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Lifeworks and the Warren County Public Library open state's first library dedicated to the neurodiverse population


The Warren County Public Library is partnering with Lifeworks, a local non-profit, to provide the state’s first satellite library dedicated to the neurodivergent population.

The new location will be on Western Kentucky University’s campus at Lifeworks Transition Academy. The fully functional library offers books, audio and video media, a seed library, a book club, and social hours to program participants. Lifeworks is a nonprofit organization that supports young adults on the autism spectrum to obtain gainful employment and live independently.

David Wheeler, Executive Director of Lifeworks, said the organization is excited to partner with the Warren County Public Library.

“We’re super grateful for the Warren County Public Library,” Wheeler said. “When they came a few months back to talk to us about how they could partner with us it was an opportunity we couldn’t refuse.”

In addition to the resources and programming, Lifeworks announced Earl Willis will be the location’s first full-time librarian and special populations liaison. Willis has been employed with the Warren County Public Library for over 20 years and hosts book discussions, social hours, and private web courses.

Willis said he is thrilled about his role with the library and hopes individuals take advantage of what is being offered.

“The library here has endless possibilities and I’m really excited about the good it can do,” Willis said. “I appreciate all the people here at Lifeworks and the participants for putting themselves out there and taking a step out and all the managers for their support.”

The library currently serves participants in the Lifeworks program but plans to soon expand access and services to other community members. The library will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Willis said he’s proud to carry on the mission of the public library by helping members of the community.

“It means the world to me that I get to be a “people” person,” Willis said. “I get to deal with people, I get to encourage people, I get to be a mentor and I get to spread the news of the library, so yeah, it means the world to me.”

Jacob Martin is a Reporter at WKU Public Radio. He joined the newsroom from Kansas City, where he covered the city’s underserved communities and general assignments at NPR member station, KCUR. A Louisville native, he spent seven years living in Brooklyn, New York before moving back to Kentucky. Email him at
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