WLA Neurodivergence & Libraries Summit Schedule

Individual Registration | Organizational Registration | State-Wide Access Registration

8:45–9:00 AM | Welcome

WLA's Board President Johanna Jacobsen Kiciman will welcome you to the Summit and share tips for making the most of your participation.

Johanna Jacobsen Kiciman (she/her), Education and Research Help Librarian, University of Washington Tacoma, WLA 2023 Board President

9:00–10:00 AM | Introduction to Neurodiversity

What is neurodiversity? Who counts as neurodivergent? This session will provide an overview of key concepts and terminology, as well as ways to be more inclusive of many different neurotypes.

Dr. Lucas Harrington, Psy.D. (he/him), Psychologist, University of Washington Autism Center
Lucas Harrington, PsyD (he/him) is an autistic clinical psychologist at the University of Washington Autism Center. His work includes public speaking and consultation, support for neurodivergent and neurotypical parents/caregivers, and diagnostic evaluations. Dr. Harrington helps people work towards inclusion and justice for all neurotypes through better understanding of themselves and each other.

10:30–11:30 AM | Keynote with Mike Jung

Mike Jung is the author of THE BOYS IN THE BACK ROW, GEEKS, GIRLS, AND SECRET IDENTITIES, and UNIDENTIFIED SUBURBAN OBJECT. He is a library professional by day, a writer (and ukelele player) by night and was a founding member of #WeNeedDiverseBooks team. Hear from Mike about his own experience being diagnosed as autistic and the ways his neurodivergent identity has shaped his writing, his advocacy for diverse representations in books, and his library work.

11:45 AM–12:15 PM | Neurodivergent Lunch Meetup

Participants who identify as neurodivergent are welcome to attend this informal virtual meetup!

12:30–1:30 PM | We Are Already Here: The Workplace Experiences of Neurodivergent Library Workers

While libraries are increasingly implementing practices and services designed to serve neurodivergent patrons, such efforts have not yet extended to neurodivergent library employees. This session will share results from an IMLS-funded initiative that highlights the voices of neurodivergent librarians and their journey of negotiating identity as they face barriers and enablers to their success. Participants will also learn about the challenges and strengths of being a neurodivergent supervisor. Neurodivergent librarians are an important part of the profession, so it is imperative that libraries adopt neuroinclusive practices in their workplaces. Join the conversation to learn what to consider at your library!

Christine Moeller (they/she), Phd Student, University of Washington iSchool
Prior to joining the PhD program at the UW iSchool, Christine worked as an academic librarian for seven years, primarily as an instructional design librarian. Their own experiences and the experiences of their colleagues led them to research the barriers to workplace inclusion experienced by disabled academic librarians, including resilience narratives, stereotypes, and professionalism discourse. Building on this research, they are now investigating the experiences of neurodivergent librarians with the goal of making libraries and eventually other workplaces (like academia itself) more inclusive of neurodivergent people like themself.
Mei’lani Eyre (he/they), Librarian, South Seattle College (Moderator)

2:00–3:00 PM | Supporting the Autistic Community Through Neurodiversity Libraries

For too long, non-autistic people have dominated the discourse on autism. Neurodiversity libraries are changing that by centering autistic perspectives and promoting autistic pride and culture. Learn how neurodiversity libraries enrich their local communities through education, resources, programs, and events that celebrate Autistic identity and culture. Participants will be invited to join an online network of Neurodiversity Librarians where they can get support and advice on incorporating neurodiversity affirming materials into their collection.

Christina-Marie "CM" Wright (they/them), NCW LEND: North Central Washington Library for Education on NeuroDiversity 
Christina-Marie “CM” Wright is the founder of North Central Washington Library for Education on NeuroDiversity (NCW LEND). They are multiply-neurodivergent and otherwise disabled, the parent of eight children, and definitely a late bloomer. CM is currently earning double degrees in Psychology and Deaf & Sign Language Studies with minors in Anthropology and Accessibility Studies at Central Washington University. They are presently conducting a pilot research study on autistic genderqueer experiences and looking forward to continuing their research in a Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. On low-pain days, CM loves kayaking with their spouse on the Columbia River.

Lei Wiley-Mydske (she/they), Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library
 Lei Wiley-Mydske (she/they) is a gendervague/nonbinary autistic and otherwise neurodivergent writer, activist, artist and parent of an autistic young adult. They are the director of the Ed Wiley Autism Acceptance Library, founder of the neurodiversity library movement and Community Outreach and Communications Coordinator at Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network. Lei co-owns a tattoo shop in Stanwood, WA and is Secretary and a founding board member of PFLAG Stanwood-Camano. In their spare time, they enjoy spending time with family, gardening, tattoos, collecting plants, infodumping about neurodiversity and disability justice and doing nerd stuff.

3:30–4:15 PM | The Invisible Labor of Managing Executive Dysfunction at Work

All library and archives work places a significant demand on our executive functions, a core set of cognitive controls in the brain. When they’re running smoothly, you may not even notice they’re there, but when they aren’t, even minor tasks seem impossible. Executive dysfunction is strongly correlated with ADHD and autism, as well as depression, anxiety, brain trauma, and numerous other conditions. Executive dysfunction is uniquely disabling in a complex work environment like a library, but managing it is itself a job, one which must be done on top of the other job. This talk is about that secret second job: what it is, how it connects us, and why it should be integrated into our regular jobs.

Nicole Gustavson
(they/she), STEM Librarian, Foley Library, Gonzaga University
I am the STEM Specialist Librarian at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA, where I’ve lived and worked since 2019. I got my MLIS from the University of Washington in 2016. I’m proud to have been an editor for Reserve & Renew: The LIS Mental Health Zine, from issue 2 through 6, our final issue, which came out this year. I will be speaking today from my perspective as a person who has ADHD, as well as a complex set of mental health issues that also affect my cognition.

4:45–5:30 PM | Digital Library Accessibility Through The Lifespan: Multigenerational Neurodivergent Perspectives

Dyslexia font. Audiobooks. Automatic ebook returns. These are all features of libraries' digital collections that have made reading and literacy accessible for folks of all ages and neurotypes. Join two neurodivergent library users for a conversational event centered on experiences navigating the library system as neurodivergent individuals from different generations, how libraries of all resource settings can promote inclusivity through their digital catalogs, and how digital library accessibility promotes educational and health equity for neurodivergent individuals across the lifespan.

Headshot Tiara Schwarze-Taufiq, Huskies For Neurodiversity

Tiara is the founder of Huskies for Neurodiversity, the first organization at the University of Washington-Seattle centered on advocacy and community-building among neurodivergent students. She is a research scientist studying Alzheimer's Disease in stem cells and is currently organizing free workshops providing occupational therapy tools to neurodivergent children and their families through the Plus One Foundation. As someone living with ADHD, she is a huge library user and an automatic e-book return enthusiast.

Tami Tidwell HeadshotTami Tidwell, University of Washington DO-IT Center

Tami is a counselor/coordinator for DO‑IT. Throughout the year, Tami enjoys working with high school and college students on topics like college admissions, scholarships, internships, employment, accommodations, and disclosure strategies. Being able to build long and lasting relationships is one of the best parts of working at DO-IT. Outside of work, Tami reads a lot of audiobooks and ebooks, enjoys creating with friends, eating things from the garden, and playing with her cats and pup.

Audrey Barbakoff HeadshotAudrey Barbakoff,Co/Lab Capacity CEO (Moderator)

Audrey Barbakoff is a passionate public library leader, consultant, speaker, and author. She believes that a public library is the heart of its community, and that community is at the heart of the library. She help libraries and other social good organizations facilitate engaged learning that becomes the foundation for shared creativity and resilience. She applies an equity lens, human-centered design, and community-led practices to help libraries develop locally relevant, sustainable innovations that lead to more equitable, diverse, and inclusive services.

On Demand | Poetry & Neurodivergence with Arianne True

Arianne True, Washington State Poet Laureate
2023-2025 Washington State Poet Laureate Arianne True is a queer poet and folk artist based in Tacoma, Washington, and from the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations. She grew up in the Seattle writing community, nurtured by YouthSpeaks and the Richard Hugo House, and as an adult, has (to her delight) gotten to return and work with young writers in both spaces. She currently teaches with Writers in the Schools, mentors with the Seattle Youth Poet Laureate program and Hugo House’s Young Writers Cohort and is a guest lecturer at the University of Washington. Arianne was a 2020 Jack Straw Writer, a 2020-21 Hugo Fellow, and is a proud alum of Hedgebrook and of the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. For Pride 2021, she was part of the Pride Poets Hotline, writing custom poems for strangers over the phone. She was the inaugural Native Artist-in-Residence at Seattle Repertory Theater (2021-22 season) and received the 2022 Vadon Foundation Fellowship for Native Artists from Artist Trust.