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Report: The Renewal Colloquium for Washington Research Library Consortium (May 2022)

Last week I facilitated The Renewal Colloquium for the Washington Research Library Consortium‘s plenary meeting. This meeting discussed the trajectory of low-morale experiences with a focus on how the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted these experiences. I also introduced Pauline Boss’ concept of Ambiguous Loss and how it has affected library employees.

This report shares selected attendee data generated from the event’s pre-work activities and evaluation survey.

Pre-Colloquium Questionnaire Highlights

Low-Morale Experience Survey Highlights 

Goals for attending the Colloquium

Please share any other details you’d like about your experience during the Pandemic

Colloquium Evaluation Report Highlights

Things learned or more clearly defined:

“I really enjoyed this experience. Empathy is so important and I want to thank Kaetrena for helping me narrow my [research focus]. Everything she stated aligned with my lifestyle and core beliefs concerning empathy. This was amazing :).”

“Resilience narratives–specifically within the context of how it’s implied that a failure to perfectly adapt to severe conditions is our fault, rather than being due to the severity of those conditions.”

“Seeing the [live collective] responses showed that we are not alone re: how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected us all…”

“The discussion about our leaders’ roles in low morale environments (that leaders have a role, but that they often can’t fix everything on their own) was powerful recognition of the complex systems we work in. It’s easy to look to leaders for solutions, and leaders often want to provide them. Yet, it’s more complicated.”

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

The importance of understanding the reverse side/downside of a well-developed or overused skill or work style. Kaetrena provided herself as an example that was quite relatable.”

“Mostly I’m grateful I was able to leave a prior toxic environment, especially since my new workplace has some better systems and structures in place to prevent/guard against a number of the problems I had in my previous job.”

“I think I need to reassess some of the ways in which my staff and I work together, as well as in which my supervisor and I work together.”

Recovery plans (personally or at work):

“I want to get back into some of my creative endeavors that have been dormant, though I haven’t been able to muster the energy or ideas to actually follow through on that desire, so I’m trying to be patient with myself in the hope that those things will come back again with time…”

“Shift to focusing on my family. Long term: planning on leaving the profession.”

“I need to reach out. My isolation and silence is taking its toll on my mental/emotional health and now on my physical health too.”

Topics recommended for discussion/consideration:

“Self-Awareness perhaps, but that could lead down another rabbit hole easily.”

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