Mindfulness in Libraries

Monday, 1/14/2019 - Friday, 2/8/2019

While a trendy term, mindfulness practice is thousands of years old; further it is a secular, evidence-based practice with practical applications to everyday life and work. Mindfulness is the deliberate, non-judgmental awareness of what one is experiencing in the present moment. Our brains are always working, scanning the environment for dangers, which can put us in a constant state of stress. Mindfulness allows us to break a thought pattern and return to the present moment, thereby helping to alleviate stress and live a richer life. Mindfulness is cultivated through various practices and helps us be more present, improve self-awareness and management, and provide mental replenishment. When we live and act mindfully we are better at dealing with stress and responding to the numerous demands of our lives by being more focused and aware. This class will discuss what mindfulness is, how mindfulness works, the benefits of mindfulness, and how to practice mindfulness and cultivate its benefits.

While participants will complete readings and online discussions, the class is mostly experiential. Participants will be expected to perform various mindful practices, reflect on them, and discover how to apply mindfulness to their daily lives and work. During the class participants will develop a mindfulness plan to guide them in their practice.

Learning Outcomes

After attending this class, participants will be able to:

  • Define mindfulness and its benefits in order to better understand the concept
  • Understand how mindfulness works  and the ways it is practiced in order to experience the benefits of living and working mindfully
  • Develop a mindfulness practice in order to focus more on the present, improve self-awareness and self-management, and experience mental replenishment.

Week One--What is Mindfulness?
In week one we will define what mindfulness is and what it is not. We will explore the benefits of mindfulness, which include being present, greater self-awareness and self-management, and mental replenishment. We will discuss how those benefits are important in our personal lives as well as our professional lives as librarians. Participants will complete readings and a discussion assignment and choose between several mindfulness practice options and observe and record what they experienced in their week of practice.

Week Two--Presence
In week two we will define the concept of being present and discuss the importance of its benefits including improved focus, better relationships with others, and improved listening and understanding. Participants will complete readings and a discussion assignment and choose between several mindfulness practice options and observe and record what they experienced in their week of practice.

Week Three--Self-Awareness and Self-Management
In week three we will define the concepts of self-awareness and self-management as it relates to mindfulness and discuss their importance to our personal and professional lives. Self-awareness allows us to understand our values and be cognizant of whether our actions and values are in alignment. Self-management allows us to respond not react to a situation - an important distinction - and resist the urge to act on our thoughts, which are fleeting. Participants will complete readings and a discussion assignment and choose between several mindfulness practice options and observe and record what they experienced in their week of practice.

Week Four--Mental Replenishment
In week four we will define what mental replenishment is and how mindfulness gives us a healthy way to deal with stress, avoid burnout, and rejuvenate our mental state. All of this improves out cognitive functioning, improving our capacity to learn and make decisions. One important aspect of mental replenishment is a practice called loving kindness, which we will discuss. Participants will complete readings and a discussion assignment and choose between several mindfulness practice options and observe and record what they experienced in their week of practice.

Who Should Attend

Anyone interested in mindfulness practice

Registration

Cost

Registration fees:

ACRL member: $135
ALA member: $175
Nonmember: $205
Student: $75

How to Register

  • Go to the Online Registration page.
  • Locate the course by the date of the event under the January header.
  • Select the "Register" link next to the course title.
  • You will need to log in with your ALA ID & password. If you do not have an ALA ID & password, you will be asked to create one in order to register.

Course access instructions will be sent out one business day prior to the start of the course.

Class size is limited to 60 participants. Full refunds will be granted up to one business day prior to the start of the course.

Tech Requirements

The course will be offered in the Moodle platform.  A computer with Internet connection is required.

Your participation will require approximately 3-5 hours per week of primarily asynchronous activities to:

  • Read the online course materials
  • Post to online discussion boards
  • Complete online exercises and/or final assignment

Participants who complete the course requirements will receive a certificate of completion.

Contact

If you have a question about an e-Learning opportunity or need to make arrangements for special assistance, please contact Margot Conahan (mconahan@ala.org).