Beyond bath bombs: Wellness through community building and connection at uOttawa Library


As we enter our third year of the pandemic, many organizations, including academic libraries, are recognizing the continuous and significant need to emphasize the health and wellbeing of employees. The social isolation and increased caregiving responsibilities, among other issues, have contributed to burnout in many employees. With remote work and interacting exclusively through screens, some of the sense of community brought by the workplace has been lost. From employee assistance programs to wellness stipends, managers and leaders have attempted to provide benefits that will get staff back on track. But is it wise to promote these options without accounting for the principles that underscore equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI)? Are these programs truly improving the wellness of employees? Is the strong emphasis on individual wellbeing detrimental to the idea of collective wellbeing? How can all library workers contribute to a greater sense of wellness in their workplaces beyond the pandemic? As we learned to navigate these challenges, we wished to remain committed to our own wellbeing and our desire to foster a sense of belonging and community in the library, while staying true to the organization’s vision of championing EDI, accessibility, and anti-racism initiatives including outreach events, collection building, and human-centered services. In this session, participants will hear from three uOttawa Library employees: a manager, an Inclusion Librarian and a Data Support Specialist. They will outline the inclusion work they are doing internally, and with the wider uOttawa community, and discuss how this intersects with ideas of wellness.

Jun 6, 2022 10:00 AM