Library Services for Autistic Students in Academic Libraries

A Literature Review


  • Erica Braumberger University of Alberta, School of Library and Information Studies



library services, Academic libraries, college, Autism Spectrum, ASD, Neurodiversity, Diversity Plan, Diversity in libraries


Autistic adults and teens are entering universities and colleges at increasing rates, yet many barriers still exist to impede student success. This literature review seeks to identify these barriers, clarify what we know about how autistic students use and perceive the library, and consider what libraries in postsecondary institutions can do to cultivate supportive environments for autistic students. A common theme in the literature is recognition of a dearth of research on this topic, and thus this literature review aims to identify avenues where further research is necessary to understand the challenges autistic students face in library environments and postsecondary education. Current literature indicates that staff training, relationships with community resources, attention to sensory issues, thoughtful design of physical spaces, adaptations to pedagogical techniques, advocation for awareness in the campus community, and calls for further research are all necessary aspects of delivering quality library services to autistic postsecondary students. A successful path forward must prioritize representation, inclusion, and consultation with autistic people.




How to Cite

Braumberger, E. (2021). Library Services for Autistic Students in Academic Libraries: A Literature Review. Pathfinder: A Canadian Journal for Information Science Students and Early Career Professionals, 2(2), 86–99.



Literature Reviews