The Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), a division of the American Library Association, is the premier destination for ALA members to find information and build capacity to serve populations that are served by state library agencies, libraries serving special populations, library cooperatives and library consultants.
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Due to a number of factors, many libraries have neglected the needs of people with mental retardation. A primary factor is misunderstanding about the population as a whole. Assumptions are made that people who are mentally retarded live primarily in residential institutions; therefore, they do not reside within library service areas. Many consider people with mental retardation as nonreaders who would not use library resources. These assumptions are false.
These guidelines have been developed to assist all libraries including school, public, academic, and specialized libraries such as prison and institutional libraries to better service the needs of people of all ages who are mentally retarded.