Book group for autistic adults

9 October 2016

Written by: Lambeth Libraries team

Arts, culture and events - Focus on Clapham - Health and Wellbeing

A lovely story about the work Andrew O’Brien, Librarian at Clapham Library, has been doing with the Lambeth branch of the National Autistic Society. The story highlights the benefits of book groups for adults with autism and it was published in the NAS newsletter.

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Book group for autistic adults

Two years ago, the Lambeth Branch decided to set up a book group. Their branch chair at the time told her local librarian that she wanted to set up a book group for autistic adults and he was all ears. Caroline Henthorne has been running the group since it started two years ago. She says, “We knew that a book group would appeal to local autistic people. The book offers a conversational starting point when meeting new people, in fact our discussions have proved to be very lively.”

 Setting up a book group is easy and affordable. The book group is run in partnership between the Lambeth branch of the NAS and Lambeth Libraries. Lambeth Libraries were more than willing to provide the venue, with a quiet room with natural light at Clapham Library. The library also provides the books and a librarian to co-chair the discussions. The branch provides someone who knows about autism to co-run the group and advertises it to the local autistic community.

They meet on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30pm and new members are always welcome. The group is run by and for adults with autism or related condition. A formal diagnosis is not required.

The work Lambeth Libraries have been doing with the group is being looked at nationally.