Questions and Ideas from LAMA
Here are some questions and ideas received from the LAMA board (in italics), and Loriene's responses:
How will ALA define “workplace wellness”? Would the focus be on environmental issues, health promotion, health assessment, etc.? Will the focus be on personal health issues, that could include programs in stress management, substance abuse counseling, nutrition, fitness, spiritual growth (Yoga, meditation, etc.)? I understand that President Roy has set up a Workplace Wellness Task Force to “produce tangible expressions that promote healthy workplaces and lifestyles among library workers”. Among the task force deliverables, in addition to the Wellness Fair for Anaheim, are a personal health passport for ALA members; a workplace environmental scan that can be used to review working conditions that may impact worker health. ALA members are not trained healthcare professionals, and typically do not have background in environmental scans. I would imagine that the Task Force would need to partner with a number of outside groups to make any of these deliverables a reality—governmental agencies, professional associations, even the Wellness Councils of America.
Thanks for checking in with these great questions.
A master's student is currently developing a prototype website. The site will provide some links to good tools (e.g., BMI calculator, 10,000 steps site), highlight some personal wellness journeys, share stories of some libraries, and invite people to share information. In terms of the environmental scan, this will likely be some links to materials developed by reputable sources.
I would also imagine that the Task Force would need to survey the membership to see (1) what libraries currently have wellness programs in place; (2) what libraries are considering designing and implementing a wellness program. With that information in hand, they can put out an RFP for the Wellness Fair to collect both success stories and stories of the developments in progress. The selection criteria for participants in the Fair might include categories covering (a) informational outreach programs to support the wellness program (both internal and external); (b) broad-based involvement of library staff, outside partners; (c) assessment instruments to evaluate effectiveness of the wellness program.
The Wellness fair will include information and activities. We're hoping to have a theatre area so attendees can participate in yoga and hula. (We have the yoga trainer lined up.) We have some funding to contract with someone to keep track of the detais. We've talked about a survey and feel that those data would be useful. We might need to work with ALA's office of research and the ALA-APA as well as HRDR here. At one point the John Cotton Dana committee members thought that they might give out a few special recognitions for libraries that support some of these efforts. We might organizes a virtual poster session.
Acknowledging achievement in the area of workplace wellness, then, could:
1. link to the initiative spotlighting workplace wellness (how ever it is defined);
2. recognize partnerships within or outside ALA that ensure the programs’ success;
3. recognize innovative “education” programs within the library to promote the program and support employee commitment and buy-in;
4. recognize “success” stories, perhaps having multiple categories based on type of library and budget.
All great ideas!