Administrative and Management Skills

COVID Trauma Anniversary: It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

It’s March. Again. After the most surreal year most (all?) of us have ever experienced. Time for our collective COVID trauma anniversary. It’s okay if you’re not okay right now. And just remember that your colleagues, vendors, and patrons may not be okay right now either. And even if you’ve been doing okay, there may be some new or old emotions welling up again. I want to share some resources that may help.

Maybe things are popping up in your social media memories right now that are a little hard to look at. A year ago right now may have been the last time you got to do something “normal”. It may give you some feelings to look back at those memories. Maybe you’re having flashbacks to your feelings or hard things that happened right as libraries all over the country were shutting down and transitioning to work-from-home. Whatever the date of your personal lockdown was, your COVID trauma anniversary is coming up soon. Maybe you’ve had changes to or lost your job since this time last year. I think we’re all going to have a lot of emotions welling up (either still or possibly newly) over the next weeks and months.


One resource you should definitely be aware of is the upcoming free virtual BLOSSOM Summit from the National Library of Medicine. This free event takes place March 24-26, but you don’t have to tune in to the sessions live. There are sessions like

  • More than Resiliency: Taking Care of Library Workers in Moments of Crisis and
  • Rocks Roll Downhill: The Role of the Supervisor in Creating & Maintaining a Healthy & Humane Workplace

as well as several self-care sessions and some “for us, by us” BIPOC-only sessions. Thanks to Bryce Kozla for alerting me to this upcoming event. And speaking of Bryce…

Trauma-Informed Webinars

I’m no expert on trauma, but lucky I have friends who are. If you haven’t already watched Bryce Kozla’s excellent webinars with Emporia State University about being trauma informed and trauma-informed communication (linked below – click the images below to go to the archived webinars), now might be a great time to take a look.

Screen shot of Being Trauma-Informed During a Pandemic - great viewing for your COVID trauma anniversary
Being Trauma-Informed During a Pandemic – click this image to view the archived webinar
Screen shot of Per Your Last Email: Trauma Informed Communication - a great webinar to watch on your COVID trauma anniversary
Per Your Last Email: Trauma-Informed Communication – click this image to view the archived webinar

These two excellent webinars are a great starting point for processing and dealing with your COVID trauma anniversary. Make sure you check out Bryce Kozla’s blog for additional links about trauma that may be especially useful this season.

(Once you’ve processed your emotions from your COVID trauma anniversary and you’re in the mindset to undertake some continuing education, make sure you check out the rest of Emporia State University’s webinar archive. They have created some great resources that are available for free.)

And just give everyone grace right now

Be patient with yourself. Be patient with your coworkers and your patrons. We’ve been tackling this pandemic business for a long time and I know we’re all tired. It’s okay to not be okay. I’m not okay either. But I’ll give you grace and I ask that you please give me some, too.

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: VI. Administrative and Management Skills and VII. Professionalism and Professional Development.


  1. Kary Henry

    Thank you for this post. That last paragraph has me in tears.

  2. Emily Mroczek

    Thanks for this post Abby and Excellent resources!

  3. Anonymous

    Thank you for writing this! My anxiety has been pretty bad recently, and I wasn’t sure why. I think it’s due to all of the talk about the anniversary of COVID lockdowns and re-experiencing all the emotions I went through at the beginning of lockdowns.

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