Putterham Library needs our help!

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The Putterham branch of the public library is looking for our help. We’d like a SEPAC champion to work with Linda Monach (SEPAC co-chair) and Sally Rubenstein (Librarian) to help develop an outreach program to families with special needs. Please let us know if you are interested in helping out by emailing linda@BrooklineSEPAC.org

From Sally Rubenstein-
Our plan here at the Putterham branch is to purchase several iPads and load them with apps to help people who have autism, learning differences, and/or other disabilities and loan them out. We want to give people a chance to preview the different apps without having to buy them. We also plan to have a few workshops on how to use the apps as well as a few speakers who can talk from professional or personal experience about how technology can make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities and challenges. Right now we are focusing mostly on autism, learning disabilities, auditory and visual impairments, and disorders such as CP or muscular dystrophy which may make communication difficult. We want to let people know that the library is an available resource to all people, regardless of ability or disability, and that everyone is welcome here. We are a community space, and a resource for the community, and I’m hoping to spread that message. I have not seen a lot of disabled people in the library, and I am hoping to change that. What we were looking for in contacting SEPAC is mostly help with word of mouth advertising once we launch in April (any librarian’s worst fear is that we will have what we think is a great program idea and then nobody is interested), any suggestions you might have for possible speakers, and if there is something that we could be doing with this grant and haven’t thought of, I welcome any ideas.

Latest Comments
  1. Susan Balogh

    Dear Sally,
    I’m a 7th gr teacher at Baker a school and parent of a student with learning differences. Your idea sounds fabulous and I would love to help you.
    Thank you!
    Warm Regards,
    Susan

    • Linda

      Thank you Susan for your quick response and for volunteering. I’ll send an email to Sally tonight and give her your name, mine and another parent who volunteered over email. I’m looking forward to meeting you and making this project a great success.
      Best
      Linda

  2. Jillian

    Hi Sally,
    I’m a teacher for students with special needs in the Cambridge Public Schools and a resident of Brookline. I live near Washington Square. I have several students over the years who have used assistive technology such as computers or iPads. What a fantastic idea and sorely missing in Brookline. Thank you for this idea!!

    The Cambridge Public Library loans out preloaded MP3 players and kindles. A great help to kids for summer reading homework and enjoyment. IPads with preloaded,apps would be terrific. I have a friend who lives in Wilmington but does a technology fair for parents that has been very successful.

    I think the biggest piece is accessibility and ongoing support for families and teachers. Getting to Putterham is also very difficult for many with disabilities as it is not T accessible. A great idea but should be locally situated near some of the group homes and the majority of elementary schools. Loan out MP3 players or iPads, loaded with books on tape. These have revolutionized two students’ of mine’s reading experiences. iPad apps are fantastic. Connect with BEEP teachers and find someone to offer sessions for parents or invite people on Saturday. Volunteers to work with kids and adults so care givers can read on their own for an hour? Connect with the high school and students who volunteer.

    Best of luck and thank you! Jillian

    • Linda

      Thank you Jillian for all of this great information. I’ll be sure to pass it on to Sally. While the location is an issue for people who live downtown, it’s actually a great location for my fellow South Brookliners. We will be sure to share learnings from this project with all the librarians in town so that, maybe, we can make this a town-wide initiative!
      Best
      Linda

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