We Are NOT Okay: Library Worker Trauma Before and During COVID-19 and What Happens After

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Explore the resources mentioned in the presentation.

We Are Not Okay Panel Discussion 2/8 from Infopeople on Vimeo.

Panelists: Leah Esguerra, Social Worker Supervisor, San Francisco Public Library; Michelle Jeske, City Librarian, Denver Public Library; Andrea Lemoins, Outreach Coordinator, Free Library of Philadelphia; Christian Zabriskie, Library Director, Onondaga County Public Libraries. Moderator: Veronda Pitchford, Assistant Director, Califa.

Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event... Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea. While these feelings are normal, some people have difficulty moving on with their lives.
-- American Psychological Association, https://www.apa.org/topics/trauma(link is external)

The emotional investment that many library workers have in the profession and the community expectations regarding the library’s pandemic response have left many library workers experiencing trauma with very few places to turn for support. This perfect storm of circumstances has made it clear: library staff are at a crisis point.

This webinar for ALL library workers — frontline staff, managers, and library directors — will serve as a convening to discuss the impact trauma has on library staff, work toward addressing the necessary systemic change and need for a cultural shift, and explore potential individual, organizational, and industry response strategies. Join us to consider how libraries might rethink delivery of essential library services to communities in need while ensuring a safe environment and resources to support personal well-being for staff.