Big or small, rural or urban--all public libraries serve children with disabilities in their communities. Librarian and advocate Renee Grassi will show how your library can develop an awareness and an enhanced spirit of inclusion to children with disabilities and their needs for library service. In this workshop, attendees will learn how to perform a community needs assessment and advocate for families, forge new partnerships with other agencies and organizations, and find new and innovative children’s programming and outreach ideas. Participants will also learn about accessible customer service and different approaches to re-evaluate existing children’s programs to attract a more inclusive audience.
Renee is an award-winning librarian and nationally recognized leader in library services for children with disabilities, and was named a 2012 Library Journal Mover & Shaker for her work in this area. Renee was a member of the ALSC Committee for Special Populations and their Caregivers and one of the founding Board Members of Illinois’s Targeting Autism Initiative. She was also one of the founding members of SNAILS—an Illinois networking group dedicated to developing more accessible libraries to children and teens with disabilities. She considers herself an advocate for social justice and works to make libraries inclusive for all. Renee is currently the Youth Services Manager at Dakota County Library System in Dakota County, Minnesota.