Law Library Staff Self-Care: A Collaborative White Paper

By Jessica Almeida, Nicole Dyszlewski, & Heather Simmons

At last year’s AALL Annual Meeting, members of the RIPS Patron Services Committee discussed starting a collaborative writing project with members of LISP tackling the topic of self-care and law librarians. After returning to our institutions, we continued to mull the idea over and decided to co-write a white paper. The idea gained so much support that there were more volunteer authors than there were opportunities to write, so the group bifurcated and started work on TWO white papers.

While both white paper groups consisted of members of LISP and RIPS, they took a different approach to the project. One group tackled the topic of open access in law libraries. The other group has been hard at work on a white paper about law library staff self-care.

As editors of the self-care white paper, Nicole Dyszlewski, Jessica Panella, and Brittany Strojny have recruited authors from all different backgrounds to write complementary chapters on a variety of topics from mindfulness to an organization’s role in self-care. The editors also reached out to AALL and have negotiated for and arranged a low-cost mechanism for the publishing of this white paper, which is being supported by AALL and co-funded by RIPS and LISP. In addition, the template for the white paper will be available to future authors interested in publishing similar works.

While the paper itself will not be available until the Fall, members of the self-care white paper group will be presenting an overview of the project at this year’s AALL Annual Meeting. Please come visit us at the poster session presentation and hear about the project. Below are the details of our poster:

Legal Ease: A Collaborative Self-Care White Paper

Wellness and self-care are words often heard, especially in the context of lawyers and law students, but what about law librarians? Our days can be filled with deadlines, countless interruptions, doing more with less, and difficult patrons. Self-care and wellness are ways to combat the everyday stressors of the profession. Making the effort to be more mindful, setting limits, and knowing when to ask for help are all steps we can take toward a healthier and less stressful life. As part of a collaborative effort between two special interest sections, RIPS-SIS and LISP-SIS, this poster session will be a sneak peek at a forthcoming white paper on how law librarians can combat stress and burnout by embracing self-care and wellness.

Jessica Almeida, University of Massachusetts School of Law; Nicole Dyszlewski, Roger Williams University School of Law; Heather Simmons, University of Illinois College of Law


About Jamie Baker

Jamie Baker is the Interim Director of the Law Library at Texas Tech University School of Law. She also teaches Civil Trial Research. She blogs at
This entry was posted in AALL Annoucements, Issues in Law Librarianship and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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