needs Groups

  • Special storytimes for teen parents and their children and other programs featuring local organizations serving these groups
  • Social or educational programs for homeschooled children and networking opportunities for homeschooling parents
  • LGBTQ book clubs or other programs focusing on LGBTQ culture (if teens in your community would feel safe attending these kinds of programs)
  • Partner with community organizations serving homeless youth or youth in foster care to create outreach opportunities outside the library (storytimes and programs in homeless shelters, social services offices, and other places youth from these groups may often come)
  • Evening or weekend programs to accommodate busy schedules

V. Targeting the Needs of Specific Groups

Although libraries have a plethora of materials and resources to provide assistance for a diverse amalgam of patrons, a considerable percentage of individuals may feel (or actually be) excluded from those resources. There are those who are seen as not making “proper” use of library resources (for example, the homeless and other “at-risk” patrons), those who need special facilities, equipment, or training that library staff is unable to supply (such as individuals with disabilities), those who are representative of controversial groups to which some librarians may have a personal objection (e.g. LGBTQ persons, pregnant teens and teen parents, and substance abusers), and those who are in programs or institutions that require special outreach that the library is unprepared to undertake (like incarcerated youth and youth in foster care or group homes).[8] When financial restraints in particular arise, some people may feel that there are necessary services and those that are extraneous because they do not serve the “mainstream” users, but it is precisely in those moments that it is important to remember, as Michael Gorman so elegantly stated, the “historic mission of the library is to help everybody, but especially the poor, socially disadvantaged and powerless.”[9] To achieve that goal, you must first know the needs of the specific at-risk groups that your library is serving.

Runaways and Homeless Teens

Amidst the considerable diversity of special needs groups served by many libraries, the homeless population may be among the least obvious and most at-risk groups.[10] Unfortunately, in the vast majority of articles that address homeless patrons and libraries, the content is mostly about creating policies and procedures for “problem patrons,”[11] not in offering suggestions for ways to accommodate that user group. Although less visible than homeless adults, families with children are the largest growing segment of the homeless population with 9 being the average age of a person experiencing homelessness in America.[12] According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, there were approximately 1.35 million children without permanent housing, and even more that may not be counted as homeless because they are “doubling up” with other families or friends and do not receive the social services and other support their peers in the shelter system may receive.[13] A wide array of factors can result in teens running away or becoming homeless including conflicts with parents, various kinds of abuse, and issues related to sex and sexuality. Thus, homeless youth represent a very diverse group of backgrounds, which raises the question of how best to engage and interact in the lives of these individuals, noting their particular developmental stages in life, the abusive or neglectful circumstances that may have led to their current predicament, and the daily struggles they may experience living without a permanent home.

A 2009 study done by the Information School at the University of Washington demonstrated that homeless youth rely on a complex system of services and information that resides partly online, partly within oral social networks, and partly within the built environment.[14] Their study also showed that obtaining this information can be overwhelming and the hodgepodge of fliers often located near the entrance or reference desk and frequently restricted Internet access can make it very difficult for organizations like the library to meet the needs of this group. One way to address this problem is to consider updating the library policy to make sure it does not exclude people living in a temporary housing facility.[15]

The next way to serve this special needs group is to offer programming that addresses the specific needs of this community such as employment seeking strategies, technology skills workshops, and book groups that focus on characters in similar situations, making sure to provide a copy of the text for each of the participants. When scheduling programs, consider offering one-session workshops because transportation can be unpredictable. You might also want to consider offering food or childcare to attract specifically the families who are experiencing homelessness. Lastly, if you are offering programming that is meant to serve this community, though it would be best not to advertise it specifically for a certain community, be sure it does not conflict with the times that shelters intake people or when soup kitchens are serving meals because it will considerably decrease attendance.[16]

The last option is to think beyond the boundaries of the library walls and reach out to the community who may not be able to attend the scheduled programming because of time and transportation restraints. To make the most of the available resources, both in terms of money and available people, it would be very helpful to become familiar with the national and local resources and services that can assist homeless teens and runaways in your community. If these services do not yet exist, try to work with other youth services advocates to create programs modeled after other flourishing programs.[17] The following are some exemplary programs from around the country that serve homeless youth and their families:

  • The Dekalb County Public Library in Georgia has been offering Project Horizons since 1989, bringing library programs and services to shelters including storytellers for read-alouds and to model reading behavior for parents.
  • In Ohio, the Akron-Summit County Public Library partners with Project Rise to bring summer reading programs to 10 area homeless shelters and they see approximately 150 children and teens each year.
  • The West Las Vegas Library created a Homework Help Center in 2007 specifically to meet the needs of the area’s homeless youth and teens at risk of dropping out of school. It offers free online tutoring, a computer lab, study space, and on-site homework aides.
  • The Woodland Public Library in California process literacy education in an area homeless shelter. The programs were unsuccessful in the library space, but have been widely popular with overflowing attendance in the sessions at the shelter.
  • The Brooklyn Public Library works with New York Cares to run the “Read-to-Me” program at three shelters in the borough. In addition to doing storytimes, they also provide parenting workshops and a traditional library experience through a children’s “library on wheels.”

All of these were taken from "Library services to children, teens and families experiencing homelessness" by Vikki Terrile


More cost-effective measures that are helpful and sometimes overlooked such as job search and career guidance and educational/vocational course information and improvements in the organization and presentation of information can help the library better serve this population,[18] but we can not simply rely on this community coming to the library. It is very important to collaborate with other agencies and adopt a more proactive approach with a commitment to making these services a priority and recognizing that not offering these kinds of programs could have long-term effects on the homeless youth and their families in your community.


VI. Resources

Relevant Wiki Pages

GLBTQ Youth
Homeschoolers
Incarcerated Youth

Programming for Special Needs Youth

Abby the Librarian: Homeschool Five posts on providing library services to homeschooling families.
Libraries and Autism: We're Connected Library resources for serving children with autism and their families.
Programming for Children with Special Needs Five part series on the ALSC blog about creating programs for children with special needs.
Youth with Special Needs: A Resource and Planning Guide for Wisconsin's Public Libraries A guide to providing library services to children with a variety of disabilities.

Organizations & Resources

The Alliance for Technology Access (ATA) Organizations around the U.S. that provide access to assitive technology.
Center for Universal Design Research center for universal design.
Drop In! NYPL links for teens with reading and visual disabilities.
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) Provides free Braille books and audio books to people with visual impairments and physical disabilities.
Section508.gov Resources for making your web site accessible in compliance with Section 508.
Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Resources for evaluating your web site for accessibility.

Library Services to People with Disabilities

Library Accessibility-What You Need to Know 15 tip sheets with information about serving specific populations of people with disabilities.
People with Disabilities ALA wiki page with resources for library services to people with disabilities.
Universal Access ALSC wiki page about providing library services to children with autism spectrum disorders.

Finding Books

A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Picture Books. Includes access to picture books about disabilities.
Booklist for Foster Children Books for and about children in foster care.
Schneider Family Book Award Honors books that depict "an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences." Awarded annually in each of three categories (ages 0-8, 9-13, 14-18).
That’s Me! That’s You! That’s Us!: Selected Current Multicultural Books for Children and Young Adults Presenting Positive, Empowering Images Includes books about disabilities.
Voices from the Margins: An Annotated Bibliography of Fiction on Disabilities and Differences for Young People Over 200 books for children and teens featuring people with disabilities.

Finding Apps

Touch and Go Children's and teen app review blog sponsored by School Library Journal.
YALSA Blog "App of the Week" Weekly review of an app for teens.

Software

assistivetech.net Search this web site for assitive technology by type.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Voice recognition software ($100-200)
Dragon Dictate for Mac Voice recognition software ($200)
JAWS Screen reading software ($895)
Mozilla Mouseless Browsing for Firefox Assigns numeric IDs to web links for improved keyboard or voice access to web sites (free)
Window-Eyes Screen reading software ($895)


VII. References

The Alliance for Technology Access. (2011). The alliance for technology access. Retrieved November 27, 2011, from http://www.ataccess.org/index.php

American Library Association. (2011). People with disabilities [wiki page]. Retrieved November 27, 2011, from http://wikis.ala.org/professionaltips/index.php/People_with_Disabilities

American Library Association. Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. (2006). Web. 29 Nov 2012. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/quick-picks-reluctant-young-adult-readers

American Library Association. Rainbow Project Book List. (2012). Web. 29 Nov 2012. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/rainbow-project-book-list

American Library Association. (2011). Schneider family book award. Retrieved November 28, 2011, from http://www.ala.org/ala/awardsgrants/awardsrecords/schneideraward/schneiderfamily.cfm

American Library Association. (2009). Stonewall Book Awards. Retrieved November 29, 2012 from http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/award

Anderson, Sheila B. (2005). Extreme Teens: Library Services to Nontraditional Young Adults. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Association for Library Service to Children. (2011). Universal access [wiki page]. Retrieved November 27, 2011, from http://wikis.ala.org/alsc/index.php/Universal_Access_Wiki

Association of Specialized & Cooperative Library Associations. (2010). Library Accessibility-What You Need to Know. Retrieved November 27, 2011, from http://www.ala.org/ascla/asclaprotools/accessibilitytipsheets

Association of Specialized & Cooperative Library Associations. (2001). Library services to people with disabilities policy. Retrieved November 27, 2011, from http://www.ala.org/ascla/asclaissues/libraryservices

Banks, C. (2004). All kind of flowers grow here: The child’s place for children with special needs at Brooklyn Public Library. Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children, 2(1), 5-10. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.

Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access. (2011). Assistivetech.net: The national public website on assitive technology. Retrieved November 28, 2011, from http://assistivetech.net/

Chicago Public Library. (n.d.). Especially for foster kids booklist. Retrieved from http://www.chipublib.org/forkids/kidsbooklists/foster_kids.php


Collins, L., Howard, F., & Miraflor, A. (2009). Addressing the needs of the homeless: A San Jose Library Partnership Approach. The Reference Librarian, 50, 109-116.

Dagg, E. (2006). Middle school volunteers with special needs at the Denver Public Library. Young Adult Library Services, 4(4), 40-1. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.

Dickinson, G. (2010). How do you accommodate special needs students in the library program?. Library Media Connection, 29(2), 43.

Emery, F. L. (2002). That's me! that's you! that's us!: Selected current multicultural books for children and young adults presenting positive, empowering images (5th ed). Philadephia, PA: L.R.E. Graphics and Imaging.

Freedom Scientific, Inc. (2011). Jaws for Windows screen reading software. Retrieved November 28, 2011, from http://www.freedomscientific.com/products/fs/jaws-product-page.asp


Gorman, M. (2000). Our enduring values: Librarianship in the 21st century. Chicago: American Library Association.

Grabarek, D., ed. (2011). Touch and go [blog]. Retrieved November 27, 2011, from http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/touchandgo

Gurnsey, L. (2011). Are ebooks any good? School Library Journal, 57(6), 28-32. Retrieved November 27, 2011, from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/printissuecurrentissue/890540-427/are_ebooks_any_good.html.csp

GW Micro. (2011). Window-eyes. Retrieved November 28, 2011, from http://www.gwmicro.com/window-eyes/

Halvorson, H. (2006). Asperger’s syndrome: How the public library can address these special needs. Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children, 4(3), 19-27. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.


Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force. (2007). Ten things you can work on to better serve low income people in your library. Web. Retrieved from http://hhptf.org/article/378/ten-things-you-can-work-on-to-better-serve-low-income-people-in-your-library

Huntington, B. & Burmaster, E. (2007). Youth with special needs: A resource and planning guide for Wisconsin public libraries(2nd ed.). Madison, WI: Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Retrieved November 28, 2011, from http://dpi.wi.gov/pld/ysnpl.html

IT Accessibility Workforce. (2011). Section508.gov: Opening doors to IT. Retrieved November 27, 2011, from http://www.section508.gov/

Jarombek, K., & Leon, A. (2010). Leadership at its best: Library managers spearhead successful special needs programming. Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children, 8(2), 54-57. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier.

Johnson, A. (2008-2011). Homeschool [blog post tag]. Abby the Librarian [blog]. Retrieved November 27, 2011, from http://www.abbythelibrarian.com/search/label/homeschool

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  1. ^ U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics (2012). Digest of Education Statistics, 2011. Web. 29 Nov 2012. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=64
  2. ^ Anderson, xix.
  3. ^ Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Protection. “Custody Data (1997-Present).” U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Justice Programs. 22 April 2011. Web. 29 November 2012. Retrieved from http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/corrections/qa08203.asp?qaDate=2010
  4. ^ American Library Association. Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. (2006). Web. 29 Nov 2012. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/quick-picks-reluctant-young-adult-readers
  5. ^ American Library Association. Rainbow Project Book List. (2012). Web. 29 Nov 2012. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/rainbow-project-book-list
  6. ^
    American Library Association. Schneider Family Book Award. (2008). Web. 29 Nov 2012. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/news/mediapresscenter/presskits/youthmediaawards/schneiderfamilybookaward
  7. ^
    American Library Association. Stonewall Book Awards. (2009). Web. 29 Nov 2012. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/award.
  8. ^
    Katz 2009, 36.
  9. ^ Gorman 2000, 81.
  10. ^
    Collins 2009, 110.
  11. ^ Terrile 2009, 20.
  12. ^ Terrile 2009, 21.
  13. ^ National Coalition for the Homeless 2009.
  14. ^
    Woelfer 2009, 2302.
  15. ^ Hunger, Homelessness and Poverty Task Force 2007.
  16. ^
    Collins 2009, 113.
  17. ^
    Anderson 2005, 74.
  18. ^
    Collins 2009, 112.