2024 Spring Directors Institute

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2024 Spring Directors Institute

April 12 @ 9:30 am 4:00 pm

Northeast Kansas Public Library Directors, please join us on April 12, 2024, for the Spring Directors Institute at the NEKLS Office. This will be an in-person retreat, though we hope to have resources to share with those who cannot attend. The deadline to register to attend was April 1st, contact Dan Alexander (dalexander@nekls.org) if you have any questions.

Our special guest will be Dr. Beth Wahler! Check out out her new book, Creating a Person-Centered Library from the NEKLS Professional Collection: https://nextkansas.org/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=1376956.

Morning: Trauma-Informed Library Management: Practical Strategies for Supporting Both Patrons and Staff, facilitated by Dr. Beth Wahler. Workshop topics will include: Trauma-informed librarianship, Trauma-informed leadership skills to reduce staff stress and trauma, and Self-care strategies for library leaders.

Lunch: NEKLS will provide lunch, and will contact registrants about dietary needs before the retreat.

Afternoon: We will discuss the NEKLS Mental Wellness Grant, and other mental wellness topics. Following the facilitated group discussion, three directors from our region, Marie Pyko (Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library), Rachael Hissong (Paola Free Library), and Erin Verbick (Morrill Public Library), have agreed to share about partnerships and outreach. We will end the day with time for more group discussion.

About our Guest: Beth Wahler, PhD, MSW is a social work consultant, researcher, trainer, and experienced administrator whose primary focus is trauma-informed librarianship, public library patrons’ psychosocial needs (needs related to mental health, substance abuse, poverty, etc.), library staff needs related to these types of patron issues, and various kinds of collaborations, services, and programs to meet these types of patron and staff needs (such as social work programs). Dr. Wahler has worked with multiple public libraries- urban, suburban, and rural- as well as large library systems and state library associations to provide personalized training opportunities, conduct needs assessments, complete program evaluations, and to develop individualized plans to help meet the needs of their patron populations and staff. She has completed extensive research on existing public library/social work collaborations and programs throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. She has also published and presented internationally on library patron and staff needs, library-based social work practicum placements, and library/social work collaborations. Dr. Wahler has a book forthcoming in December 2023, “Creating a Person-Centered Library: Best Practices for Supporting High-Needs Patrons,” published by Bloomsbury Libraries Unlimited, which focuses on strategies for supporting patrons with psychosocial needs while simultaneously supporting library staff. Prior to her current roles, she has 14 years of experience as a social work practitioner and administrator, working with organizations serving individuals who have barriers to economic mobility and stability including homelessness, mental health problems, substance use problems, intimate partner violence and other experiences of trauma, disabilities, and chronic health problems, and as an academic researcher, professor, and administrator in schools of social work for 11 years.

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