It’s Renewals’ four-year anniversary (yesterday also marked the four-year anniversary of Renewers – Renewals’ connected Facebook community, and the second-year anniversary of Renewals’ Twitter and Instagram accounts). This update also finds us heading into a third year of the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, Renewals’ communities have grown, its mission has been clarified, research has been published, and new data collection projects, continuing education efforts, and the identification of targeted services have developed during the past year.
Renewers, the online Facebook community, now has over 1,500 members, (Twitter: 1,221; Instagram: 620). In August of 2021, the Renewals website was redesigned to highlight its mission and values:
- Mission: Renewals reconnects people and organizations to their purpose, creates empathetic strategies, and centers positive and wholehearted outcomes for the long-term improvement, integrity, and humanity of our workplaces.
- Values: Empathy & Compassion; Authenticity & Self-Respect; Courage & Dignity; and Creativity & Well-Being.
Soon after last year’s update, I learned that my public librarian low morale study was was named winner of the 2020 Partnership Article Award for its “originality, relevance and timeliness to the profession, contribution and impact on the profession, and quality.” New research was also published – the Leaving Low Morale study I referenced in last year’s update was published in Alki in July 2021. While I’ve completed data collection and began data analysis for my formal leader study, I’m currently in epoché, and I anticipate reintegration of the data by the end of the year. In the meantime, I shared some of my thoughts and findings on an episode of Library Leadership Podcast. While working on these formal studies, I’ve also continued gathering and reporting data on various aspects of low-morale experiences. This year I added two projects:
- Legacy Toxicity in Formal Leaders’ Low-Morale Experiences
- Low-Morale Experiences at Unionized Library Workplaces
Since the formal U.S. Federal Government’s acknowledgement of the COVID-19 Pandemic, I’ve been tracking how library organizations’ responses to the Pandemic have impacted ongoing low-morale experiences. The survey remains open, and I’ve presented results and/or discussed mental and physical impacts in a variety of venues or platforms, including:
- BLOSSOM conference, hosted by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.
- Library Leadership Ohio
- Amigos Library Services
Also, I’ve been asked to discuss these studies and associated countermeasures, especially as we enter the third year of the Pandemic: in May 2021, I was interviewed by Dr. Nicole A Cooke as a guest for The Skillset Podcast for a series on Collective Care. Associated with this topic, I also participated in a Association of Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) conference presentation.
During this fourth year, I led several Renewal professional development/facilitation events:
- Amigos Library Services (June 2021 and November 2021)
- Library Leadership Ohio (July 2021)
- Clemson University Libraries (July 2021)
- Northwest Interlibrary Loan Virtual Conference (September 2021)
- Massachusetts Library System (September and October 2021)
- Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (December 2021)
- Alaska Library Association (February 2022)
My data has been very clear in showing that people who face low morale are seeking career clarity and/or support as they navigate within or transition from dysfunctional workplaces. To that end, in late January I formally launched career services for this unique group of workers. Click the following links to learn more.
I increasingly look forward to expanding my research and support tools in these areas, and as always, I will continue to improve. Please look forward to it.
As a final note, I’d like to share that March 21 is not only the anniversary of Renewals – it is also my maternal grandmother – Lillian (Dennis) Delaney Edney’s – birthday. She passed away earlier this year, and this post is dedicated to her life, her support and guidance of my education, her modeling of the points of my ongoing mission, and her love and care.
In addition to this blog, you are welcome to keep up with my speaking engagements and other work here.