Setting Up for Self-Care

Call Number Podcast: Setting Up for Self-Care

May 16, 2022

First, American Libraries Associate Editor and podcast Diana Panuncial speaks with Randa Lopez Morgan, programming and events librarian for Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, about LSU’s Relaxation Room and how it has helped students decompress during finals week. Next, American Libraries Managing Editor Terra Dankowski interviews Rebecca Tolley, author of A Trauma-Informed Approach to … Continue reading Call Number Podcast: Setting Up for Self-Care


Yoga in the library

Bookend: Go with the Flow

March 1, 2022

“Students have a very rigorous and intense school day based on perceptions of what they should be doing and on the expectations of teachers and their parents,” Schaub says. “Adults recognize more readily how we are pulled and stretched in different ways in our time and expectations, but students don’t always recognize that.” In October … Continue reading Bookend: Go with the Flow


Karen Fisher, professor at University of Washington School of Information.

The Trauma of Library Work

January 22, 2022

Fisher is now the principal investigator for “Trauma in the Library: Symptoms of PTSD Among Staff and Methods for Ensuring Trauma-Informed Care,” an Institute of Museum and Library Services–funded study of the effects of workplace trauma exposure on library workers. She and Lauren Alexa Gambrill, research manager of the study, presented their preliminary findings during … Continue reading The Trauma of Library Work


Youth Matters: Linda W. Braun

Crisis Averted

January 3, 2022

Consider, for example, a library activity in which teens can talk about the spaces that make them feel comfortable and can help design an area of the library that is just for them. In this exercise, teens articulate what evokes happiness and calm—two emotional states that are central to positive mental health—and are given an … Continue reading Crisis Averted


On My Mind with Rachel Ivy Clarke

Work Made Visible

January 3, 2022

Invisible labor is a concept from feminist scholarship that aims to bring attention to underpaid, unrecognized, and undervalued work, often performed by women. Household work is an example, but the term also applies to some intellectual work, like that performed in libraries. When a job is done well—a program goes off without a hitch, for … Continue reading Work Made Visible


Librarian's Library by Anna Gooding-Call

Mental Health in the Library

January 3, 2022

      Recipes for Mindfulness in Your Library: Supporting Resilience and Community Engagement Edited by Madeleine Charney, Jenny Colvin, and Richard Moniz Mindfulness is an accelerating trend in libraries, and this title is a great start for those interested in joining in. It explores how librarians have integrated mindfulness into their teaching, collections, services, … Continue reading Mental Health in the Library


Amy Franco

The Struggle Is Real

June 29, 2021

“Nurses and social workers get the support that they need to recognize and cope with compassion fatigue, but in the world of libraries it’s a relative unknown,” she said. “We generally do not do a good job of promoting our own health and well-being.” Franco introduced attendees to the body’s major stress chemicals—adrenaline and cortisol—and … Continue reading The Struggle Is Real


Little Libraries, Big Problems

January 24, 2021

In “Small and Rural Libraries: A Candid Discussion,” Kathy Zappitello, executive director of Conneaut (Ohio) Public Library and president of the Association of Small and Rural Libraries (ARSL); Bailee Hutchinson, branch manager at Altus (Okla.) Public Library and ARSL vice-president; Jennifer Pearson, director of Marshall County (Tenn.) Memorial Library and ARSL past-president; and Kate Laughlin, … Continue reading Little Libraries, Big Problems


Melissa N. Glenn and Melissa Munn

Caring for the Caretakers

January 24, 2021

“Most of us are managing multiple stresses at once. Some are related to the pandemic, and some are related to normal life,” said Melissa Glenn, health and social services coordinator for King County (Washington) Library System (KCLS). “Working from home, witnessing racial violence, political tension—these are all things can cause distress, especially when they are … Continue reading Caring for the Caretakers


Youth Matters, by Jennifer Casa-Todd

Making Time to Check In

January 4, 2021

We’re in a crisis unlike any other, so we must make time to check in with our students. Similar to the way we hold icebreakers and getting-to-know-you activities in our classrooms at the beginning of each school year to familiarize ourselves with our students, we can find ways to gauge wellness and build connection amid … Continue reading Making Time to Check In


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