SustainRT Citation for Wellness in the Workplace
About the Award
In recognition of the fact that library staff are our greatest asset in building and supporting sustainable libraries and communities, the ALA Sustainability Roundtable (SustainRT) is recognizing libraries that go above and beyond in meeting the wellness needs of their staff with the SustainRT Citation for Wellness in the Workplace. All ALA members are invited to nominate any library whose efforts to meet the needs of their staff in the areas of continuing education and creating a positive work environment have advanced sustainability and encouraged wellness. This may include wellness initiatives for unions, gender equity, pay equity, and other activities designed to improve the salaries and status of library professionals. The SustainRT’s Citation for Wellness in the Workplace carries on the work begun by ALA Past-President Loida Garcia-Febo with her Presidential Citation for Wellness in the Workplace and her commitment to the wellness of library workers. Garcia-Febo says, “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 promoting wellness. I hope this citation motivates libraries everywhere to support the overall well-being of their staff.”
Call For Nominations
The call for nominations will go out in November and the citation is presented to the winning library each year at the Annual ALA Conference. To acknowledge the fact that library staff are our greatest asset in building and supporting sustainable libraries and communities, the ALA Sustainability Roundtable (SustainRT) is recognizing libraries that go above and beyond in meeting the wellness needs of their staff. All ALA members are invited to nominate any library who has made efforts to meet the needs of their staff in the areas of continuing education, wellness, positive work environment, unions, salaries, gender equity, pay equity initiatives, and other activities designed to improve the salaries and status of librarians and other library workers.
2022 Winner: Queens Public Library Health and Safety Department
SustainRT has awarded the 2022 Citation for Wellness in the Workplace to the Health and Safety Department at Queens Public Library for their commitment to promoting the physical and mental well-being of their library workers. Their program was designed to increase employee’s health awareness and focus on prevention of disease to sustain a healthier workforce. By adding expertise from medical, health, and social care professionals to their staff, the department expanded programs with a focus on promoting mental health and wellness.
In 2020 as the library responded to the pandemic, the Queens Public Library Health and Safety department not only developed protocols to keep employees physically safe, but also recognized the impact on mental health, and responded with a range of virtual programs and resources that library workers could use as they worked remotely. Employees were provided time and incentives to participate in virtual programs, such as webinars, wellness “challenges”, and supportive groups. They also created a newsletter that continues to share articles and information about health, safety, and wellness. Since returning to in-person library work, the department has added staff and programs for health screenings, nutrition, and wellness checks. They continue to seek out new opportunities to promote wellness in their workplace, and SustainRT is pleased to recognize their efforts.
2021 Winner: Westerville Public Library
The Westerville Public Library is the winner of the 2021 SustainRT Citation for Wellness in the Workplace in recognition of the great strides the library has made in pay equity for their library workers. In autumn 2020, the library board passed a new pay range scale that resulted in a 34.80% increase for the lowest pay ranges in the organization starting in the new fiscal year. This citation awards their progress towards meeting the needs of staff and promoting wellness through a commitment to pay equity for library workers. The citation helps promote the work done by leaders and provide examples of what can be done to foster staff wellness.