Keep the Momentum Going

Now that the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared an end to the COVID global health emergency, we should continue to be concerned about one another. Remember to check on your colleagues, your neighbors, your family, and friends. Don’t stop being genuinely concerned about them ─their physical and mental well-being. If you notice something might not be quite right “or off” with someone you know, ask how you can help. Employers too, should also continue to find ways to help reduce stress for their employees. Maintain the programming and resources (in addition to EAPs) that you have been providing. Remember that your employees are your greatest asset.

What is most important on an individual level is that we remember to continue with self-care. Don’t lose any gained momentum. If you started new routines to ensure that you are being mindful, continue doing them. If you began a walking program, continue walking. Whatever healthy activities you started or increased during the pandemic, keep doing them. If you struggled with maintaining your activities, it’s okay. Every day is a new opportunity to try again. Self-care is so critical to our mental health and overall well-being. Continue your journey to self-care. It is a life-long commitment. Please take a minute to tell us how you practiced self-care during the pandemic by taking our 2-question survey.

ALA too, will continue to be concerned about its members and will persist in providing resources. If you plan to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago next month ─June 22 – 27─ there will be several resources available for you. ALA’s goal is to enhance a sense of community and safety by providing resources that offer conference attendees tangible support through the following measures:

A Community of Care Quiet Room will be located at McCormick Place, available for attendees who are looking for a calm space during the conference.

Conference Ombudsperson and Community of Care Team: An ALA staff member will serve as a conference ombudsperson who will coordinate and support the Community of Care Team. This team will be a corps of ALA members stationed across the conference venue(s) and easily identified by a Community of Care ribbon on their badge, in the event that triage is needed.

Mental Health and Counseling Support: ALA will engage a mental health professional who will be available throughout the conference. A communal and tranquil Quiet Room will be available for attendees looking for a calm space during the conference.

There will also be a number of sessions held during the ALA Annual Conference related to mental health. These are listed below. Check the conference scheduler for locations not noted here.

Friday, June 23, 2023

  • 11:00am – 1:00pm; Graphic Medicine and Mental Health

Saturday, June 24, 2023

  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm; Stress Management for Real Life (In the Placement & Career Development Center)
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm; Lessons and Tools on Well-being for Your Library
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm; Libraries, Literature, & the Counseling Connection

Sunday, June 25, 2023

  • 9:00am – 10:00am; Therapy Cards: Mental Health Resources at the Library
  • 11:00 am – 12:00 pm; Telehealth in Libraries: What You Need to Know
  • 11:30am – 1:00pm; The Well Being and Mental Health Care of Library and Information Studies Doctoral Students (Poster 42)
  • 2:30pm – 3:30pm; Self-Care During Stressful Times (In the Placement & Career Development Center)
  • 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Designing Community-Responsive Mental Health Programs
  • 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Treat Yourself: Creating Wholistic Outreach Opportunities at an Academic Medical Library (Poster 57)
  • 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Unwind Your Mind: Incorporating a Wellness Series at Your Library (Poster 60)

Register now for the ALA Annual Conference. Be a part of these critical conversations.