Professionalism & Leadership

Paper: Program Description Abstract

Distracted in the Library: Supporting Staff and Patrons with ADHD

Tuesday, May 7
4:35 PM - 4:50 PM
Room: Columbus GH (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Background : Millions of adults in the United States have Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Many others may exhibit symptoms without an official diagnosis. Library staff and patrons may be hesitant to disclose that they have the condition, due to stigma and other factors. After a short case study of its author, recently diagnosed with ADHD as an adult and a leader in her library and the profession, the presentation will provide resources for finding information about the disorder and common sense ways that libraries, instructors and managers can support people with ADHD.
Description : After being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, the author has researched, tried and implemented numerous tools to improve her executive functioning, productivity and skills as a manager and as a current graduate student. The presentation will also describe available research into how library instruction, space and services can be designed to support patrons with ADHD. Resources for supporting staff with ADHD, such as relevant university departments, potential accommodations, and ways to fight stigma and shame, will also be discussed.
Conclusion : Adults with ADHD can be assets to academic libraries and health professions. Many adults with ADHD are creative thinkers and innovators. With little to no cost, libraries can become better workplaces and learning environments to people with ADHD and neurotypical people alike. As trusted sources of information and training, libraries can be powerful tools to fight misconceptions and misinformation about ADHD and people with the disorder.

Kate Flewelling

Executive Director, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region
University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Kate Flewelling, MLIS, is Executive Director of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region, based at the University of Pittsburgh, Health Sciences Library System. Prior to joining NNLM MAR as Outreach Coordinator in 2011, she was Coordinator of Instruction at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Health Sciences Library, and a National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow. In 2017, she was named one of "50 Distinguished Alumni" of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, School of Information Studies. She was previously chair of the Social Justice Section and is chair-elect of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association. She has a BA in History from Mount Holyoke College and is currently pursuing at Master of Public Policy and Management degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

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