About Us

Our Purpose
SNAILS is a networking group made up of professionals from Chicago-area public libraries. We support one another’s efforts to provide specialized services and programs to children and teens with disabilities through collaboration and training. Our meetings and blog are forums to exchange ideas, learn, advocate, and inspire. SNAILS is passionately committed to inclusivity and making a positive impact on the lives of all children.


Our Facilitators:

Holly Jin, SNAILS Founder & Facilitator
Community Engagement Supervisor at Skokie Public Library
Holly Jin is the Youth Community Engagement Supervisor at the IMLS Award winning Skokie (IL) Public Library. Her outreach to patrons with special needs began in 2004 with the writing and managing of an LSTA grant entitled: “Come On In: the Library is a Special Place for Children with Disabilities” which was recognized by ASCLA with the ASCLA Keystone/National Organization on Disability Award. Since that time, she has coordinated the library’s youth accessibility services, made presentations at state and national library conferences, and received ILA’s Alexander J. Skrzypek Award in recognition of leadership to advance library services for the blind and physically disabled in Illinois. 

Holly is a firm believer in providing staff training to break down barriers and forming strong community partnerships. She prefers qualitative output measures stating, “What special needs programming lacks in numbers it more than makes up for in heart and impact.”

Renee Grassi SNAILS Founder & Facilitator (2013-2016)
As a Youth Services Librarian at the Deerfield Public Library, Renee Grassi launched new programs and services for children with special needs, earning the Deerfield Library the 2010 North Suburban Special Education (NSSED) Best Practice Initiative Award. Renee is a nationally recognized leader in library services for children with disabilities, and was named a 2012 Library Journal Mover & Shaker for her work in this area. She has presented workshops at local, state, and national library conferences on this topic, in addition to leading webinars about library programming for children with special needs. Renee is also a regular ALSC blogger, where she writes about special needs services as they relate to children's librarianship. At the Glencoe Public Library in Glencoe, Illinois, she partnered with the National Lekotek Center launched a new inclusive program for children with special needs. Renee was recently the Youth Department Director at the Glen Ellyn Public Library in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and is now working in Minnesota at Dakota County Library as Youth Services Manager.

Lindsay Huth, SNAILS Facilitator (2013-2015)
As an advocate for children with special needs at Arlington Heights Public Library, Lindsay developed and implemented Sensory Storytimes and organized a library-wide theme recognizing Autism Awareness month, receiving the 2013 Golden Ticket award from the Illinois Library Association for the positive impact of her work. Lindsay now works in Colorado at Louisville Public Library.


1 comment:

  1. Hi. My name is Erin Zolotukhin-Ridgway and I'm a librarian with Saint Paul Public Library (www.sppl.org) which is part of MELSA (Metropolitan Library Services Agency, http://www.melsa.org/melsa/). I read about your group while doing some research on library services for youth who are differently abled and I also listened to Ms. Grassi's webinar: Serving the Underserved. I proposed the idea that MELSA have a group to discuss how we offer and support each other in offering services to youth who are differently abled and the idea was accepted and a subcommittee is meeting in September. An email just went out calling for agenda items and I wondered if I might ask how you got started with your first meeting as I'm wondering what to suggest as a starting point. Maybe looking at collaborations with schools and local organizations to build expertise and/or work with others who have that expertise to make current programs inclusive and look at possibly adding some specialized programs....maybe some MELSA wide programs down the road...

    Thanks for your time and any input/feedback you can give.

    Sincerely,

    Erin (erin.zolotukhin-ridgway@ci.stpaul.mn.us)

    ReplyDelete