“Creating a Culture of Wellness for Library Staff”, Presentation for APA-ALA

At the end of July, I presented a webinar for the ALA-Allied Professional Association on creating a culture of wellness in your library.

Creating a Culture of Wellness for Library Staff: It is now more important than ever to create a healthy environment for library workers. Fostering a culture of wellness can help lower stress, reduce burnout, improve recovery from compassion fatigue and more. This webinar will take a holistic approach as we discuss aspects of a healthy workplace including physical, mental, and emotional components. We will explore why, and how, libraries should focus on improving the health and wellness of library staff. 

You can access the slides here. The recording is also available from ALA-APA. Password: zkzPma*0

Title screen of presentation "Creating a Culture of Wellness in Your Library" Bobbi Newman, @librarianbyday,

You can find the resources and references below. 

I want to address something that came up during this webinar. I do not ever advise creating a “health” workplace program that includes either weight loss or step counts. I started writing about this here, but it became too long and it is it’s own blog post now. 


Wellness in the Library Workplace is a free online asynchronous class I created for NNLM. It takes place over two weeks and provides 4 continuing education credits from the Medical Library Association. You can register for an upcoming instance here.

Fostering Wellness in the Library Workplace is the Facebook Page I’ve created for the forthcoming book. I try to share information related to creating a healthy workplace there. 

Presentation References 


ALA-APA. (2019, April 30). Wellness Strategies for Those Experiencing Microaggressions Plus Workplace Stress recorded webinar. Allied Professionals Association-ALA.

Allard, S. (2017, October 17). Placements & Salaries 2017: 2017 Salaries | Library Journal. Library Journal.

American Library Association. (2008, June 13). Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion [Text]. Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

American Lung Association. (n.d.). Indoor Air Pollutants and Health | American Lung Association. American Lung Assocation. Retrieved March 3, 2020, from

An, M., Colarelli, S. M., O’Brien, K., & Boyajian, M. (n.d.). Why We Need More Nature at Work: Effects of Natural Elements and Sunlight on Employee Mental Health and Work Attitudes. PLOS ONE, 11(5).

Banbury, S., & Berry, D. C. (1998). Disruption of office-related tasks by speech and office noise. British Journal of Psychology, 89(3), 499–517.

Bargh, J. A., & Shalev, I. (2012). The substitutability of physical and social warmth in daily life. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 12(1), 154–162.

Blackburn, M. D. G. L. (2009, December 1). The ROI on Weight Loss at Work. Harvard Business Review, December 2009.

Calleja, D. (2018, July 25). The Problem with Open-Plan Offices (and How to Fix it). Azure Magazine.

Chemaly, S. (n.d.). At work as at home, men reap the benefits of women’s “invisible labor”—Quartz. Quartz. Retrieved March 3, 2020, from

Connley, C. (2019, April 2). Reminder: Today isn’t Equal Pay Day for all women. CNBC.

Connolly, D. (2018, November 1). The Salary Question | American Libraries Magazine.
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Dalton, S., & Villagran, M. (2018). Minimizing and addressing implicit bias in the workplace: Be proactive, part one | Dalton | College & Research Libraries News. College & Research Libraries News, 79(9), 478.

Dennettto, C. (2019, March 11). Celery juice isn’t the miracle some claim. The Bulletin.

Determinants of Health | Healthy People 2020. (n.d.). []. Retrieved March 4, 2020, from

Douglas, S. (2018, December 18). Why the fat-burning heart rate zone is a myth—The Washington Post. The Washington Post.
Eagly, A. H., & Crowley, M. (1986). Gender and helping behavior: A meta-analytic review of the social psychological literature. Psychological Bulletin, 100(3), 283-308.

Emotional Wellness Toolkit. (2018, December 10). National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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Ettrah, F. (n.d.). Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves – In the Library with the Lead Pipe. In the Library with the Lead Pip. Retrieved March 3, 2020, from /2018/vocational-awe/comment-page-2/#comments

Gajendran, R. S., & Harrison, D. A. (2007). The good, the bad, and the unknown about telecommuting: Meta-analysis of psychological mediators and individual consequences. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(6), 1524–1541.

Gaskell, A. (2016, January 15). Why A Flexible Worker Is A Happy And Productive Worker. Forbes.

George L. Blackburn, M. D. (2009, December 1). The ROI on Weight Loss at Work. Harvard Business Review, December 2009.

Hancock, J. (2015, October 2). Work wellness programs put employee privacy at risk. CNN.

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Henke, R. M., Benevent, R., Schulte, P., Rinehart, C., Crighton, K. A., & Corcoran, M. (2016). The Effects of Telecommuting Intensity on Employee Health. American Journal of Health Promotion, 30(8), 604–612.

Himmelstein, D. (2020). As Compassion Fatigue Takes its Toll, Schools and Public Libraries Take Steps to Support Librarians | School Library Journal. School Library Journal.

HRreview, E. (2014, May 15). Workers in open plan offices took 70% more sick days last year than home-workers. HRreview.

Hülsheger, U. R., & Schewe, A. F. (2011). On the costs and benefits of emotional labor: A meta-analysis of three decades of research. JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH PSYCHOLOGY, 16(3), 361-389.

Kostelecky, S., & Hurley, D. (2017, April 5). Cultural Humility [Text]. Education & Careers.

Kukaswadia, A. (2013, February 28). The Problem with “Fighting” Cancer. HuffPost Canada Life.

Lang, S. S. (2004, October 19). Study links warm offices to fewer typing errors and higher productivity. Cornell Chronicle.

Lieberman, C. (2018, August 10). How Self-Care Became So Much Work. Harvard Business Review.

Livingston, G. (n.d.). Many who take care of adults say it’s very meaningful. Pew Research Center. Retrieved March 4, 2020, from

Luger, C. (2019, March 6). It’s Time to Stop Exploiting Native Cultures in Wellness. Here’s How. Wanderlust.

Masilamani, R. (2018, April 26). Reflecting Community: The Importance of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Library Staffing » Public Libraries Online. Public Libraries Online.

Mautz, S. (2018, April 2). A 2-Year Stanford Study Shows the Astonishing Productivity Boost of Working From Home. Inc.Com.

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Meister, J. C. (2018, September 3). The #1 Office Perk? Natural Light. Harvard Business Review.

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Olson, S. (2016, February 9). BMI Is No Longer A Good Indication Of Healthy Weight; Here Are 6 Better Ways To Measure Your Health. Medical Daily.

Placements & Salaries 2017: 2017 Salaries | Library Journal. (n.d.). Retrieved March 3, 2020, from

Schulte, L. (2017). Total Worker Health® Missing Pieces to the Employee Well-Being Puzzle. SLouis Area Business Health Coalition.

Stahl, A. (2016, July 28). New Study Reveals That Cubicle Farms Are Ruining Employee Morale (And Output). Forbes.

Stevens, H. (2019, March 7). With Alex Trebek’s announcement comes unease over the words “fight” and “win” applied to cancer. Chicagotribune.Com.

Tervalon, M., & Murray-García, J. (1998). Cultural humility versus cultural competence: A critical distinction in defining physician training outcomes in multicultural education. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 9(2), 117–125.

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Wadyka, S. (2020, January 16). Are Workplace Wellness Programs a Privacy Problem? Consumer Reports.

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Wieczner, J. (2016, March 12). Meditation Is Now a Billion-Dollar Business. Fortune.

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Yakabu, K. (2020, February 13). To my fellow LIS Black, Indigenous, and People of Color [Series]: Emotional Labor. HLS.


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