Celebrating AAC, ADHD & Down Syndrome Awareness Months: Activities for early learners & support for caregivers

Shelley pointing to a visual aid featuring autumn animals

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris October is a big month! Many kids are excited for Halloween, of course. We finally enter an autumn that will last a while; that’s usually pretty great. Sometimes we even see a few snow flurries, which is probably more exciting to me than to others.  And of course, every year, … Read more

Disability Pride Month: Activities for early learners & caregivers

Disability Pride Flag

By Shelly Harris, Children’s Librarian July is Disability Pride Month! It’s been celebrated since 1990, when President HW Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, though many non-disabled people have not heard of it. Disability Pride Month means different things to different people: honoring early activists, recognizing that their disability is … Read more

Disability Pride books, a display & supported events

Collage of book covers

Your public library is here to connect you with books, learning experiences, events, and online resources that celebrate people with disabilities and disability as an identity in July and all year long. On this page, you can: What is Disability Pride Month? Disability Pride celebrates people with disabilities and disability as an identity, honoring the … Read more

Visiting the Main Library Children’s Services: A virtual tutorial for kids & families

Picture of the Main Library with a pink and purple overlay

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Sometimes kids and adults get nervous about visiting a new place for the first time. We get it!  It can be useful to know what to expect before your first visit. With that in mind, we created a social narrative—available in multiple formats—about visiting the Children’s Services Area of the Main … Read more

Happy Autism Acceptance Month! Videos & activities for early learners & caregivers

Embrace Differences

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian April can be a challenging month for many autistic people. Many organizations that aren’t run with or by autistic leaders have campaigns about “lighting it up blue”—furthering stereotypes that autism only affects boys—or about curing autism. These organizations often push for autism awareness. Many autistic people, however, prefer to celebrate autism … Read more

Resources for autistic people & their caregivers

Autism with cut paper rainbow on a cloud

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris So you, your child, or your student has been diagnosed with autism? Congratulations! As overwhelming as it can be to hear a diagnosis, you are now ready to find and receive the supports you need to live the life you want for yourself. There are a lot of negative and … Read more

Spring sensory play: Videos & activities for early learners

Toddler touching a flower on a bush

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian Play is how kids learn. We say this so often because it’s one of the most important things for adults who raise or work with kids to remember. Librarians included! Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers learn best when they can explore the things and world around them in their own way and own … Read more

Celebrating disability awareness: Activities & videos for early learners

Cartoon graphic of children of a group of children

By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian October is the month especially set aside to celebrate and recognize various disabilities, including Augmentative and Alternative Communication Awareness Month, something dear to my heart as my brother uses a communication device to speak, and Down Syndrome Awareness Month, dear to Miss Jenny’s heart because of her niece. But that’s … Read more

Supported gardening: What’s happening in the Community Sensory Garden & activities for kids

Miss Eileen planting in the Accessible Community Garden

By Children’s Librarian Shelley Harris Did you know that 70% of disabled adults do not engage in community activities? This statistic, from a 2005 paper, gave me pause the first time I heard it at a conference. I see it with my disabled brother and his friends, but it’s hard to see it widely confirmed. … Read more

‘The whole world comes together to learn, and it fills me with joy’: Takeaways from the 2021 assistive tech conference

Librarian Shelley Harris points to an AAC board

By Shelley Harris, Early Literacy Librarian Learning is a key and consistent part of my job. The highlight of my learning year is the Assistive Technology Industry Association’s annual ATIA conference. I attend the conference every winter and bring back program and accessibility ideas for the library to implement.  This year, we met virtually, yet … Read more