Caregiver's Toolkit

The term caregivers 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 person requiring care.

Caregiving responsibilities will touch almost all of us at some point in our lives. With an aging population and with many caring for ill and disabled children and young adults, an increasing number of people are family caregivers.

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 2020 found that the number of Americans providing unpaid care increased from 43.5 million in 2015 to 53 million in 2020. 

In addition, research from the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) in partnership with Caring Across Generations highlights the challenges facing working parents who are providing intergenerational care. Findings indicate that more than 11 million Americans (more than a quarter of all caregivers) are caring for an adult family member due to health needs or disability, while also caring for children at home. This group has become known as the sandwich generation because they are effectively "sandwiched" between both aging parents and children (who all may require financial, physical, and emotional support).

The issue of caregiving is relevant and timely to those employed in libraries today. The COVID-19 pandemic is complicating matters of care for families. It has forced many schools to close and caused those who have not lost their jobs, to work from home. Those who are parents are attempting to work as employees and teachers as well as caregivers.

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. 

Members of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL) have gathered resources to help caregivers. The information 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 .


 Library Resources

Webinars and Training



Grief Support

  • Find a Licensed Professional Counselor in Your Area
    • The Therapy Directory is a website and online service from Psychology Today that can assist you in finding a counselor.


This page is maintained by the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR) on behalf of the ALA Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship (COSWL). For questions or comments, or to suggest additional resources, please contact