Disabilities Represented in American Children’s Books Today: Case Studies and Lessons to Learn to Promote Library Outreach Services for Children with Special Needs

PUN, Raymond and NGUYEN, Lynn T. (2018) Disabilities Represented in American Children’s Books Today: Case Studies and Lessons to Learn to Promote Library Outreach Services for Children with Special Needs. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Transform Libraries, Transform Societies in Session S06 - Library Services to People with Special Needs with Libraries for Children and Young Adults. In: Inclusive Library Services for Children and Young Adults, 23 August 2018, Singapore.

Bookmark or cite this item: http://library.ifla.org/id/eprint/2330
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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Disabilities Represented in American Children’s Books Today: Case Studies and Lessons to Learn to Promote Library Outreach Services for Children with Special Needs

How are disabilities represented in children’s books today? What lessons can librarians, educators and community members learn from these experiences and perspectives in the collections and publications? This paper reviews and presents a selection of recent children’s books from the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Fresno State as case studies to identify and explore ways to create inclusive environments in libraries for children with special needs. Children’s literatures provide an array of rich perspectives and resources that can be useful for readers including librarians who may not be familiar with physical, emotional, learning and mental disabilities, and the barriers that exist in society. These books also critique and challenge the stereotypes and stigmas surrounding such disabilities, and offer ways to rethink and reframe how to foster interactions and inclusivity. The paper compliments the study by presenting lessons and best practices from a children’s services librarian to promote and advocate for library outreach services to children with disabilities, and to encourage dialogue with parents, library colleagues and administrators and the community at large to bring awareness of these challenges faced by children with special needs today.

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