Discover how leading a successful book club for college students with intellectual disabilities (ID) at a university campus led one librarian on a leadership adventure that she never quite expected. By working with this unique group of college students, she grew personally, learned how to step outside of her comfort zone, and had a lot of fun while realizing the importance of not taking life too seriously.

In this session, the audience should expect to learn how taking calculated risks can pay off in one’s leadership journey. In addition, attendees will understand the value of working with individuals who differ from them as a way to gain unique perspectives. Having no previous experience working with those with intellectual disabilities, and no special education training, the librarian benefitted from the knowledge and rare experiences she shared with this special population, while forming new friendships.

As a result of this presentation, the audience will learn the following:

• Invaluable benefits of working with students who have intellectual disabilities or anyone with differing abilities
• Rewards of stepping outside of one’s comfort zone and taking calculated risks
• Importance of keeping an open mind and an open heart


Original broadcast May 12, 2020 

Biography ~ Leah Plocharczyk
Leah Plocharczyk is the Assistant Director of the John D. MacArthur Campus Library at FAU’s Jupiter campus where she oversees all aspects of the library’s operation. She is active in mentoring students, as well as leadership and library outreach. She has published articles on library collaboration with marine mammal stranding networks and conflict management within libraries. She is currently co-authoring a book about the importance of library book clubs as educational tools for adults with intellectual disabilities.