Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Radicalizing Self-Care in Librarianship

“…I thought about the fact that although books don’t have feelings, the librarians forced to remove them from the shelves do.” Xochitl Gonzalez, “The Librarians Are Not Okay.” The Atlantic, March 15, 2023 Book challenges, protests against gender and racial inclusivity, salary stagnation, skyrocketing inflation, opiate overdoses, bad branch managers, years of being ‘essential workers’ -– we all know there isn’t a bath long or bubbly enough to repair the damage that long-term chronic stress does to the body and mind. Public librarians are housekeepers, zookeepers, referees, therapists, mandated reporters, front line emergency workers, cleaners of unidentified effluvia and other duties as assigned.  This is why bubbles-and-polish commodified self-care simply does not suffice. Most of us have, at this point, heard about the Urban Librarians Unite’s 2022 Urban Trauma Study, so I will not go into great detail about it here. In short, public-facing librarians experience significant trauma on a daily…

Everyday Advocacy

Supporting Staff Well-being

Welcome to Ask ALSC, where the Managing Youth Services Committee asks leaders in children’s libraries to share their response to an issue or situation.  We hope to showcase a range of responses to topics that may affect ALSC members. If you’d like to respond to today’s topics, or suggest a topic for the future, please leave a comment. *Disclaimer* I am not a healthcare professional. I am a reader and a hard-working mental health advocate, both personally and professionally. Self-care and wellness are frequent buzzwords in articles discussing the workplace. Why? What’s changed (other than the obvious) to warrant an uptick in administrative discussions surrounding mental health and career? And why should we as managers devote time and space to discussions on well-being? There are a myriad of reasons why we should all be focused on mental health, but for brevity and deliverability, I will focus on three. I’m sure…

Blogger Maria Trivisonno

Serving the Whole Child

I recently had the opportunity to attend a discussion at the City Club of Cleveland pertaining to the Whole Child Framework adopted by the Ohio Department of Education.  Meryl Johnson, a member of the Ohio State Board of Education, Dr. Tracy Nájera, executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, and Joseph Spiccia, superintendent of the Wickliffe City School District were members of a panel discussion moderated by Dr. Lisa Damour, author, psychologist, and Senior Advisor to the Schubert Center for Child Studies, Case Western Reserve University.

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Mental Health in our Patrons and our Colleagues

In honor of May as Mental Health Awareness Month, here are two stories about mental health in the library. Children Can Have Mental Health Needs A young patron of about eleven or twelve sidled up to me quietly at the children’s desk and asked me in a soft voice for books about, “um, you know…depression.” Immediately my mind went to worrying for this young person. I’ve had depression from a very young age – younger than the girl in front of me. My heart leapt in a kind of panic, a panic of wanting to rescue this young person from all the hardship I’ve experienced with my own depression.  I had to take a moment to make myself be calm. I started asking her normal reference interview questions. Did she want fact books or stories? Was there anything she had read recently that she’d liked? We went walking up and…

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

Child Mental Health and Technology: A Useful Tool for Caregivers and Therapists

In today’s new normal, we as a society are faced with the many challenges brought on by the Pandemic: Parents have adjusted to working from home. They’ve become teachers. Children have gone from learning in a classroom setting to their bedrooms; having physical movement to being stationary. Where they previously had social interactions with peers, they’re now often in silos watching a single screen throughout the day. After nearly a year of Covid-19, data proves that this has been no easy adjustment by any means. An article by Human Rights Watch outlines just how this disease has devastatingly impacted children around the world. Though what is also discussed are beneficial approaches to alleviate suffering. What I’d like to hone in on is how one organization provides help for the mental health of children due to the effects of Covid-19. Through the National Children’s Alliance , a new useful training is…