Report: The Renewal Presentation @ Northwest ILL & Resource Sharing Virtual Conference (September 2021)

Earlier this month I offered The Renewal Presentation for the opening session of the Northwest Interlibrary Loan & Resource Sharing Virtual Conference (NWILL). During the hour-long event – which included over 200 attendees – I shared comparative data from my low-morale studies, summarized frameworks for the experience, reviewed countermeasures, and answered questions.

Before the event, attendees were offered an opportunity to take two surveys: 

  • Pre-Presentation Questionnaire (basic demographics and impetus for joining the event)
  • Low-Morale Experience Survey (exploring basic markers of a low-morale experience)

At the end of the event, attendees were also offered a chance to evaluate the Presentation.

Following is a selection of data from the surveys and the evaluation (quantitative queries show majority responses only).

Pre-Presentation Questionnaire Highlights

  • Library Workplace Type
    • 65% Academic
  • Represented areas of practice
    • 38% Reference and Instruction
  • Career length
    • 59% 10 years or more
  • Most interested in discussions about
    • 38% Emerging countermeasures and best practices that reduce/interrupt low morale

Anticipated goals or skills to acquire from Presentation:

“Becoming more aware of the role I play in the culture of our work setting.”

“To be able to recognize and understand the underline cause of behaviors that cause low-morale so that I can stop reacting emotionally or feel less stressed out.“

“I hope to become a better leader and manager by understanding more about what low morale looks like and how it can be mitigated.”

“Ways in which I can support my coworkers experiencing low morale and help contribute to a workplace where everyone feels seen and valued.”

“This is new to me and I am interested to find out more.”

Low-Morale Experience Survey Highlights 

  • Have you experienced low morale?
    • 75% Yes
  • Length of low-morale experience
    • 44% More than 3 years
  • Perpetrators of abuse
    • TIE: 24%  Library administrators and Library supervisors or managers
  • Types of workplace abuse experienced:
    • 33% Emotional
  • Feelings experienced during low morale:
    • 16% Frustration
  • What contributed to low-morale experience?
    • 13% Uncertainty & Mistrust
  • Behaviors noted/considered:
    • 16% Decreased professional engagement

Presentation Evaluation Report Highlights

Things learned or more clearly defined:

“I did not know how much work had been done on this topic. I didn’t even know it was topic of study. I work in a union environment and I am a union member so these topics are familiar in that context but I thought it might be limited to that context.”

“The physical, emotional, and cognitive responses to low morale were very helpful to learn about. I have been experiencing all of the emotional and cognitive responses for nearly a year. This presentation gave me validation and confidence to be more assertive about what I need and try to let go of how those needs will be perceived by management and coworkers.”

“The difference between self-preservation and self-care.”

“Reminded me that I’m not alone, there are many of us that feel this way.”

“Clear is Kind. Aim for Kindness not nice. Aim for clear communication. Thank you. Wonderful presentation. I feel uplifted, as well.”

Share how attending this Presentation may influence your daily or long-term library practice:

“While I was familiar with many of these concepts, I feel like this presentation gave me the validation to acutally employ them instead of just aspire to them.”

“Boundary setting! Thanks again!”

“I feel I have been practicing self-preservation techniques, without being aware of it necessarily. As a supervisor, I need to be aware of factors contributing to low morale that were discussed today, to make sure I am a resource of support, not harm.”

“Hearing Kaetrena speak as well as the responses of other attendees was truly eye-opening in terms of how wide-spread these low-morale instances and causes are.”

“It helped me realize I have more power than I previously believed.”

Recovery plans (personally or at work):

“My goal is to be more realistic when setting goals for myself. I think that I feel obligated to push myself to achieve as much as I possibly can at work instead of setting realistic expectations. Although my current work environment is very positive, I know from experience that my own unrealistic expectations for myself will influence what others expect of me.”

“Boundaries with abusive coworkers, assertive communication with supervisors, continued engagement with my union.”

“I will use assertive communication in the areas I feel are neglected, so they are addressed and not festering.”

“Allow myself to be me without fear.”

“I’m not sure yet, but I have more things to think about now.”

Topics recommended for discussion/consideration:

“I would be interested to learn more about how those with disabilities are affected by low morale.”

“I really appreciated hearing phrases that we can use to be more assertive, I would love more examples of things to say to my managers in terms of asking for things/making boundaries.”

“What do you do when you realize that *you* are the one causing problems?”

Thanks so much to Miriam Wnuk for inviting me to lead this session for NWILL members/attendees. Learn more about NWILL.

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

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: