Caregiver's Toolkit

Caregiving" refers to the provision of assistance to another person who is ill, disabled, or needs help with daily activities. It often requires attention to the physical, mental, social, and psychological needs and well-being of both the caregivers and the elderly person requiring care.”

Being a caregiver is the reality for many working Americans in the 21st century including those who work in libraries. The survey Caregiving in the US 2009 finds that nearly one third of the adult population in America plays some type of caregiving role. A 2008 survey conducted by the ALA Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL) found that 69.5% of the respondents were unpaid caregivers to another adult age 18 or over in addition to full or part-time employment in a library. 

At some point in a library workers’ career, he or she will be a caregiver, will work with someone who is a caregiver or will supervise a caregiver. Understanding the challenges of this role will become critical to most library staff.  On January 16, 2008, the ALA Council recognized the responsibility of libraries to help all employees that are family caregivers through adoption of a resolution in support of Women as Caregivers in the Workforce. 

During the 2011 ALA Annual Conference, COSWL hosted the “Introduction to Women’s Issues” program (cosponsored by the Feminist Task Force of SRRT and the Women & Gender Studies Section of ACRL) where the topic was discussed and data from the survey were presented.   The facilitated discussion further proved that the issue is still very relevant and timely to those employed in libraries. 

The resources and links presented on this website are intended to be of use for both caregivers and those who supervise or work with someone who is a caregiver. The list does not seek to be comprehensive. Those who can share additional links or materials are encouraged to contact caregiving@ala.org .