Improving community well-being through collaborative initiatives at a medical library

Melissa C. Funaro, Rahil Rojiani, Melanie J. Norton

Abstract


Background: In an increasingly digital age, the role of the library is changing to better serve its community. The authors’ library serves health care professionals who experience high levels of stress due to everyday demands of work or study, which can have negative impacts on physical and mental health. Our library is committed to serving the needs of our community by identifying opportunities to improve their well-being.

Case Presentation: Librarians at the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library at Yale University developed a group mindfulness program and a space for self-defined personal care to assist health care professionals in alleviating stress. Surveys were used to evaluate the mindfulness program and self-care space.

Conclusions: We successfully implemented two collaborative wellness and self-care initiatives with students and other stakeholders, as demonstrated by program attendance, diverse space use, and positive survey responses for both initiatives. While these endeavors do not replace the need to challenge structural problems at the root of stress in the health care professions, this case report offers a blueprint for other medical libraries to support the well-being of their communities.

Keywords


Mindfulness; Health Care Professional; Well-being; Self-Care; Library; Library Programs; Prayer Room; Mediation Room; Reflection Room; Wellness

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2019.486

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