Autistic Communities in Public Libraries

Display project

This project introduces the general public to Autistic culture – from the Autistic perspective- in non-pathologizing language.

Come in, and read quotes from Autistic authors and Autistic advocates, some of them non-speaking, touching on different themes, as well as a list of common myths about Autistic people, information on “How to be an Ally”, information about the neurodiversity movement and Autistic activism in Aotearoa and internationally, and a timeline of lived Autistic experiences over the last 250 years.

This display project is an Autistic collaboration between the Autistic communities in Aotearoa and Turkey. Ülkü Mazlum has created amazing cartoons for the posters.


  • Ongoing – coming to a library near you!
  • Takaanini Community Hub, Auckland (9 to 16 October 2022)
  • Te Manawa Library, Westgate, Auckland (26 July to 14 August 2022)
  • Albany Village Library, Auckland (13 to 21 July 2022)
  • Manurewa Library, Auckland (22 June to 6 July 2022)
  • Pt Chevalier Library, Auckland, Aotearoa (May 2022)
  • Whangaparaoa Library, Auckland, Aotearoa (May 2022)
  • Waiheke Library, Auckland, Aotearoa (April 2022)

Presentation and Q&A

Discover the Neurodiversity Movement and Autistic Culture

There is a wealth of information and you will receive plenty of brain teasers. Come and read fresh Autistic autobiographical narratives from Aotearoa.


  • Ongoing – coming to a library near you!
  • Takaanini Community Hub, Auckland (13 October, 1:30 pm)
  • Te Manawa Library, Westgate, Auckland (14 August 2022, 2 pm)
  • Albany Village Library, Auckland (13 July 2022, 1:30 pm)
  • Pt Chevalier Library, Auckland, Aotearoa (9 June 2022, 4 pm)


  1. The Autistic rights movement
    • Who needs to adapt?
    • Who says what works well for Autistic people?
    • What do Autistic people need?
    • What Autistic people don’t need.
  2. The neurodiversity paradigm
    1. What is neurodiversity
    2. Depathologising
    3. Rehumanising
    4. Definitions
  3. Autistic culture
    • Much more than “normal”
    • Appreciation of diversity
    • Shared language and social norms
    • Autistic relationships
    • Autistic communities
    • Peer support
    • Autistic organisations

Sarah Bettin


It has been an interesting and well received display and I’m pleased that you are happy with how things have gone. I will send a photo of the display with your request and contact details to my colleagues who manage community libraries and our Central Library so they can contact you directly.
– Ngā mihi Fiona

Fiona Kralicek, RLIANZA | Pouārahi – Manager Community Place Waiheke Library | Waiheke Island Local Board

We’ve had somne great engagement with the display so far 😊
Have a great day | Kia pai to ra

Lena Kovac, Programme & Events Librarian Whangaparāoa Library

Thank you both for such an amazing event! It was a successful event and Kathy really enjoyed the event too, she shared some of her knowledge that she gained with the rest of us. The discussions going on during the event seemed very lively and everyone was really engaged with the talk. Would you be happy for me to share this photo of you and Kathy on our facebook page? 😊 Thank you both again for holding the workshop and for your lovely display. If you have any other things you’d like to share with our little community, please feel free to send it along and I’ll share it 😊
Ngā mihi nui Michalea

Michalea Seto (she/her), Senior Library and Council Services Assistant – Ethnic Communities, Ngā Pātaka Kōrero o Tāmaki Makaurau – Auckland Libraries

Many thanks for travelling from Waiheke to present your talk on Autism at Albany Village Library on Wednesday. A number of the people who attended had travelled across town showing how much people need information and an opportunity to talk on this subject. The discussion after the talk was evidence of this.
Many thanks,
Ngā mihi | kind regards, Sarah

Sarah Powell Pouārahi – Manager Community Place |Upper Harbour & Hibiscus and Bays North | Albany Library Ngā Pātaka Kōrero o Tāmaki Makaurau – Auckland Libraries

It was so wonderful to have both of y’all here. I am glad it was a valuable experience for you as you continue to show the display and run your workshop 😊 It was all very interesting and valuable information. I will keep an ear out if other libraries would like to have a display as such at their location. Many thanks and all the best of luck with future displays and workshops!
Many kind regards,
Cristen and the Pt Chevalier Library team

Cristen Poole | Librarian Programmes and Events Albert-Eden Local Board | Point Chevalier Library
Ngā Pātaka Kōrero o Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland Libraries
Share this:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *