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.
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.
- As she embarked on her first semester of library school, Amy shares strategies to staying healthy, organized, and balanced in Don’t panic! A hackers guide to self care as a library student.
- 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
- Carissa addresses how we make important life decisions when we’re making them with others in her recent Navigating Goals and Family During the Library School Decision Process. Joint decision-making and future planning can be scary, comforting, and contentious all at the same time, a recipe for attention and extra care.
- 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.”
- 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.
- When you don’t know if it’s just you or if it really is a bigger problem, Karen wrote Asking for Help When You Need It and Knowing When to Help Yourself. Sometimes, you can cope by adjusting your habits or trying a new tool, and other times you need to reach out to other to make a change.
- 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…
- For many of us, the second year is really hard. Dylan sums it up with humor and real talk in On Positivity in Your Second Year.
- If you’re kind of freaking out about an upcoming conference presentation or networking event, Jennifer wrote Tell Your Conference Anxiety to Shut Up, Already: Thoughts from CALCon15 for you.
- Joanna outlines how to beat stress during the hardest times, with The Finals Push: Dealing with Your Stress
- In How I learned to keep worrying and love library school, Alyssa employs several techniques to address “library schoolpacalypse” and to stop the chronic cycle of doubt. This is a great post.