Library workers experience trauma at work from multiple directions. Whether it’s abuse from patrons, coworkers, or secondary trauma from trying to meet the needs of the community that go far beyond what library services can provide, library workers take on more pressure and stress than we expected as new staff.
The groundbreaking Urban Library Trauma Study (ULTS) used emancipatory and participatory action research frameworks to explore how public library workers in urban centers experience trauma while providing library services and create a path forward for exploring institutional and individual solutions that will enable library workers and their institutions to continue providing vital library services to communities in need while still caring for the well being of staff.
We will discuss our series of recommendations to address the pervasive issue of trauma in the library workplace and how the library field can research solutions to problems while being radically inclusive of the workers those problems most impact.
About the Presenter:
Leah Dudak is a former librarian and current Ph.D. student at Syracuse University’s Information School. Dudak’s research looks at public libraries and the trauma that library staff encounter giving attention to supporting library workers, systemic issues contributing to trauma, trauma-informed care, and librarianship. She also views her work through anticolonial, feminist, disability, and artistic lenses.