What Is the Library All About?
The What About Us Library is an initiative of LAST that provides resources on neurodiversity and self-advocacy as well as other books of interest to the local Autistic Community. We also provide stim toys that are available for borrowing. The library is housed in room 113 of Knollwood Park Public School, and can be accessed on Monday nights from 6:00-8:00
You can Help this Project Grow:
If you want to contribute resources to building and maintaining the library you can do so in several ways.
You can drop book donations off at:
141 Gammage Street, London Ontario, N5Y 2B2
414 Chippendale Crescent, London Ontario, N5Z 3G3
or you can donate to our paypal:
Respond To Unmet Needs:
There are many needs in our community that are not being met by the very limited services available to Autistic adults in Ontario.
We are finding that many Autistic adults have not had adequate sex education or access to other necessary resources. Either because accessible sex ed was not offered in segregated classes, or as a result of other factors, such as frequently changing schools, or missing classes due to bullying. A lack of sexual education leaves all people vulnerable.
Additionally, many Autistic adults have experiences of trauma, and other mental health challenges that may be complicated by a lack of understanding of Autism from many healthcare providers. Existing supports for Autism are also frequently insufficient and do not take the complexity of individual experience into account. Too often behavioural interventions focus on eliminating a-typical behaviour but do not adequately provide coping strategies for sensory and emotional regulation.
To address these needs our library includes sex ed resources for all ages, with an emphasis on inclusion and teaching consent and bodily autonomy. We also have mental health and wellness resources to help adults develop positive coping strategies, and strategies for managing executive functioning and other co-occuring impairments. Our Stim Toy Library allows for greater access to aids for sensory and emotional regulation. It also allows adults to experiment with different items and strategies to see what works for them.
Provide Empowering Perspectives
Providing diverse representation in fiction opens up imaginative space for what our lives can be. Our fiction section offers some books by Autistic authors, as well as books with Autistic and/or neurodivergent coded characters covering a diverse range of genres, eras and backgrounds. We feel it’s important that these aren’t just books about autism, but also sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, and other genres that happen to feature diverse and neurodivergent characters.
We also provide first person memoirs by neurodivergent authors, and biographies of neurodivergent people.
Finally we also have books specifically about Autism and Neurodiversity, and the Autistic experience.
There isn’t one experience of Autism and it’s important that our library reflect the diversity of our community. In presenting diverse fiction books in our library we hope to combat stigma and stereotyping, and promote acceptance and empowerment of all Autistic people.
Educate Ourselves and Our Community
It is our hope that the Library will provide our community, and also the friends, family members, educators and professionals who share our lives, with resources to learn about Neurodiversity in a way which promotes acceptance and centres the perspectives of Neurodivergent people.
While the main focus of our library is Neurodiversity, we also offer a range of other reference materials beyond those directly related to disability.
Our How To and Activities section provides practical guides to various hobbies and life skills.
Our sections on Activism, and Advocacy; Political Theory and Philosophy; Law; Language and Communication; Writing and Style Guides; and Social and Natural Sciences; all aim to provide resources for community members to be more politically engaged and more effective in our self-advocacy.
Build a Community That Includes Everyone
Our library is located in an accessible, quiet, room. We aim to provide resources for people of all abilities with books aimed at every reading level, from early readers to PhDs. We also offer non-print media such as audiobooks and films.
We are also proud to feature published works by community members.
It is our intention that this library become a space not just for gaining knowledge, but also for building a culture and connections that empower local Autistic people in building a better future for our community.