Category Archives: Spotlight

Future Libraries: Do They Need Managers or Leaders?

By Peter A. Arthur-Smith

“When you’re doing good to others, you’re best to yourself.” – Benjamin Franklin (1748)

Benjamin Franklin opened the 1st American subscription library with friends in 1731. It was called the ‘Library Company of Philadelphia.’

Libraries are key components of our society and have been centers of learning for generations. For this reason, they must survive and thrive. However, like many other institutions and aspects of society in the technology and social media era, they are Read the rest

The World in Crisis

Working on this issue of Library Worklife has been a struggle. We have wrestled with figuring out what to say, with how to respond to everything that has transpired over the last couple of  weeks. The nation, nay, the world is in crisis. While we continue to cope with the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, we must also contend with world-wide protests —sparked by the death of Mr. George Floyd— where people have been demanding justice for people of Read the rest

Breaking News Will Not Break Us: Mental Health and Libraries During COVID-19

By Payton Smith

May has been celebrated nation-wide as “Mental Health Month” since 1949, a movement propagated by the Mental Health for America campaign. As information seekers by trade, our primary goal is to facilitate the education and filter false facts, especially as social media algorithms purposefully place incorrect information in the public’s eye. Libraries are warzones of truth, constantly battling the spread of ill-intended messages. This battle for truth is especially crucial as misinformation surrounding COVID-19 marks a life-or-death Read the rest

Taking Care of Yourself During Challenging Transitions

By Caitlin Williams, Ph.D.

Welcome back to Library Worklife. We’re glad you’re here. Our theme over the past months’ issues has been on how you can develop professionally across your career. Given what’s happening around the world right now, let’s spend this month looking at one of the most important ways you can focus on your growth and well-being – taking care of yourself during this time of transition and uncertainty.

Whether you’re working remotely right now, going through a Read the rest

Should You Stay? Or Should You Go?

By Caitlin Williams, Ph.D.

Welcome back to this month’s issue of Library Worklife! I hope you’ve had the opportunity to read through our previous articles that framed your career as a journey in which you travel from early to late-career and beyond. Since we’ve already covered early career in past articles, let’s shift gears a bit and explore midcareer – our focus in this article. Remember, though, that just because we’re looking at midcareer this month doesn’t mean you can’t Read the rest

Questions to Help Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Meaningful

By Caitlin Williams, Ph.D.

Have you already made your New Year’s resolutions?  Are you excited about them? Or not quite so enthused? If they do excite you, great!  I encourage you to go for them and celebrate your successes as you move forward!

If your resolutions under- or overwhelm you, you’re not alone. Various polls show that 75 to 80 percent of people don’t stick with their resolutions beyond the end of February. 

And if you’re among those who haven’t Read the rest

Let the Journey Begin! Check Out These Early Steps to Get You Going on Your Career Adventure

By Caitlin Williams, Ph.D.

Welcome back to your Library Worklife Newsletter for December!  Are you energized and ready to begin your journey to discover all the great places and opportunities you can encounter as you move ahead in your professional life?  I hope so because it’s going to be a great ride!

 If you haven’t had the chance to read last month’s Worklife Spotlight column, I highly recommend that you do so. In that article you’ll be introduced to Read the rest

Want More Satisfaction from Your Career? Consider this Perspective

By Caitlin Williams

Welcome to our first article in this year’s Library Worklife Spotlight series!  I’m excited to share our theme for this coming year with you. Here it is: YOUR CAREER IS A JOURNEY, NOT A SERIES OF STAND-ALONE JOBS!

Over the coming months, we’ll explore this theme together and I’ll share with you thought-provoking articles, actionable suggestions for trying out a new behavior or a new perspective, and self-reflection questions that can enhance your professional life – regardless Read the rest

Job Satisfaction and Workplace Engagement in Libraries

By Jason Martin, Ed.D.


Job satisfaction and workplace engagement play a large role in the healthy functioning of any organization, libraries included. These two factors influence productivity, workplace behavior, organizational citizenship and affective commitment (the attachment to, and identification with, a workplace). Affective commitment supersedes all other organizational factors – including pay – to create a deep loyalty to the organization. Job satisfaction and workplace engagement each influence the other. The more engaged someone is, the more satisfied they Read the rest

Polishing Your Soft Skills – A Fantastic Opportunity You May Be Missing

By Caitlin Williams. Ph.D.

Over the past ten months, we’ve been looking at the importance of soft skills.  We’ve also looked at how to use them to advance your career. Whether you’re just out of school or a late-career library worker – and whether you’re in job-seeking mode or you’re a long-term employee at your organization – putting soft skills to work for you can make a huge difference.

Yet, too often, many workers look instead to the latest technology Read the rest