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Mindful Librarianship   Tags: libguides, mindful_librarianship, springshare  

Using LibGuides to Meet Information Needs in the Moment
Last Updated: Aug 5, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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Mindful Librarianship Poster Presentation

Poster accepted for presentation at the Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals Umbrella 2011 Conference, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, United Kingdom, July 2011.

Please view the PDF below for best quality image of the poster...

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Mindful Librarianship

Mindfulness means:

"...paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally." --Kabat-Zinn (4)

 Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. New York: Hyperion, 2005.

Observations and quotes that clarify the utility of mindfulness in the practice of librarianship:

  • Mindfulness is about listening and awareness, which are both key to providing effective reference services/assistance to library users.
  • When we are focused on the present, unencumbered by assumptions, judgments, thoughts of past or future, we can better honor and fulfill the needs of our patrons (students and faculty in the academic setting).. 
  • Louise Toot observes, in her article "Zen and the Art of Dealing with the Difficult Patron" (224) that "helping patrons mindfully means that not only are we open to any patron that comes to us, we are focused completely on him or her.  Our mind is fully concentrated on the patron and nothing except the patron, as if the patron has become our whole world for the time being." 

How does the use of LibGuides advance our practice of mindful librarianship?

LibGuides is a library content management system which enables librarians to create and manage content to meet the needs of library users and researchers in the present moment.  Ease of use and robust, user-friendly features promote the following positive attributes/behaviors/practices: focused attention, simplicity, presence, trust, and generosity.  See the poster at left to learn more, or explore these resources:

Libguides by Jenny Innes and at WCSU Libraries

ACRL EBSS Section Virtual Discussion: "Using LibGuides for Instruction and Research Assistance" (Facilitated by J. Innes)


Mindful Librarianship: Articles


Toot, Louisa. "Zen and the Art of Dealing with the Difficult Patron." The Reference Librarian 75/76 (2002): 217-233. Print.

Vidmar, Dale. "Intentional Reference: A Mindful Approach to Fielding Questions Beyond the Desk." Oregon Library Association 16.2 (Summer 2010): 30-33.

Mindful Librarianship: Web Resources

  • Mindfulness for Librarians
    Nice article on mindful librarianship by Devin Zimmerman, published in, an online publication, in 2005.
  • Reducing Library-related Stress Holistically
    An article published in 2007 by Ameet Doshi, now User Engagement Librarian at Georgia Institute of Technology. The article discusses holistic practices, particularly drawing from Buddhist beliefs/practices, as a way for librarians to manage stress and provide better library service.
  • The Mindful Librarian (Blog)
    Blog on mindful librarianship by Rachel Shaw, Librarian at the Bay School of San Francisco. The Bay School's curriculum includes a mindfulness education component.
  • The Tao of Librarianship
    Website by Andy Burkhardt

The Buddhist Concept of Mindfulness & Mindfulness Practice

Web Resources:


Cover Art
Full Catastrophe Living: using the wisdom of your body and mind to face stress, pain, and illness - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Call Number: WCSU HAAS RA785 .K33 2005
ISBN: 0385303122
Full Catastrophe Living is a program of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn headed this Clinic for many years and is a major proponent and thinker/practitioner in the area of mindfulness, not only as a means to manage stress and physical illness, but as a strategy for living in everyday life.

Cover Art
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind - Shunryu Suzuki
ISBN: 0834800799
From the book jacket: "The innocence of this first inquiry--just asking what you are--is BEGINNER'S MIND. The mind of the beginner is needed throughout Zen practice. It is the open mind, the attitude that includes both doubt and possibility, the ability to see things always as fresh and new. It is needed in all aspects of life."

Cover Art
The Miracle of Mindfulness: a manual of meditation - Thich Nhat Hanh
Call Number: BQ5618 V5 N4813 1987
ISBN: 0807012327
From book jacket: "...Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercise as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness--being awake and fully aware. From washing the dishes to answering the phone to peeling an orange, he reminds us that each moment holds within it an opportunity to work toward greater self-understanding and peacefulness."

Cover Art
Take the Time: Mindfulness for Kids - Maud Roegiers, Magination Press (APA), 2010
Call Number: WCSU H JUV NF 155.4 R6237t
ISBN: 9781433807947
From book jacket: Via rhythms and imagery, guides a child toward self-awareness and mindfulness, tools which may help him or her calm down and feel better when out-of-sorts.

The Practice of Mindfulness in other Professions: Resources

Chen, Pauline W. "How mindfulness can make for better doctors." The New York Times (15 Oct. 2009): NA(L). Print.

Sibinga, Erica M. and Albert W. Wu.  "Clinician Mindfulness and Patient Safety." JAMA 304.22 (8 December 2010): 2532-2533. Print.

Krasner, Michael S., et al. "Association of an Educational Program in Mindful Communication with Burnout, Empathy, and Attitudes Among Primary Care Physicians." JAMA 302.12 (23/30 September 2009): 1284-1293. Print.

Sanders, Kathy M. "Mindfulness and Psychotherapy." FOCUS 8.1 (Winter 2010): 19-24. Print.

Turner, Kielty. "Mindfulness: The Present Moment in Clinical Social Work." Journal of Clinical Social Work 37 (2009): 95-103. Print.


Related and Relevant: Books and Articles

Bishop, Scott R., et al. "Mindfulness: A Proposed Operational Definition." Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice 11.3: 230-241.

Brady, Richard. "Realizing True Education with Mindfulness." Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge 6.3 (Summer 2008): 87-98.

Cover Art
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience - Mihaly Cxikszentmihalyi
Call Number: WCSU HAAS BF575.H27 C85 1990
ISBN: 0060920432
Results of Cxikszentmilhalyi's two decade study of states of "optimal experience"--those times when people report feelings of concentration and deep enjoyment. He has found that what makes experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called "flow"--a state of concentration so focused that it amounts to absolute absorption in an activity.

Contact information

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Jennifer O'Brien
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Serials and Gov Docs Department
3d floor, Haas Library
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Mindfulness: Image

Mindfulness in Education

Bush, Mirabai. "Mindfulness in Higher Education." Contemporary Buddhism 12.01: 183-197.

203.837.9100 (Haas) | 181 White Street, Danbury, CT 06810 | 203.837.9139 (Young)

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