Targeting Autism Illinois State Library



The Illinois State Library was selected as the recipient of the 2016 Illinois Library Association’s Demco Library Innovative Award for Phase I of its Targeting Autism initiative. This award recognizes a library’s achievement in planning and implementing an innovative or creative program or service, which has had a measurable impact on its users. Read more ››

The Illinois State Library was awarded two grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to help libraries better serve patrons and family members impacted by Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Phase I, Targeting Autism: A National Forum on Serving Library Patrons on the Spectrum received funding through an IMLS National Leadership Grant. Through two stakeholder forums, this phase of the project - was designed to explore how libraries can work with diverse community organizations and programs to increase their role in supporting patrons and family members impacted by ASD.

Phase II of the project, now underway – Targeting Autism: A Comprehensive Training and Education Program for Librarians is funded through an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Progam grant. to develop and deliver innovative, multi-faceted and replicable training programs designed to improve library services and programs for ASD communities in Illinois and the country.

Phase I: Targeting Autism: A National Forum on Serving Library Patrons on the Spectrum

This project explored through two stakeholder forums, how libraries can work with diverse community organizations and programs to address the topic of ASD, through training, education and support services. This grant program extended from November 1, 2014–October 31, 2016.

Both forums convened in Springfield, Illinois and were comprised of individuals representing various stakeholder groups including, multi-type libraries, schools, institutions of higher education, health services professionals, governmental agencies, ASD services organizations, and parent advocates. The forums served to develop an action plan to include the following:

The State Library contracted with The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) to assist with this initiative. More than a single support agency, TAP is a statewide collaborative of independent agencies and resource centers, all working to increase community awareness, improve access to intervention and support services, and improve education and vocational opportunities for all Illinois residents affected by ASD. Russell J. Bonnano, TAP Director, has served as keynote speaker and facilitator at the forums.

Phase I Stakeholder Forums

March 10–11, 2016

March 4–5, 2015

Phase II: Targeting Autism: A Comprehensive Training and Education Program for Librarians

The Illinois State Library has contracted with Russ Bonanno, Director, The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP), Dominican University and Syracuse University to develop and deliver innovative, multi-faceted and replicable training programs designed to improve library services and programs for ASD communities in Illinois and the country. Phase II of Targeting Autism is a two year project which began in September, 2016, and is funded by an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian (LB21) grant. Project components include the following:

Ongoing library consultations and in-library training visits will be conducted on an as-needed basis. Please contact Mary Pelich, Targeting Autism Consultant and Trainer, at 217-782-0974 or mpelich@ilsos.net to arrange a visit.

Phase II Stakeholder Forums

May 11–12, 2017

Supporting Resources

Key Contributors

For more information about the Targeting Autism forums, please contact Suzanne Schriar at 217-785-1533 or sschriar@ilsos.net. You can also find more information about Targeting Autism at: https://targetingautismlibs.com/.