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The Mindful Library, continued

January 17, 2020

In my previous post, I shared some observations about three sections of the book Recipes for Mindfulness in Your Library: Supporting Resilience and Community Engagement. Here are some quick thoughts on the last section, Teaching/Research.

Chapters in this section generally focus on being “in the moment” when teaching or learning. This was timely. I’ve been in a few meetings recently where reading comprehension was discussed. Multitasking or rushing through a task just to finish it because you are looking ahead was mentioned as a deterrent to really absorbing information. We see this in ourselves and in students we work with – and being mindful of that is a good step in trying to focus.

The importance of checking in with students about what they are thinking and feeling “in the moment” is a key takeaway from the last chapter, “Overcoming Research Anxiety.” While many of us already check in during instruction or consultations – “do you have any questions about this?” – we may not get meaningful results. Instead, following the advice of this chapter, we might frame our questions to be more specific, acknowledging emotions. We can ask if the research process seems overwhelming, what part of the process students dread the most, and if any strategies helped in the past. In other words, we can try to start a conversation that might help students become more comfortable with research.


Based on the title alone, I probably don’t need to mention that Recipes for Mindfulness In Your Library is not a deep dive into theories and practices; concepts are explained just enough to highlight main ideas. This book is a good overview that provides topics to discuss with colleagues, programming ideas and ways to incorporate mindfulness into work.

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