For immediate release | June 7, 2019

Richland Library first to receive Presidential Citation for Wellness in the Workplace

Richland Library of Columbia, South Carolina is first library selected for the Presidential Citation for Wellness in the Workplace.

The library was chosen for its accomplishments in creating and sustaining system-wide support for library staff through multiple wellness initiatives and efforts. The library will receive a framed citation from ALA-APA President Loida Garcia-Febo at the President's Program, Sunday, June 23, 2019, 3 – 5:30 pm in the Washington Convention Center – Ballroom B/C during the American Library Association (ALA) 2019 Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

President Garcia-Febo commented, “As a woman with deep interests in mental and physical health, and the well-being of library workers, wellness is of utmost importance to me. Libraries have the power to help transform lives through efforts such as those developed by the Richland Library. I hope this Citation motivates libraries everywhere to support the overall well-being of their staff.”

Richland Library is being recognized for initiating Project Play, an innovative approach to providing each library department with discretionary funds to support activities they choose to improve staff wellness such as bowling, karaoke, social lunches, meditation and coloring; for including the ambitious goal in its strategic plan “to be the most progressive and sought-after employer in the country”; for having the lowest staff turnover in 21 years through initiatives such as Project Play and revised family and medical leave and paid time off policies; for launching an accessible exercise option for staff by opening an exercise room for staff in the Main Branch; and for providing the convenient exercise option of sharable bicycles that library staff can use to travel to meetings.

The selection team expressed its delight in choosing the Richland Library to receive the inaugural citation. Loriene Roy, chair, ALA-APA Advisory Citation Committee on ALA Presidential Citation for Wellness in the Workplace stated, “We are pleased to help recognize the excellent work that libraries are providing for their library workers in creating positive and supportive work environments. We applaud the work of the Richland Library, work that provides a national model that we hope will be replicated in other libraries."

The Presidential Citation for Wellness in the Workplace is managed by the ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA), ALA-APA, a companion organization to the American Library Association (ALA), is a nonprofit professional organization established “to promote the mutual professional interests of librarians and other library workers.”


Beatrice Calvin

Manager, Professional Development