Welcome to the 2017 MLA Annual Conference! This year’s theme is Radical Librarianship - the power of libraries to provide access to the truth, strengthen our community voices, create opportunity for exploration and innovation, and assist our patrons to build a better future. Libraries have always been radical, but what does Radical Librarianship mean for us today? Join us at the 2017 MLA Annual Conference to help shape that conversation!
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Friday, October 6 • 3:35pm - 4:25pm
Creating Autism-Friendly Libraries

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About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Autistic children live, learn, and play in your community, but how is your library serving their needs? That is the question that Hennepin County Library's ASD Families team sought to answer. The team met with parent groups and service organizations to learn about the experiences of ASD families and identify changes the library could make to better serve their needs. Through these conversations, we developed of a set of recommendations for making library programs, services, and spaces more inclusive. In this session, we will share what we learned about serving ASD families, how we advocated for and implemented our recommendations, and how you can make your library a welcoming place for children on the spectrum.


Tony Hirt

Web and Online Services, Hennepin County Library
Tony Hirt is a librarian with Hennepin County Library. His duties include online reference, web content creation and maintenance, and usability testing. As a parent of two autistic children, a member of HCL's Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Team, and a member of MELSA's Inclusive Services... Read More →

Maureen Millea Smith

Librarian, Hennepin County Library
Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Hennepin County Edina Library. Her duties there include reference and readers' advisory services, liaison with the Friends of the Edina Library, co-chair of the Edina Reads Committee, planning Great Decisions programs, and other things as... Read More →

Jody Wurl

Senior Librarian, Hennepin County Library
Jody Wurl is a senior librarian in System Services at Hennepin County Library who focuses on website content, connecting patrons with our collection and services, and system-wide projects. I am a long time member of MLA and have served on the Readers Advisory Round Table as a member... Read More →

Sara Zettervall

Librarian, Hennepin County Library
Sara Zettervall is the librarian at the Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center in Minneapolis, where she is part of a team representing Hennepin County Library in a collaborative community space. Since 2015, she has been part of an award-winning HCL team that engaged community members... Read More →

Friday October 6, 2017 3:35pm - 4:25pm CDT
Meeting Room 104