Proactive steps for a positive library workplace

For Immediate Release
Thu, 01/02/2020


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — Every day you strive to ensure that the library is working for its users—but how is it working for you? And what can we all do to make the library an inclusive and positive workplace? Offering both case studies and personal narratives, “The Library Workplace Idea Book: Proactive Steps for Positive Change,” published by ALA Editions, draws on contributions from librarians and library workers at a variety of institutions across the country. Edited by Heather L. Seibert, Amanda Vinogradov, and Amanda H. McLellan, this collection’s real-world examples include:

  • a model library code of conduct;
  • practical steps for gender inclusion, from ILS usernames and job ad language to signage for gender-neutral restrooms;
  • how library workers navigated oversight committees and adapted spaces to create lactation accommodations;
  • methods for encouraging conversations around diversity;
  • using dialog to address conflict in white employees’ conversations about race, including insights from a librarian of color who recounts his library’s diversity training day;
  • ways to make ergonomic changes to your workplace to ease chronic pain or discomfort;
  • favorite yoga YouTube channels and websites for lunch-break yoga;
  • brightening up the library with low-maintenance plants identified by NASA for their air-purifying characteristics;
  • guidance on identify bullying in the workplace, with advice on how to handle it; and
  • positive changes in the recruitment and interview process that can reduce turnover of student library employees.

Seibert is currently employed by National Heritage Academies in Winterville, NC. She is an advocate for worklife balance, women’s rights, and lactation compliance in the workplace. Her research interests concern open educational resources, Creative Commons Licensing, and affordable textbook creation in higher education for support of K-12 curriculum and instruction. Vinogradov works for East Carolina University’s Joyner Library in the Special Collections Cataloging department. Her research interests include digital libraries, public health, and community outreach. McLellan is the assistant director of discovery and technology services at East Carolina University’s Joyner Library, and adjunct lecturer at the University of Illinois School of Information Sciences. Her research interests include library technology, usability and user experience, and library management.

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions and ALA Neal-Schuman publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or