Watercolor image of a Black woman's face surrounded by swirls of color (Photo illustration: ©Victor Tongdee/Adobe Stock)

The Weight We Carry

November 2, 2020

Although stereotypes about cold, harsh, robotic librarians persist, those of us who work with the public must display emotional intelligence for our patrons’ sakes—and our own. Emotional labor Vicarious traumatization (VT) occurs when we work with patrons whose traumatic stories transfer onto us. We may not realize that transference has happened. Subtly and gradually, it … Continue reading The Weight We Carry


Illustration: Tom Deja

Coping in the Time of COVID-19

June 1, 2020

Freeman was joined by Maria Stella Rasetti, director of San Giorgio Library of Pistoia in Tuscany, Italy; Lisa Rosenblum, executive director of King County (Wash.) Library System; Loren Mc Clain, certified instructor for the National Council for Behavioral Health and Mental Health First Aid USA and senior academic advisor for the School of Science, Technology, … Continue reading Coping in the Time of COVID-19


Woman wearing a face mask with a laptop

Reopening: Not “When?” But “How?”

April 17, 2020

Once reopened, most will likely continue to support social-distancing measures through such steps as rearranging furniture, cleaning computers between uses, disinfecting books and other materials, and—as the Radnor Memorial Library in Wayne, Pennsylvania, is considering—perhaps providing special hours for at-risk populations such as the elderly and immunocompromised. “Public and staff safety will always be my … Continue reading Reopening: Not “When?” But “How?”


"Books in Our Age of Anxiety" panel

Using Lit to Help Kids

January 26, 2020

Abigail Hing Wen (Loveboat, Tapei), I.W. Gregorio (This Is My Brain in Love, 2020), Gail Silver (Mindful Bea and the Worry Tree, 2019), Sharon Huss Roat (How to Disappear, 2017), and Beth Kephart (The Great Upending, 2020) were joined by Lauren Caldwell, director of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Children, Youth, and Families Office, for … Continue reading Using Lit to Help Kids


Librarians Megan Donald (left) and Emily Tichenor of Tulsa (Okla.) Community College sit in the meditation room at the West Campus Library. Photo: Tulsa (Okla.) Community College.

A Space Apart

January 2, 2018

Oberlander is one of an increasing number of academic library directors who oversees what are variously called “reflection rooms” or “meditation rooms.” Around the US, students are using these spaces for prayer, yoga, scripture study, or simply for an escape between tough classes. It is a recent and growing trend for colleges, where a rising … Continue reading A Space Apart