Report: The Renewal Presentation for AAMLA (February 2021)

Earlier this month, I facilitated a Renewal Presentation as part of the African American Medical Librarians Alliance Caucus (AAMLA)’s “Radical Wellness & Self-Care for Information Professionals” series. I’m thankful the group invited me to take part in these important conversations, which also included a focus on mindfulness, fitness, nutrition, mental health, and more.

During the presentation, I offered a review of the 2019 low-morale study (focusing on ethnic and racial minority academic librarians), which I completed with Ione T. Damasco). Attendees had an opportunity to take two surveys: 

  • Pre-Presentation Questionnaire (basic demographics)
  • Low-Morale Experience Survey (exploring basic markers of a low-morale experience)

At the end of the Presentation, I also circulated a evaluation form. Following is a selection of data from the event (quantitative queries show majority responses only)

Pre-Seminar Questionnaire Highlights

  • Represented areas of practice
    • 49% Reference & Instruction
  • Career length
    • 57% 10 years or more

 Low-Morale Experience Survey Highlights 

  • Have you experienced low morale?
    • 58% Yes
  • Length of low-morale experience
    • TIE: 30% 1 – 3 years
  • Perpetrators of abuse
    • 58%  Library supervisors or managers
    • 50% Library administrators
  • Types of workplace abuse experienced:
    • 68% Emotional
    • 63% Negligence
    • 50% Verbal/written
  • Feelings experienced during low morale:
    • 89% Frustration
    • 76% Anger
    • 65% Sadness
    • 62% Depression
    • TIE: 59% Disillusion; Worry
  • What contributed to low-morale experience?
    • 72% Leadership Styles
    • 67% Uncertainty & Mistrust
  • Behaviors noted/considered:
    • 72% A decrease in work productivity
    • 69% Increased procrastination
    • 64% A decrease in professional engagement
    • 61% A decreased willingness to collaborate
    • 58% A desire to change careers 
  • Physical and mental health conditions:
    • “Weight gain, sleeplessness (due to anxiety)”
    • “Negative effects on Type II diabetes (stress made it more difficult to control)”
    • “It has exacerbated my existing depression.”
    • “Depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.”
    • “I have developed anxiety but I have not been diagnosed with it because I haven’t gone to the doctor due to COVID.”

Presentation Evaluation Report Highlights

  • Concepts more clearly defined:
    • 95% Enabling Systems
    • 80% Impact Factors
    • 80% Resilience Narratives
    • 75% Development of low-morale experiences
    • 75% Vocational Awe
  • Skills or goals you’re considering as a result of attending this event:
    • 75% Boundaries
    • 60% Assertive communication
    • 60% Mindful inquiry
    • 50% Informal leadership
  • Recovery plans (personally or at work):
    • 68% Exercise
    • 63% Creative or spiritual engagement
    • 58% Dismantling Enabling Systems

Other impactful evaluation responses:

“As an LIS educator, [I’ll be] addressing low morale in my courses to prepare students to recognize it, protect themselves, and push back on structures that create low morale.”

“…I’m also trying to mitigate some of the negative responses you named that I was practicing unconsciously.”

“[I’ll be working on] identifying emotions. Right before this session I had [a meeting with a formal leader] and described so many of the emotions people feel with low morale. It is a weight off my back being able to name the feeling. Thank you.”

Ready to host a Renewal event? Let’s plan your event!.


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