Blogger Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

Addressing Covid-19 Worries in the Back-to-School Season

I wrote this in quarantine. My toddler had a close contact exposure to Covid-19 in her daycare class and we kept the whole family home out of an abundance of caution. (Everyone is healthy.) It’s a situation many of our patrons and staff may face now that kids have returned to school or pre-school. The Delta variant put a different spin on the usual back-to-school and fall programming, with many libraries still only allowing outdoor or virtual programming. How can we support our patrons during this fraught back-to-school season? First, remember to take care of yourselves. Burnout, compassion fatigue, Covid fatigue—whatever you call it, it’s real. Try to take some time for yourself whether it’s a staycation, regular exercise, or enjoying a hobby. Next, understand the behaviors associated with stress and worry in your patrons. If folks share with you, validate their feelings. Fellow Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee…



It’s been a long, long week/month/year/decade, and May is stressful for all; public library staff are gearing up for Summer Reading (a wild time to work in a public library environment), while school staff are just trying to make it to the end of the school year (a wild time to work in a school environment). And of course, we’re still living in a pandemic; things are scary and uncertain in so many ways. With all this happening, it is no surprise that I often have to remind myself to breathe. How often do you actually pay attention to your breathing? The persistently ragged, near-panicky gasping that has become my pandemic breathing style doesn’t exactly lead to inner peace. To really help yourself achieve some level of calm, one needs to be mindful of their breathing, and so, in that spirit, here are some links I hope you find helpful…

Blogger Amy Steinbauer

Consider Stillness as a Librarian

When you are a super passionate, energetic, big idea thinker, and dreamer, you can be a complete asset to your place of employment. You dream big and come up with exciting services, beloved programs, and best of all- you have the zest to see them through! However, you can also be a scary nuisance to your institution and given advice like “your passion is unsustainable” or “work would be easier for you if you just came in, worked your hours, and left” because sometimes people who want to do more are scary… it means change!

Guest Blogger

Mindfulness: Building Resilience, Empathy, & Relaxation into Your Storytime

Have you ever felt so stressed that you needed to stop what you were doing and just start breathing in and out? I learned breathing techniques while studying music many years ago. The technique was simple, but required concentration and self-awareness. I had to inhale, bringing the stream of air into my lower abdomen, expanding the rib cage and engaging back muscles that would help me create support for singing (low breathing). I used this breathing technique to center myself before performing on stage, or when I felt the need to focus on an everyday event. However, it never occurred to me to teach this technique to my children, or the children I worked with at the library, until I started reading books on mindfulness.

Blogger Stacy Dillon

Mindfulness in the Library

In our lives as busy and distracted librarians, it’s easy to get sucked into always keeping that running list in our minds.  You know the one.  It has all of those “to-do” tasks on it that have to get done in the next 2 hours, shift, day, week and month.  I know that I always have several balls in the air and am trying to stay ahead of the game.  It often leads to worrying about what’s next rather than being present in the task at hand. I was speaking with a teacher about this not so long ago, and she told me about a mindfulness workshop she had attended.  She told me that it had not only helped her practice as an educator, but she was using the techniques with her students and it was making a difference in their lives at school as well. I started looking around…