LIRT Conference Program 2019

Description of Library Instruction Round Table (LIRT) 2019 Annual Program, How Did I Get Here? Exploring Mindfulness in Library Instruction


How Did I Get Here?

Exploring Mindfulness in Library Instruction

Saturday, June 22, 2019

1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Walter E Washington Convention Center Room 154A-B

In today’s heavily networked and fast-paced world, mindfulness has emerged as a critical component in maintaining mental health and happiness. In the work environment, mindfulness is touted as a key to reducing burnout and prioritizing work-life balance. There is growing interest among educators to integrate thoughtful and conscientious techniques into their classrooms, which has proven beneficial to both the instructor and the student. Join public, academic, and school librarians who have integrated these methods into their instruction to learn how awareness techniques can improve and enhance teaching efforts.

  • Zaiga Alksnitis is a Reference Librarian at Middlesex School, an independent boarding high school in Concord, MA. Six years ago Middlesex began its fledgling mindfulness program, holding classes in the library. This made it easy for Zaiga to explore mindfulness for herself, and she was quickly hooked! In the last six years she has participated in Middlesex’s mindfulness program, growing her personal practice. Recently she has begun to expand her practice from being a “mindful person” who is a librarian to practicing being a “mindful librarian,” exploring new ways to bring mindfulness to her profession and to the library environment. Zaiga received her MLIS from San Jose State University and has enjoyed being a high school librarian for over a decade.

  • Amy M. Laughlin has served as the Youth Services Outreach Librarian at the Ferguson Library in Stamford, CT since 2016. Prior to that, Amy was the Children’s Librarian and Outreach Coordinator for Darien Library in Darien, CT. Since 2014 she has co-written a column for School Library Journal titled Mix it Up, which offers resources and tools for librarians and educators to use for exploring new and unusual topics. It was through one of her Mix it Up pieces that Amy began to research and explore social emotional learning and how SEL techniques can be applied in a public library setting. She now uses mindfulness practices in her storytimes and afterschool art program Crafternoon. From 2017-2019, Amy served on the ALA’s Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) book evaluation committee Notable Children’s Books. Amy received her MLIS from Pratt Institute in 2013.

  • Jill Luedke has been the Art & Architecture Learning and Research Services Librarian at the Temple University Libraries in Philadelphia since 2009. Previously, she was a Reference and Instruction Librarian at the Adam & Sophie Gimbel Design Library at The New School in New York City. She has been researching and experimenting with contemplative pedagogy since 2013, and regularly incorporates mindfulness practices such as meditation and yogic instruction into her information literacy sessions. Jill publishes a semi-annual zine, ArtTickle, from her desk at Temple University Libraries.

  • Venerable Sagarananda Tien is the Secretary of the US Zen Institute located in Germantown, Maryland, a Buddhist organization promoting Buddhist teachings and meditation and Vice President of Buddha’s Wisdom Association, a Buddhist nonprofit organization with the goal to provide financial and spiritual support and guidance for underprivileged children.

    Venerable Sagarananda was born and raised in Taiwan. He came to this country for graduate studies in engineering where he earned his Master and Doctoral degrees. While he was settling down in his research and engineering career, he encountered Buddhism by attending meditation retreats by “accident.” The experience that he had in meditation gradually changed his perspective on his career goal and his life. In 2010, he decided to dedicate his life in practicing Buddhism by receiving monastic ordination in Southeast Asia.

Venenerable Sagarananda will lead the audience through a 15-minute meditation at the beginning of the session.