LIS Mental Health Week 2016: A roundup of student support

We’re a couple weeks out from LIS Mental Health Week (January 18-23) but in honor of the brave and supportive discussions that emerged online (see co-organizer Cecily Walker’s compendium of blog posts, the #LISmentalhealth Twitter chat, and this crowdsourced resource list), I thought I’d take a moment to round up first-hand resources from your Hack Library School community. I think it’s still worth noting, this week and every week, HLS is here for you. Whether you’re making peace as a chronic overachiever; or you’re facing big, scary, professional decisions; or you’re wondering where you fit it; or how to push back against microaggressions; or how to recognize your own strengths and achievements; or just how to stay calm and get things done, the HLS contributors and your fellow readers have gone through it too.

A person leaping into the air, from a field

Joy” by Flickr user marinadelcastell CC BY 2.0


The #LISmentalhealth conversation last month shed light on our common frustrations, struggles, alienation, coping, our collective good days and bad days. And although I am not a fan of clip shows, I’m doing it anyway: a collection of my favorite Hack Library School pieces that have addressed the mental and emotional work of library school life.

Self Care

  • I loved this post by Amanda, on making your restorative, winter break to-do list (hers included binge watching late 90s teen dramas).

Making Tough Decisions

  • In her recent guest post, Jennifer offers an important question to consider when deciding on your first job after library school. In Room to Grow?, she encourages readers to consider how your potential organization will provide an “opportunity to learn new things and to experiment, to evolve and to progress.”

Facing Failure

  • In one of my most memorable HLS posts, Aidy shares her experience with the thing we all fear: failure. In Being Thankful… For Failing, she shows how our toughest grad school experience can be a breakthrough, if we are willing to respond.

Finding Balance

  • Liz totally gets me, in this piece On Overcommitting. I thought “comparison is the thief of joy” was her original quote until I just Googled it, but still. It’s important to notice when comparison and resume-chasing have diverted you from joy and fulfillment in the learning process.
  • Another great piece on how to survive when you’re feeling overwhelmed, Zach argues It’s OK to Not Have Time, as long as you learn how to prioritize, organize, and make time for yourself.
  • In her recent ACRLog/HLS guest post, Callie reveals what library school burnout looks like from the other side, post-MLIS in The Perils of Seeing a Job as Your Endgame. She reminds us to be mindful of our endgame fixations–the perfect cv, the job offer–and to take time to make balanced decisions while in school.
  •  Sveta offers a thoughtful and critical examination of work/life balance and cautions against over identifying with our profession in her guest ACRLog/HLS post Reflections on Work/Life Balance and Academic Librarianship. Also, be sure to follow Sveta’s links; they’re golden eggs of library wisdom, including “You are not your work. ” The perfect third semester mantra for me.

If you need a pep talk…

Thanks to all the contributors! Are there other posts you’ve read that have helped you? What did you think of #lismentalhealth week? 

13 replies

  1. YES! This was something I meant to suggest when it was actually LIS Mental Health Week but it totally slipped my mind. There are so, so many good mental health-related posts on HLS and in grad school the simple act of reading many of them saved me from going down that self-doubt rabbit hole that I think so many LIS students are vulnerable to. Thanks for putting together this awesome master post.

    PS–oops on that attribution failure. Sorry, whoever actually said it first (possibly a Roosevelt, possibly a random author, possibly I wish I had time to track down the true source but I don’t)


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