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To what extent are autistic library staff in the UK supported in their workplace?
Low employment statistics of adults with autism spectrum disorder in the UK, the low number of academic studies about supporting autistic library staff in Library and Information Studies academic literature and the indication within the relevant literature that autistic library staff may face barriers to receiving support because of the lack of understanding and negative stigma associated with autism, has prompted this investigation into whether libraries in the UK are providing effective support for autistic library staff. A mixed methods approach was employed to gather quantitative and qualitive data to represent the thoughts and opinions of autistic library staff about the support offered in their workplace. Two surveys were sent out to various library staff listservs, networks and social media groups and a few survey respondents were invited to take part in follow-up interviews which were provided in different formats. Results from both surveys and the interviews indicated that there were issues with disclosure, masking/hiding autistic traits, discrimination due to lack of understanding about autism by some line managers and staff, barriers to requesting reasonable adjustments at work and during job interviews, lack of provision of support services in UK libraries and the lack of provision of autism awareness training. Results have also positively indicated that some autistic library staff have certain traits and skills which enable them to carry out their library work. Although some of the participants have indicated that they have some level of support and face less discrimination in their workplaces, there is still more that can be done in UK libraries to support autistic library staff. Further recommendations are made about different types of support and providing special training for library managers and non-autistic staff to improve understanding about adjustments that autistic library staff may need. Further studies would be useful to understand about prevalence of autism in different sectors and understand the needs of staff working in different library sectors.

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This list was generated on Tue May 21 01:58:49 2024 UTC.