Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Linda Lucas Walling guides and collection, for and about children with disabilities

Head-and-shoulders view of Linda Lucas Walling
Linda Lucas Walling
From a link in a Booklist article highlighting the 10-year anniversary of the Schneider Family Book Award, I discovered two awesome resources.

The first is a guide by Linda Lucas Walling about evaluating materials for and about children with disabilities, published by the School of Library and Information Science, University of South Carolina.

For both personal and professional reasons, I appreciate the comprehensive effort that went into Walling’s guide. I am a woman on the autism spectrum as well as aspiring librarian.

The second resource is a physical collection of books. The Linda Lucas Walling Collection “is designed to provide self-instruction on selecting and evaluating” materials for and materials about children with disabilities.

(On her “About” page, Walling cites “many reasons” for her interest in children and adults with disabilities, including her cerebral palsy and her brother’s learning difficulties, along with changes taking place in society concerning people with disabilities.)

Among my own ambitions in library service, I curate a list of books, intended for people but most especially for adults who are on the autism spectrum. I gravitate toward books that speak directly to, instead of just “about” us, books that attempt to articulate our experiences instead of imposing someone else’s narrative.

I would love to see my list replicated someday in one or more physical libraries.

The tangible existence of the Linda Lucas Walling Collection at the South Carolina Center for Children’s Books & Literacy gives me hope that my own dream will someday be a reality.

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