The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion
Anecdotal accounts suggest that librarianship is a rewarding career for some autistic adults, though no empirical evidence exists to support such claims. Additionally, barriers may exist for autistic librarians, both in job seeking and in on-the-job experiences. As autistic adults are un- and underemployed more than their neurotypical peers, it is important to understand the role that libraries can play in supporting their employment. In this qualitative study, ten librarians with graduate degrees, who self-identify as autistic, describe their experiences in job seeking and daily working experiences in the library field through interviews in multiple formats. Results indicate issues around disclosure and accessibility, and that librarians thrive when their skills are prioritized and when they feel like they are helping or doing meaningful work. Additionally, these librarians find their way into the profession through exposure to libraries and take comfort in working with like-minded people. Finally, autistic librarians in this study describe the hope that hiring managers and library supervisors have at least some knowledge and understanding of autism, along with the willingness to learn more.
Original Publication Citation
Anderson, A. (2021). Job seeking and daily workforce experiences of autistic librarians. The International Journal of Information, Diversity & Inclusion, 5(3), 38-63. https://doi.org/10.33137/ijidi.v5i3.36196
Anderson, Amelia, "Job Seeking and Daily Workforce Experiences of Autistic Librarians" (2021). STEMPS Faculty Publications. 202.