Applying principles of mindfulness and embodiment in library instruction to foster wellness


This presentation explores the idea of centering learners’ bodies and minds in academic library instruction. From Kuhlthau’s iconic Information Search Process and beyond, it is accepted that emotional experiences are intertwined with physical behaviours and cognitive processes in information search. However, despite evidence of the physical and emotional challenges experienced during the information search process, information literacy instruction often focuses exclusively on cognitive (“thinking”) aspects of the information seeking task—for example, refining a topic, selecting a database, or evaluating sources. Emotional and physical experiences are rarely addressed, even in broad conceptualizations like the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. This presentation connects principles from mindfulness and embodiment to guide librarians’ teaching to be more supportive of wellness. The approach of incorporating learners’ minds and bodies can contribute to inclusive education environments, where the lived experiences of marginalized and oppressed learners can be centred and valued. Supporting students’ overall well-being can have a positive effect on their abilities to be receptive and intentional in searching for and evaluating information. For example, being deeply aware of one’s body lessens susceptibility to technostress and opens serendipity, creativity, and critical thinking. In addition to introducing theoretical considerations and their applications to practice, I will share an example of an information search workshop that I designed informed by mindfulness and embodiment practices.

Jun 6, 2022 10:00 AM