Ask An Agent: Storytime for Teens with Intellectual Disabilities?

askanagent2You’ve got questions,  we’ve got answers! Our volunteer Agents are on the job! Here’s what they have to say this week….

Question: Has anyone ever done a storytime for mentally disabled teens? I have a group of high school students (6-10) that come into the library once a month for an hour. They mostly want to play on the computers but I would love to have them see what more the library can offer them.

Jenni (South San Francisco Public Library) says:
We have a group of teens with disabilities who visit with their class each week. They are all enrolled as library volunteers, so they spend time learning to shelve books or do other work-related things while they are here.  Not only is this getting them familiar with the collection, but we’re helping them learn valuable job skills as well.

Paige (Lethbridge Public Library) says:
I have a group of high school students from the Knowledge & Employability class that come through my library every once in a while.  It’s a wide range of teens in the class: those with dedicated aides and fairly severe mental or physical disabilities, to those with more social problems, and those all over the autism spectrum.  At the request of their teacher, I’ve done some library tours, and pared down technology instruction.  We’ve also done some gaming – Apples to Apples was a big hit (we play by simplified Cards Against Humanity-style rules) as was giant Snakes & Ladders.  The tech sessions that really caught their attention were the local newspaper database (archives back to 1910ish) and Press Display.  With the local archives, we looked up some of the students’ names – many of them had their photos in the paper as younger kids.  The international papers in Press Display (Australian, Japanese, Russian) were really interesting to them, as they’re so very different from ours.  It also helped that I had a laptop connected to our movie screen, so the databases were shown at the size of a full wall, rather than just on a regular computer screen.  Bigger is always better. 😉

Thanks to our volunteer agents for the awesome answers. If you have a question about anything teen services related ask it here! Your question will be featured on the blog with answers from our agent volunteers or TSU team members. If you’d liked to be a volunteer agent, please submit your info here.

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