Bringing Mindfulness to the Academic Library

This month’s MLS Community Engagement Blog interview features Catherine Wong from the Merrimack College McQuade Library sharing her experience coordinating a holistic mindfulness initiative at the library.  This project is an outstanding example of a library creatively fostering community health.  Parts of this innovative program could successfully be implemented at libraries of all types interested in mindfulness and wellness.

Catherine Wong

Catherine Wong

What inspired you to expand the mindfulness programs offered by the Merrimack College McQuade Library?

Catherine Wong (CW): Several staff members are interested in meditation, wellness, and a holistic approach to librarianship and we noticed the need for students to have a variety of methods to help them cope with the stresses and anxieties associated with college. The various parts of the initiative developed organically as we connected existing programs and partners to form new initiatives with the goal of providing students and staff with ways to expand their mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Continue reading

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Peer Worker Receives Award from the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health for Connecting with the Massachusetts Library System

Jonathan Bowen Leopold receiving an award from the DMH Commissioner

Jonathan Bowen Leopold, Peer Worker, receiving an award from Joan Mikula, Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health

On July 12, 2018, Joan Mikula, the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) presented an award to Jonathan Bowen-Leopold for his outstanding service as a Peer Worker instrumental to connecting the Department of Mental Health with the Massachusetts Library System. Jonathan, a patron at the Thomas Crane Public Library and DMH Peer Worker, became acquainted with Clayton Cheever, Assistant Director at the library. Jonathan thought there could be some shared programs between the DMH and public libraries, and encouraged Joe Vallely, the Department of Mental Health’s Housing and Homelessness Specialist, to reach out to the library. Following meeting with Joe, Clayton recommended that Joe reach out to the Massachusetts Library System (MLS). Jonathan’s initial connection with Clayton Cheever at the Thomas Crane Public Library resulted in a successful linkage of the Department of Mental Health and the Massachusetts Library System. Continue reading

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