Hellen Miller Bailey Library offers resources for neurodivergent students

By Adonia Burciaga

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, the library has displayed various books meant to help students with autism excel in their studies.

Erika Montenegro, instruction librarian said she had noticed many neurodiverse students come into the library and to the workshop she teaches. 

During the pandemic she took an online class for librarians on how to support students with autism. 

Montenegro said,  “I would try to find different ways on how we could let neurodivergent students know that we are doing the best to create a welcoming environment. We started to order up-to-date books about different aspects of neurodivergence and those books are coming in soon.”

Montenegro said she and her colleague Cynthia Orozco, associate professor of library science, both taught a workshop in the last year and a half.

The workshop was for faculty and staff to familiarize themselves to the terms neurodiversity and neurodivergence, what groups fall under those terms, and how that might look in the classroom.

Montenegro said she has a son who has autism. She was able to apply what she knows to what goes in the library and is able to share her knowledge with anyone who wants to create a welcoming environment on campus. Orozco and Montenegro created a research guide titled “Neurodiversity Resources” which is available on the libraries website. 

The research guide covers the term neurodiversity, the powerpoint from the workshop they taught, the best practices for supporting neurodivergent students, suggested readings and videos regarding neurodiversity.

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