Author Archive: Ellyn Ruhlmann

Mindfulness for Librarians

Mindful Librarianship

June 1, 2017

Participants sit in comfortable chairs arranged in a circle, and Allen sounds a low bell to begin. Overhead, sunlight sifts through the double windows as the meditators silently listen to the sounds of the bell and their own in-breaths and out-breaths. Then, while a recording of a meditation by Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh … Continue reading Mindful Librarianship


Virginia Sanchez, librarian at Yosemite National Park, poses with a flag from the University of Arizona, her alma mater.

The Bohemian Librarian

April 6, 2015

It’s not at all what she envisioned herself doing while in library school in Arizona, but she’s thrilled at this new slant on librarianship. Sanchez is among the growing group of MLIS grads using their degrees as passports to an array of fascinating jobs available outside the tradi­tional library setting. They’re flying to exotic places … Continue reading The Bohemian Librarian



Z! Haukeness from the Shine Initiative—a nonprofit based in Madison, Wisconsin—keeps a prominent profile in a glass room in the middle of Madison Public Library, where he and a coworker spend 30 hours a week helping patrons find housing and jobs and apply for food stamps. Some people come just to talk through hardships, he says. Photo: Ellyn Ruhlmann

A Home to the Homeless

November 24, 2014

“First in, last to leave the library,” says Jane, describing herself and her homeless community. “It’s our routine.” Jane, who prefers not to give her last name, says she’s classified as chronically homeless. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development defines a chronically homeless person as an unaccompanied individual with a disabling condition who … Continue reading A Home to the Homeless