Report: The Renewal Colloquium for Amigos Library Services (November 2021)

About three months ago, I led a Renewal Presentation for Amigos Library Services, and I was invited back to offer a Renewal Colloquium. The Colloquium event was held virtually on November 1. 

This reports shares some attendee data generated from the event’s pre-work activities.

Pre-Colloquium Questionnaire Highlights

  • Library Type
    • 67% Public library
  • Represented areas of practice
    • 25% Reference & Instruction
  • Career length
    • 57% 10 years or more
  • Topic Interest
    • 37% Emerging countermeasures and best practices to reduce/interrupt low morale

Goals for attending the Colloquium

  • “Understanding of the mechanisms that contribute to low moral and how to improve morale in the workplace.”
  • “I hope to build empathy for my colleagues and learn proven strategies to help myself, my department, and the library with morale issues.”
  • Learn how aspects of low morale affect an employee’s behavior and performance at work.”
  • “Increase awareness..”

 Low-Morale Experience Survey Highlights 

  • Have you experienced low morale?
    • 62% Yes
  • Length of low-morale experience
    • 67% 1 – 3 years
  • Perpetrators of abuse
    • 27%  Library administrators; 29% Library supervisors or managers
  • Types of workplace abuse experienced:
    • 33% Emotional; 29% Negligence
  • Feelings experienced during low morale:
    • 16% Frustration
  • What contributed to low-morale experience?
    • 20% Leadership Styles; 18% Uncertainty & Mistrust; 14% Staffing & Employment
  • Behaviors noted/considered:
    • TIE: 20% Decreased work productivity; Decreased professional engagement; 
    • 17% A desire to change careers.

Colloquium Evaluation Report Highlights

Things learned or more clearly defined:

“Librarians experiencing low morale are grieving the librarianship practice they thought they would have/were having.”

“I appreciated learning about mitigation techniques for low morale.”

”“I very much appreciate that you shared the terminology or labels and definitions of so many conditions we may have experienced. For instance, vocational awe, resilience narrative, legacy toxicity, etc. Although some may know what these mean, not all of us do. But I bet ALL of us can relate in some way to the term once it is understood…”

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

I would like to think I’ll be more likely to set boundaries, and also bring awareness to my colleagues.”

“I have some legacy toxicity in my department. I will look into empathetic/trauma-informed leadership.”

“I plan to share what I learned with colleagues at work and will practice them in my job and volunteer work.”

Recovery plans (personally or at work):

I will take this statement very seriously in the future: “Grieve and leave; you cannot heal where you were harmed.”

“I have experienced [low morale] in the past and chosen to leave those jobs. I think this session has reminded me to speak up and to get clarity when these issues arise.”

Topics recommended for discussion/consideration:

“Specific techniques/examples for practicing moral courage.”

Ready to host a Renewal ColloquiumLet’s plan your event!


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: