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While the term sustainability is referencing the need to accurately understand how to sustain a service, resource, or other initiative over time it has often become synonymous with a “do more with less” attitude within libraries. When sustainability is mentioned you often hear along with it terms like resilience, change management, and adaptability while rarely hearing about a budget or other forms of support reflective of the work being requested. In this workshop the presenters will discuss the history of resilience narratives within our profession, the need to carve out care for oneself outside of institutional loyalty, and the impact such narratives have on our field and us as employees. Discussion will also take place on the pandemic and how it has unearthed a plethora of inequitable and bureaucratic practices that exist within our profession. These practices are maintaining a “status quo” that we know hasn’t worked for many library employees, most especially BIPOC colleagues and those with disabilities. Through this workshop we will learn, reflect, and engage with each other to better understand how we can combat these systemic issues within our profession.

Document Type


Conference/Presentation Location

NMLA 2022




resilience narratives, self-care, pandemic


Attached please find the Workshop Activity Scenarios as well as the Presentation Bibilography.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Activity Scenarios_NMLA 2022.pdf (173 kB)
Workshop Activity Scenarios

Bibliography_Resilience Narratives_October2022.pdf (74 kB)
Presentation Bibliography

I'm pretty sure I'm worthless if I can't be of service: Under the Surface of Resilience Narratives