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Preventing and Treating Compassion Fatigue with Self-Care

Library staff are tasked with providing more and more services for their communities despite continually shrinking budgets. Often overlooked, is the importance of self-care while doing this work, including the awareness of the effects of trauma and building resiliency. If you have you found yourself feeling drained, growing more irritable or less empathetic in your work you may be at-risk for compassion fatigue.

In this session, presenter Katie Scherrer discusses compassion fatigue. You should become aware of its symptoms and warning signs, and acknowledge workplace stressors in the library profession that can put us at-risk. She discusses the importance of creating space for self-care in our lives to prevent and/or heal from compassion fatigue, and explores steps for creating a personalized self-care plan. Mindfulness as a specific self-care strategy is explored, with several real-time mindfulness practices interspersed throughout the webinar.


Access the slides and the self-care plan handout


This webinar was part of the California State Library's Mental Health Initiative: Where Compassion Meets Action. It was presented live on April 11, 2019.

The Cost of Caring: 10 Ways to Prevent Compassion Fatigue

Read this Good Therapy article about recognizing the signs of compassion fatigue and taking steps to prevent it.

Library Burnout: It's Common and Okay to Admit!

Take a look at this article from the June 2020 issue of The Reporter (Illinois Library Association).

Feeling the Burnout

Take a look at this article by Jennifer A. Dixon from Library Journal, March 2022.

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