NJLA is forming a new section focusing on "Diversity and Outreach. You don't have to be disabled to join--it's for any New Jersey librarians who are passionate about diversity and outreach. My lifelong experiences living with disabilities are probably most strongly responsible for why I became involved--and I'd absolutely love for other disabled librarians to join me. I'm finding the range of perspectives to be mind-widening--and I'm betting with more people, the section could be even more inclusive. With or without disabilities, if you are a New Jersey librarian who might be interested, send me an email, and I'll give you more information. No commitment necessary. I'll repeat my gmail here: firstname.lastname@example.org
The content on this website mostly comes from my perspective as a youth services librarian with disabilities. The further I travel along life's road, the more entwined these two parts of my identity become. Librarian: I have an MLS from Rutgers University and have working in public libraries for nearly 20 years. The focus on my career has always been youth services. Disabled: I've been disabled more than twice as long as I've been a librarian. My experience started at birth when I was immediately diagnosed with cleft palate. Also present was a non-verbal learning disability (NLD) for short. This was not formally diagnosed until I was 19, leading to years of frustration. My Tourette Syndrome was not present at birth, but surely started young as I don't ever remember living without it. The Tourette was also not diagnosed until adulthood, further compounding my frustration. Coincidentally, I was also diagnosed with IBD (more commonly known as Chron's\Ulcerative Colitis) at the age of 19. That was another easy diagnosis--as with cleft palate, they look and they see it.