It is hard to believe that only a little over four months I proposed to my supervisor that we host a virtual event for library staff health and wellness. I do not often overlap my day job with my blog and outside work, but this project used all of my resources both inside and outside of my day job. BLOSSOM is funded as a result of my work at the Network of the National Library of Medicine Greater Midwest Region office at the University of Iowa.
I after putting together a proposal and convening an Advisory Committee, BLOSSOM launched! BLOSSOM is a free virtual symposium on Building Life-long Opportunities for Strength, Self-Care, Outlook, Morale, and Mindfulness. It is for library staff focused on their health and wellness.
It will bring together experts on morale, invisible services, vocational awe, burnout, and self-care in libraries. The symposium will provide library staff at all levels, including management, with key takeaways to improve library staff’s health and wellness. This event is open to all library staff regardless of employment status and to library science students.
As of Friday, March 19, we had over 5,000 people registered. My original estimate to Zakia at Virtual Experience Design was 1,500 to 5,000. Five thousand was a pie-in-the-sky stretch goal that I never thought we would reach. Don’t worry; we have the capacity for more attendees; I didn’t think we would need it.
These numbers are a real testament to the deep need for this in our profession. Compassion fatigue and burnout were a real issue before the pandemic. The treatment of library workers by managers, library boards, city councils, and even our professional associations during the pandemic has often been horrifying.
The symposium would not be possible without the speakers who responded quickly and were willing to participate on short notice. I cannot thank them enough: Abigail Phillips, Alex Brown, Amanda Leftwich, Amy Tureen, Beth Gallaway, Callan Bignoli, Eamon Tewell, Eileen Ybarra, Fobazi Ettarh, Janet Damon, Jenn Carson, JJ Pionke, Kaetrena Davis Kendrick, Max Bowman, Nicollette Davis, Nikhat Ghouse, Nisha Mody, Raymond Pun, Sara Slymon, Tasha Nins, Twanna Hodge, and Wendy Peters.
If you have not already registered, please consider joining us for BLOSSOM. All sessions will have live Closed Captioning. All sessions, except for the BIPOC only session, will be recorded and available 1-2 weeks after the event. The event provides 8 CE credits.
You can see the schedule below or access an .ics version here.