Healthy Habits - Speakers

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Jenn Carson portrait

Keynote Speaker: Jenn Carson -

Session Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. CDT

Keynote Session Title: Taking Care of Us: Ergonomic Advice for Library Staff

Session Description: Stressed out? Notice you are taking more sick days than usual or have less enthusiasm or energy than normal? Whether you are knotted up over work, the impending holidays, climate change, or politics, it seems like there are plenty of reasons to feel overwhelmed. Join library director, yoga teacher, and physical literacy researcher, Jenn Carson as she teaches you how to de-stress at your desk, maintain proper posture, avoid injury, and regulate your emotions through breathing, stretching, and other techniques. Participants will learn an easy self-care routine that will help to reduce stress at work and leave you feeling recharged instead of drained. Participants will leave with digital downloads to help them remember what they learned and share with their colleagues.

Speaker Bio: Jenn Carson, MSLIS, CYT, CCYT is an internationally recognized expert in physical literacy, an award-winning author, yoga teacher, and the director of the L.P. Fisher Public Library in Woodstock, New Brunswick, Canada. The creator of the popular website, she also blogs for the American Library Association on the subject of library programming. Her two books, Get Your Community Moving: Physical Literacy Programs for All Ages (ALA, 2018) and Yoga and Meditation at the Library: A Practical Guide for Librarians (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019) were both released to critical acclaim. In 2019, she was awarded the Library Journal Movers & Shakers Award and the Atlantic Provinces Library Association Advocacy Award for her promotion of movement-based programs in libraries. She is currently at work on a manuscript about how municipal departments and other local enterprises can partner with libraries to broaden and improve community services. You can follow her adventures at

Susan Tsiouris portrait

Speaker: Susan Tsiouris -

Session Time: 11:15 - 12:00 p.m. CDT

Session Title: Mindfulness at Your Library: How to De-stress During Finals

Session Description: Like many other education institutions, it has been noticed that the stress level of our students increases during finals week. We have tried several ways to lower their stress level including a very popular coloring table, free coffee, and mindfulness sessions. We started with a long, more intensive mindfulness session, co-facilitated by myself and one of the English Faculty who is a Buddhist monk. Although a satisfying experience, I wanted to experiment with a less intense approach that was shorter and more casual. This was promoted to our students as a "Ten Minute mindfulness break" with the added allure of a video, green tea, and brownies. The goal was to teach about mindfulness, engage the students, and reduce their stress. The great success of this program has led us to continue it in this coming semester.

Bio: Susan Tsiouris, MSLS is a Research and Instruction Librarian at Widener University in Chester, PA. Susan was introduced to mindfulness several years ago and has been practicing it ever since. She is a member of the Mindfulness for Librarians Facebook Group which consists of 1,129 librarians from all kinds of libraries.

Marna Morland portrait

Speakers: Marna Morland - and Paige Shank -

Session Time: 11:15 - 12:00 p.m. CDT

Session Title: Free Government Health and Wellness Electronic Resources

Session Description: Free government electronic resources can provide you and your community with trustworthy health and wellness information. Two Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) coordinators, Marna Morland from Eugene McDermott Library at the University of Texas at Dallas and Paige Shank from J. Eric Jonsson Central Library at the Dallas Public Library, will highlight the “best of the best” of individual documents, websites, mobile apps, and databases on the topic. You will be amazed at the variety and amount of free resources available for people of all ages!

Speaker Bio: Marna Morland is Special Formats Metadata Librarian and FDLP Coordinator at the Eugene McDermott Library, University of Texas at Dallas. After earning her MLS at TWU, Morland went to hold positions such as Library Specialist III, Central University Libraries at Southern Methodist University, special project cataloger for DeGolyer Library at SMU, and special project cataloger in the U.S. Government Documents Division, Serials and Acquisitions Department, Stanford University Libraries. Marna served on the TLA Local Arrangements Committee for the TLA-2018 Annual Conference. Morland is currently a member and serving as the secretary of TLA GODORT.

Paige Shank portraitSpeaker Bio: Paige Shank is a MLS graduate of TWU and has worked for Dallas Public Library since 2006. Shank has worked in four different branches, and is now at the J. Eric Jonson Central Library in downtown Dallas where she serves as Government Documents Librarian. Dallas Public Library is transitioning to an all-digital Federal Depository. Paige is a TLA member, and she served on the TLA-2018 Local Arrangements Committee. She is also a member of City of Dallas LIB-EAC, the Employee Advisory Committee. Shank is a former president of the Dallas Public Library Staff Association.

Noah Lenstra portrait

Speaker: Noah Lenstra -

Session Time: 11:15 - 12:00 p.m. CDT

Session Title: Bikes + Libraries: Healthy Communities

Session Description:

A few years ago, the Kent District Library in Grand Rapids, Michigan, hired Calli Crow to be their Volunteer Coordinator. Calli had never worked in libraries before and her passion was increasing access to bicycling. In her new role, Calli spear-headed the BikeKDL initiative, a system-wide team at the library "committed to cycling as recreation and transportation" ( In Columbia, South Carolina, the Richland Library became the first ever winner of the ALA Presidential Citation for Wellness in the Workplace for, among other things, making bicycles available to staff so that they didn't always have to jump in their car every time they had to get to a meeting (

Embracing bicycling culture in your library can transform the health of your staff, of your patrons, and of your wider community. This session focuses on how you can step up to support bicycling in your community. We'll go over how to get started, focusing on how to identify and work with common partners (police departments for bike rodeos, bike shops for bike maintenance demos, public health departments for bike shares, etc.) and how to strategically plan your efforts. After making sure your bike racks are safe and up-to-date, then your library can think about implementing brand new or programs that have been done by libraries across the U.S. such as: having a few loaner bike locks available, raffling some bikes as summer reading prizes, starting a book bike, bike share, a series of bike maintenance classes, and even organizing a bike tour of local historical sites. This sessions gives you the info you need to get started.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Noah Lenstra, MLIS is an assistant professor of Library and Information Science at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, where he founded and directs the Let’s Move in Libraries initiative. Lenstra recently received (with colleagues from Wayne State and University of Oklahoma) a three-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to study “How do small and rural public libraries address health and wellness through public programs?” He is a member of the Public Library Association’s Promoting Healthy Communities Advisory Group. Author of the forthcoming book Healthy Living at the Library (2020, Libraries Unlimited), his research on these topics has been published in numerous scholarly articles, and he blogs monthly on this topic for the American Library Association’s Public Programs Office. Lenstra is an Affiliated Faculty Member in the UNCG Gerontology Department, and has worked with the National Institute on Aging’s Go4Life campaign for the past two years. Get involved and get moving at

Speaker: Amber Loos -

Session Time: 12:15 - 1:00 p.m. CDT

Session Title: Setting Healthy “Digital Boundaries”: Instruction Aimed at the Reflective Use of Technology by College Students

Session Description: Research has shown college students are susceptible to burnout as a result of too much digital technology use and that higher digital technology usage is correlated with lower GPA. Librarians can play a pivotal role in teaching students how to periodically "unplug" from the digital world in order to improve their academic performance. This webinar will highlight the development of a "digital wellness" program within one academic library's existing framework of educational offerings (i.e., stand-alone graduate workshops on the topic, a module for undergraduate information literacy courses).

Speaker Bio: Amber Loos, MLIS, MPH is currently Assessment and User Experience Librarian and Associate Professor at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Loos’ research interests include digital wellness and user experience in academic libraries.

Stella Sigal portrait

Speaker: Stella Sigal -

Session Time: 12:15 - 1:00 p.m. CDT

Session Title: The Mobile Medical Library

Session Description: Libraries are not only a space, but a service. Like healthcare, the past twenty years has drastically changed the library landscape. Since the digitization of libraries, library patrons have evolved into increasingly more virtual users, utilizing digital resources and databases. Librarians have responded to this new development by leaving the library to meet users where they are, ultimately bringing them to the physical library space.
As a newly Magnet designated hospital, NYP Westchester Division nurses are taking steps to further increase their involvement in evidence based practice (EBP) and research. The library is one of the major stakeholders for promoting EBP and research. My role as Medical Librarian is to engage staff, and to educate them on how to utilize the many resources and databases NYP has to offer.

Due to the demands of working on a unit, it can be challenging for nurses to visit the library and take advantage of the services. With this in mind, medical library services include unit based education. A brief presentation was created to introduce the resources of the Weill Cornell Medicine Library, the affiliated academic library for New York-Presbyterian Westchester Division. An invitation was then extended to Patient Care Directors to make this presentation available to their nurses to share information on library services and how to access resources. After only a couple of presentations at unit meetings, there has been an increased interest in research, library resources and utilizing the library space. The library receives more traffic and nurses’ increased access to quality evidence leads to increase nursing excellence.

In addition to offering services to hospital staff members, the library has extended its services to patients. Many patients look for positive distractions, like reading to pass the time. In response to patients’ book requests, the Westchester Division Library partnered with the White Plains Public Library. The White Plains Public Library receives many donations, many of which never make it to the library shelves. In order to have these books go to good use, the public library donates these books on a monthly basis to the hospital. The medical library then distributes the donated books to patients on the unit. These books are not lent out, rather they are for the patients to keep.

This course serves as a reminder and reassurance that the library is not an outdated building housing books. Rather, it is both an innovative and dynamic service benefiting both staff and patients. To stay relevant, outreach is now the cornerstone of library services. The 21st century library, though challenged by new technology, is redefining itself and continues to stay relevant to the users it serves.

Speaker Bio: Currently a Medical Librarian at New York Presbyterian/Westchester Division, Stella Sigal has worked at a wide range of institutions - from museum libraries to now a medical library. Her interests include health literacy, as well as holistic medicine and aromatherapy. Sigal earned her Bachelor's in Art History at NYU and her MSLIS from Pratt Institute.

Erica Freudenberger portrait

Speaker: Erica Freudenberger -

Session Time: 12:15 - 1:00 p.m. CDT

Session Title: Feed All the People: Farm-2-Library Food Initiative

Session Description: Imagine grocery shopping for your family at a Dollar Store. That’s the reality for the rural poor who live in food deserts with limited transportation. This lack of access to fresh food directly leads to an increase in obesity, diabetes, and other serious health concerns. The Southern Adirondack Library System (SALS) and the Comfort Food Community food pantry teamed up to address the challenges of food scarcity, food waste, rural food deserts, and transportation by launching the Fresh Food Collective Farm-2-Library Distribution initiative in the summer of 2018. We reduced food waste by gleaning produce from local farms, then distributing the produce through three small, rural libraries (Schuylerville Public Library, Whitehall Free Library, and Pember Library and Museum) where food scarcity, limited food pantry access, and transportation all limit access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The pilot year ran from July – October 2018. In those four months, nearly 2,500 pounds of fresh produce were distributed, bringing new faces into the library, creating and deepening relationships with the community fostering renewed interest in library services from populations that were previously reluctant users. The results of the initiative exceeded the expectations of our community partner, Comfort Food Community leading to the doubling of initial once-a-week deliveries and our current pilot program that will provide year-round produce delivery to the Schuylerville Public Library. Find out how we made it happen, and what we learned.

Speaker Bio: Erica Freudenberger is an promiscuous collaborator who works with libraries to create community-led change. Currently the Outreach & Engagement Consultant at the Southern Adirondack Library System, she formerly led the Red Hook Public Library, a finalist for Library Journal’s “Best Small Library Award,” garnering five-star library ratings from 2013-2016. She took part in the Re-envisioning Public Libraries pilot with the Aspen Institute, and the American Library Association’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative. She is a 2016 Library Journal Mover & Shaker.

Heather Seibert and Amanda Vinogradov portrait

Speakers: Heather Seibert and Amanda Vinogradov -

Session Time: 2:00 - 2:45 p.m. CDT

Session Title: Do You Want Change with That? Identifying Lactation Needs and Solutions in Academic Libraries

Session Description: This joint session with Heather Seibert and Amanda Vinogradov will outline and describe the steps they took as well as the research used to help bring about institutional change at East Carolina University in respect to lactation accommodations. They began working for this change in 2013 when they identified the need for lactation accommodations in Joyner Library upon returning to work after having children. Through research, presentations and on campus advocacy they were able to develop an official lactation committee for the University, create multiple lactation rooms on campus, take part in the development of a Human Resource Lactation Accommodation policy, and see various awards won for the lactation rooms on both the main and medical campus. This initiative was sparked due to the recognition of the need for support and wellness of those needing lactation accommodations on campus. Seibert and Vinogradov continued their advocacy by co-editing an anthology, published through ALA, on the importance and need for library workplace change to support employees.

Speaker Bio: Heather Seibert is currently employed by National Heritage Academies in Winterville, NC. Previously she was employed at East Carolina University in the Department of Research and Scholarly Communications. She holds a Masters in Library Science from ECU and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Seibert is an advocate for Work-Life balance, Women’s rights, and Lactation compliance in the workplace. Her research interests include Open Educational Resources, Creative Commons Licensing and Affordable Textbook creation in Higher Education for support of K-12 curriculum and instruction.

Speaker Bio: Amanda Vinogradov works for East Carolina University's Joyner Library in the Special Collections Cataloging department. She holds a Masters in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests include digital libraries, public health, and community outreach.

Christina Pryor portrait

Speakers: Christina Pryor - and Bobbi Newman -

Session Time: 2:00 - 2:45 p.m. CDT

Session Title: Wellness in the Library Workplace

Session Description: You’re a library worker. You already know how to help those in your community find health information. But...what are you doing to manage your own well-being? Individual and community well-being are inherently connected. Thus, it is critical that workplaces be areas of wellness for their employees. If you are a supervisor, its important you ask yourself, "How am I helping to ensure my staff stays healthy (physically, emotionally, etc.)?" Join us to discover practical ways to improve your own personal well-being. We will also discuss ways to increase overall wellness for all staff in libraries to ensure have happy, healthy and safe work environments.

Bobbi Newman portraitSpeaker Bio: Christina Pryor, MLIS, is the Library Engagement and Missouri Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), MidContinental Region (MCR), J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library, University of Missouri.

Speaker Bio: Bobbi Newman, MLIS, MA; Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist, National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), Greater Midwest Region (GMR), Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, University of Iowa.

Aurora Sanchez portrait

Speaker: Aurora Sanchez -

Session Time: 2:00 - 2:45 p.m. CDT

Session Title: Community Collaboration and Capacity Building

Session Description: Healthy Communities is a partnership that began in 2018 between the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Get Healthy Philly initiative. This partnership increases the library’s capacity to offer free health and wellness workshops ranging from African-diaspora inspired cooking to strength training to gardening.

In October 2018, Community Chef Training was offered at Lillian Marrero Library in the Fairhill section of North Philadelphia. This free, four-day workshop equipped a cohort of community members with the skills and certifications to lead low-cost, culturally diverse culinary demos. Due to their welcomed success, the Community Chef Trainees will continue to lead cooking demonstrations at neighborhood libraries.

Speaker Bio: Aurora Sanchez began working at the Free Library of Philadelphia in 2004 as a work study student. Since then, her body of work has predominantly focused on her passion of serving young people. Aurora currently coordinates a library-based approach to improving health for adults across Philadelphia called Healthy Communities.

Cheri Smith portrait

Speaker: Cheri Smith -

Session Time: 3:00 - 3:45 p.m. CDT

Session Title: University Library/Wellness Center Collaborations

Session Description: This session will provide an overview of the partnership that the Hesburgh Libraries has developed with the University’s Center for Student Well-Being. Programs designed for student well-being include hosting Counseling Center “Let’s Talk” sessions in the Libraries, establishing a regular schedule for “Health Hut” visits, and providing space for relaxation and naps during stressful times of year. Additionally, the Center for Student Well-Being invited the Libraries to participate in a “Healthy Campus Coalition grant funded by the American College Health Association. This grant provided funds to host regular meetings designed to raise awareness of wellness activities happening throughout campus. One of the presenters at a Healthy Campus Coalition meeting presented her research on the importance of compassion, and as a result, she was invited to speak to a library department about the profoundly positive impact compassion can have on providers, recipients, and witnesses of acts of compassion. The presentation was designed to raise awareness of the importance of compassion, and it was timed to happen right before finals, and a few months before a staff retirement incentive program was scheduled to begin. No direct study of the results of the presentation have been done, however, anecdotal evidence strongly indicated that attendees were appreciative and learned from the presentation.

Speaker Bio: Cheri Smith is the Psychology Librarian and Program Director for the Teaching, Research and User Services Program at the University of Notre Dame. As Program Director she oversees the functions of the Hesburgh Libraries Teaching, Research and User Engagement Unit and the User Services Unit. Her main areas of interest include information literacy, library reference services, and open access publishing. Smith earned her B.A. in Psychology from Earlham College, and an M.L.S. from Indiana University.

Heidi Eckerson portrait

Speaker: Heidi Eckerson -

Session Time: 3:00 - 3:45 p.m. CDT

Session Title: Movement-Based Book Club

Session Description: In May of 2019, Durland Alternatives partnered with local doctor and movement specialist, Melissa Miller and the Tompkins County Public Library in Ithaca, New York to create a movement-based book club. The 10 participants met weekly for 1.5 hours to discuss Katy Bowman's Move Your DNA and experience the movement exercises described in the book. All of the spots were filled on the first day of registration, including a diverse group of participants of various abilities and backgrounds. Due to the wildly successful pilot, the program will be ran again August of 2019. Best of all, the books are part of a book kit that any patron can borrow and use for their own club. This session will shed light on what worked for us and how you can gain consultation in running your own program or even hiring outside help.

Speaker Bio: Heidi Eckerson, MAT, MS-ILS, is an assistant librarian at the Durland Alternatives Library and the Newfield Public Library in upstate New York. She is also a New York State licensed massage therapist and former kinesiology teacher who believes that movement is life.

Dawn Wilbert portrait

Speaker: Dawn Wilbert -

Session Time: 3:00 - 3:45 p.m. CDT

Session Title: Growing Healthy Heroes: A Health and Literacy Summer Program for Our Community

Session Description: Decatur Public Library, a small library in a rural Texas county, partnered with multiple local organizations and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine to create a summer reading program that incorporates both a reading challenge and a healthy activity challenge. With the aid of a Community Health grant from NNLM, the program offered everything from zumba and yoga classes for all ages to STEM and leadership camps for children and teens. Participants received incentives each time they completed a health or a reading challenge, with extra recognition for those who completed both.

Speaker Bio: Dawn Wilbert is Youth Services Manager at Decatur Public Library in Decatur, Texas. She is responsible for teen and children's services and has many years of experience working with young people. Wilbert holds a Master of Library Science degree from Texas Woman's University in Denton and is a certified EC-6 teacher.