Services for Special Populations


Colorado Association of Libraries  Special Populations and Issues Interest Group

This group addresses the needs of special populations through the training and mentoring of Colorado library staff. Join the group and access their resource list (docx) (Word)

Colorado Reforma

The Colorado chapter of Reforma seeks to support Colorado library staff in the development of services for our Latino/Hispanic patrons.


Serving Library Users on the Autism Spectrum

This course, designed by experts in both the library and autism fields, is a series of four independent, self-paced instructional modules that are intended for librarians and library staff to learn how to better serve their users on the autism spectrum.(Note: You must create a free WebJunction login to access this course).

Bridging the Gap: Making Libraries More Accessible for a Diverse Autistic Population

An article from School Library Journal offering information about serving those in the Autism Spectrum.

Storytime for the Spectrum

American Libraries Magazine has a great article on developing sensory story times with special activities to engage kids on the autism spectrum.

Implementing Programs for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Public Libraries Online offers information and tips for programming.

Patrons Experiencing Poverty and/or Homelessness

Reaching Out: Creating Meaningful Library Services for Patrons Experiencing Homelessness

Libraries across the state are developing services, policies, and procedures to ensure individuals, families and unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness in their communities have access the information and services they need to stay connected.

Please join us for this interactive session on library partnerships and services for the patrons experiencing homelessness. View this archive to learn more!

Addressing Homeless Issues

The Niche Academy has created a free online course for working with those experiencing homelessness.

Effective Library Responses to Homelessness

A webinar from the Niche Academy discussing how to serve those experiencing homelessness in your libraries.

The Librarian’s Guide to Homelessness

Free resources for library staff on working with those experiencing homelessness.

From nurses to social workers, see how public libraries are serving the homeless 

PBS Newshour provides a great article outlining different ways libraries across the US are serving those experiencing homelessness in their communities.

Info 2 Go – Poverty Discussion

A great informational session focusing on connecting with the needs of underserved and unserved populations.


Helping Homeschoolers

Public libraries are a natural resource for homeschooling families: library staff expertise, spaces, collections, and programs are a critical component of effective homeschooling. But what are promising practices to reach and serve these families? Engage in this interactive webinar to explore this topic through examples from the Pikes Peak Library District in Colorado—a leader in these services—and discussion with colleagues across the country. We’ll look at homeschooling statistics—the ‘why’ of this topic—plus the needs of homeschooling families and how to meet those needs most effectively without duplicating other services available in your community. We’ll also explore how to promote these services to homeschooling families and actively engage them at the library.


Libraries Serve Refugees

Articles, toolkits, and other resources designed to help libraries meet the needs of refugees in our communities.


Check Out Colorado State Parks

Through a partnership between the Colorado State Library and the Colorado Parks and Wildlife,  patrons can check out state park passes good for all 42 Colorado State Parks!

We’re All Tourists Sometime: Learning from libraries who serve both tourists and residents

  • Do you work in a public library in a community that sees lots of tourists and wonder how similar libraries serve both their residents and guests?
  • Do you work for a public library in a community that’s trying to attract more tourists?
  • Is your library located in a community that serves a large number of visitors for one or two big festivals or events each year?
  • Are you looking for information about how your library can better entice and serve your community’s guests?

View this archive to learn how libraries in tourist areas promote their services to guests; balance serving residents (both permanent and part-time) and tourists; work with tourism boards; partner with other cultural and recreational organizations; factor visitors into the equations of policies, programs, collections and services; and how all libraries can learn from them to welcome and serve visitors.