Library Programming for All Abilities

Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Time: 9:30am-12:30pm
Location: Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
Trainer: Amy Smith, Red Hook Public Library

Libraries want to serve their full communities, but frequently don’t have the budget nor staffing to program for children and adults with special needs. Families of individuals with special needs often can’t take advantage of public programming. Yet, they’re looking for more opportunities for their loved ones to socialize, learn and have fun; opportunities public libraries can provide.

Using the model of the All Abilities Programs at Red Hook Public Library, participants will hear how one small, public library developed a range of programs for patrons with special needs, including programs for adults, teens, children and families.


  • Participants will experience the pacing and content of three types of adaptive programs (storytime, science and music & movement) designed for the needs of children with special needs.
  • Participants will learn ways to make an event or on-going program more friendly to families and individuals with special needs.
  • Participants will learn of various grant opportunities for public libraries interested in starting or developing programs for patrons with special needs and their families. Additionally, participants will gain ideas for outreach in their own library communities to connect with individuals and families who are not yet using the library.
  • Participants will leave the workshop with a guide to starting All Abilities style programs for adults, teens and children. Including resources for more information on how to create adaptive programs, how to develop adaptive volunteer opportunities for teens and a template for a felt board story suitable for an adaptive storytime.

Cost: The workshop is $25 for members, including affiliates (Members of MHLS, RCLS, BOCES, and other ESLN councils.) $40 for non-members.
All participants will receive a certificate for CE credit.


Register Here

This workshop has been developed from the instructor's presentation at SENY-Con 2018.