Volunteer Spotlight: Library Donations Over the Years

Char Brandl has done so much for the ASC over the years! Thank you, Char, for everything you’ve done, and thank you for writing about our library donations!

Contributed by Char Brandl 

One of the ongoing activities of the Education Committee of the Autism Society of South Central Wisconsin has been an annual donation of relevant materials to our area libraries.

Our service area is covered by an impressive network of three library systems:  South Central, Southwest, and Arrowhead. For well over 10 years now, thanks to donations from various individuals and the Autism South Central board of directors, we have been donating books, videos, and more recently audio books related to autism.

As with just about everything we do, we have tried to include materials of interest across the spectrum, and across the lifespan.  As the years have gone by, there are more and more outstanding resources out there to help parents of the newly diagnosed, as well as adults who may be thinking of a personal diagnosis for themselves or a partner.  Add to this materials to help teachers, grandparents, family and friends, plus information on various interventions and therapies – all of which are an important part of the autism experience. Some of the most valuable are the books written by those on the spectrum – those with Aspergers as well as those who are non-speaking and who rely on typing to communicate.

For me personally it has been a perfect fit.  I love books, I love libraries, and I love being able to help people better understand autism, and find ways to support their loved ones.  

I was on the board of directors for several years, and served as secretary for most of that time.  My very favorite contribution to our organization has been helping to stock the area libraries with materials that we hope will be beneficial.

A huge added bonus to this task has been interacting with those who work at our many libraries, and those who so willingly deliver the materials across our service area.  In earlier years, I personally drove to the communities of Prairie du Chien, Portage, Milton, Clinton, Lodi, Fennimore, Beloit and many, many others. What a beautiful part of the state this is, and what wonderful people we serve in this way!

The task became much easier once I discovered the inter-library delivery service that has its home in Madison.  I no longer make those long trips through the beautiful countryside – and I really do miss that! But it is fun working with the dedicated folks who pack, sort and deliver books, and all other library materials, throughout our part of the state.  

Please do check out the lists of donated materials, please do look into materials that might be of help to you, and please do let us know if there are items you would like to recommend.  Keep in mind that the libraries do a great job of keeping their web sites up to date, and are all very willing to share materials among the various library systems. Just ask your local librarian and they will be happy to help you find what you may be looking for!