Tag Archives: Mindfulness

How being mindful can help your work as a librarian

We’d all like to have more inner peace and behave with more kindness and patience as we go through our day, right? Life in the library field can be stressful and exhausting with constant demands from students, patrons, supervisors. or stakeholders. This article from American Libraries is all about mindful librarianship and how learning to practice mindfulness has helped some librarians with their work lives.

What is mindfulness, anyway? According to the American Psychological Association it is the “moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment.” Through the use of breathing exercises and meditation, the goal is to be in the moment without worries or distractions.

Being able to be mindful while working in a library can have huge benefits, particularly in relation to stress. If you work in a library, you know that things aren’t always smooth and easy, especially when there is too much work to do and too little time in which to do it! The article acknowledges that “many librarians feel that they are spread increasingly thin on the job, yet their performance often depends on their ability to maintain focus amid a flurry of responsibilities. That’s something with which mindfulness can help.”

Read more about the benefits of practicing mindfulness as a library person here.

And if you want to know more, check out CMLE’s past series on mindfulness and see if the practice is beneficial to you!

Books in the Spotlight: October

LightbulbEach month CMLE will highlight three books that have some factor in common. We hope they will give you ideas for your collection, or influence an activity, lesson plan, or display. 

This month, we share three different books that focus on increasing simplicity and de-cluttering different areas of your life. These books can be used in your library to spread awareness about mental well-being or help people that may be struggling to put their life or possessions in order.


joy-of-lessThe Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life by Francine Jay

This book is described on Goodreads as “a fun, lighthearted guide to minimalist living.” It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” in our lives, whether physical or mental, and this book hopes to guide you through the journey of simplifying. Although, be warned that one reviewer did mention excessive use of exclamation marks in the book, so prepare yourself for some upbeat positivity!

  • The author also has a blog, and where she posted this article about Clearing Our Inner Clutter.
  • Watch this cute, quick video with five tips from The Joy of Less:

declutter-your-mindDeclutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking by SJ Scott and Barrie Davenport

Worrying and overthinking are common problems, but they can have a lasting negative affect on your mental well-being. This book provides tips and specific actions to help clear your mind. By taking the steps outlined in the book, “you’ll have the clarity to prioritize what’s most important in your life, what no longer serves your goals, and how you want to live on a daily basis.”

  • If visual reminders are helpful to you, check out this image to work your way to a clear mind.
  • Get moving and relieve anxiety with this article on walking meditation.

life-changing-magic-of-tidying-upThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo

This book about organization and simplifying your home has been popular for awhile now, possibly because of it’s promise to get your house in order once, and never need to do it again! The author encourages people to work through their belongings on a category by category basis, and to become aware of each object’s energy, discarding what does not “spark joy.” The book has many fans as well as critics, and if you’ve read the book, tell us your thoughts in our CMLE Librarian Professionals Goodreads book group, where we are currently discussing the book!

  • Having trouble visualizing some of the suggestions from the book? This article that illustrates how to follow the folding directions will help you!
  • Here is a post from the True North Comfort blog that features just the highlights of the KonMari Method.


Need tips to stimulate or quiet the mind?

photo-1444312645910-ffa973656ebaAlthough this article was listed under the Classroom Management column on Edutopia, I see great promise here for many venues. Many of our readers are indeed teachers, but these tips and tricks could work with story time and youth groups, grandkids and maybe even with adults who have been sitting in a never-ending meeting that has drained the life out of them!

This article includes:

  • Nine simple strategies to stimulate thinking and creativity. And, for those moments of a racing mind with a thousand thoughts flying way too fast, there are also:
  • Seven techniques to calm and focus the mind. Give it a try, you might be surprised.


Guidelines for Quiet Time and Silent Sustained Reading

quiet timeQuiet time isn’t just for preschoolers anymore! The benefits of less stressed, healthier, and ready to learn students have even been shown to improve student behavior. A middle school introduced a Quiet Time program which consisted of two periods, 15 minutes each when students could choose to sit quietly or meditate. The benefits? The school saw a 50% reduction in suspensions and a 65% reduction in truancy!

Want to start using Quiet Time, Mindfulness, or Silent Sustained Reading at your school? Check out this great document that “explains the purpose and rationale behind quiet time in the classroom and goes on to provide implementation guidelines.”

Read about the guidelines or download it right now!

Teaching Mindfulness

photo-1444312645910-ffa973656ebaHave you noticed mindfulness cropping up in different areas of your life? Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to present-moment experience and doing so with kindness and curiosity, rather than with judgement. Indeed, you will find the topic of mindfulness surfacing in peer reviewed journals  in what some professionals are calling an actual “wellness movement”.

Stress, anxiety, and depression are sometimes unnecessary if you know a bit more about how to manage those things. Not surprisingly, as adults embrace strategies and tools to help them feel successful and happy in life, they can better work with students/children in the same way. Small changes go a long way.  Encourage a child to confront negative thoughts about their self worth and you can change their life! It is pretty easy once you know how….

Edutopia did a recent piece about the simplicity of giving the gift of mindfulness to students of all ages. It is worth a read….five minutes of your time.

You might also enjoy this short piece about handling classroom transitions too…..Making the mundane mindful!

Still too stressed out to help anyone but yourself on the topic of mindfulness? No worries….loop back to the mindfulness series we did last year to get started, and good for you. You are most definitely worth it!

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/ (Deniz Altindas), licensed under CC0 1.0