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.
Just in case you needed any encouragement for fitting in some extra bedtime reading, this article from Bustle makes a strong case for the reasons why it’s actually healthy to read before falling asleep. (Although it does note the difference between getting so hooked into your book that you end up reading instead of sleeping, which is not the goal!)
Here are a few reasons from the article regarding why reading before bed is a great idea:
Retain more: “When you sleep, your brain dumps all of your short term memory goo into the long term memory goo-reserves (in a manner of speaking). That means that the things you read right before bed stick with you better in the long run.”
Calming ritual: “Reading is the perfect kind of ritual: it forces you to lie down and cut out the distractions, it’s quiet, and it doesn’t get boring because you’re always reading something new.”
Better focus: “Not only does reading boost your concentration in general, reading before bed will help you concentrate more on whatever it is you’re reading in the moment. You won’t be battling ten thousand other distractions.”
Books can hold all sorts of unexpected treasures, and this discovery is one of them!
At the University of Reading in England, special collections librarian Erica Delbecque discovered a page leaf that came “from a medieval priests’ handbook that had been printed by William Caxton, who introduced the printing press to England.” The paper had been “pasted into another book for the undignified purpose of reinforcing its spine.”
The page leaf is approximately 540 years old and was part of a handbook for priests written in Latin called “Sarum Ordinal” or “Sarum Pye” which was used by priests for “instructions on what biblical readings to use and how to dress at Mass on different religious feast days for English saints.”
You probably already know that at CMLE, we offer a service called “Notable Dates for your Noggin” which feature special holidays and birthdays of authors, as well as publications of well-known books. In an effort to help you get more from this service, we’ve decided to select one “Notable Date” each month to feature. We will include a few fun programming and activity ideas too, all for you to use!
June 6th is National Gardening Exercise Day!
Gardening is a awesome way to exercise, and a fun way to enjoy the Minnesota summer. You may even be able to garden at your local library, since many of our CMLE members have great library gardens.
While you are out exploring or exercising in the garden, take a listen to our podcast all about library gardens! We had so much fun talking about library gardens all over the country.
If you are interested in setting up your own library garden, check out this article which has tips for getting started.
Finally, get your students or young people out exercising in the garden with some of these ideas from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Ideas include activities like alphabet gardening or planting a pizza garden!)