Beyond Business: Trauma Informed Leadership Skills for Library Managers and Directors
Public Libraries are a human service, which makes librarians Human Services Professionals. Individuals patronize libraries for many reasons, and many of the people served in our libraries are facing traumatic life circumstances. People utilize library services for education and access to materials, but also for refuge from the elements, to print or fax medical or court documents, and even for a small snack or a drink of water. Increasingly, libraries are becoming home to tragedies, such as drug overdoses and violence.
Library staff at the front lines of patron engagement and service are experiencing vicarious trauma, also known as secondary trauma, on a daily basis, from bearing witness to and supporting patrons through grief, frustration, sadness, and a myriad of other trauma responses. Additionally, staff are experiencing their own personal trauma, heartbreak, familial issues, and, in an increasingly bleak financial climate, economic concerns.
However, despite the social services aspect of library work, most library supervisors approach their jobs from a business lens. This means that leaders’ interactions with staff tend to follow a traditional hierarchical structure, and that conduct and conflict concerns are handled from a disciplinary approach. In this training, we will:
- learn what it means to be a trauma informed supervisor
- learn to support staff with empathy and an understanding of the unique stressors of their job
- discuss ways in which you can transform your library into a trauma informed environment for patrons and staff, preventing and reducing instances of acute trauma, patron crisis, and staff burnout
Keri Black Director of Wauseon Public Library
Keri Black is the director of Wauseon Public Library. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English-Writing from Adrian College and a Master of Liberal Studies from the University of Toledo. Keri has 10+ years of community services experience, with an emphasis on trauma prevention, intervention, and education. Keri has over 6 years of experience in community services leadership roles, including: project coordinator, program manager, department director, event organizer, and agency leader.
This event is full, but you can still join the waitlist! Register now, and we’ll send you an email if you get a seat. We promise we’ll only charge your card (if applicable) if you get in.
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