May 2021, No.153

Between the weather and the pandemic, we sure had a long winter in the Cincinnati area. While Spring has arrived and covid-19 vaccines are available for some ages, many in our community, and millions around the world, are actively suffering physically and mentally from this disease. Many are feeling emotional pain, anger, stress, and loneliness because of losing loved ones, caregiving, treating covid-19 patients, adapting to new work environments, virtual learning, and the loss of familiar routines and faces to name a few.

So, let’s talk about it; after all, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. How do you take care of yourself? We know a healthy diet and regular exercise are important, but we also might need professional help for mental health issues that arise. We seek treatments for physical diseases; mental health diseases should be no different. In this issue, you will find information and resources about mental health. I have also included some silly memes to hopefully make
you smile and laugh. Please take care of yourselves!

Jennifer Pettigrew, President

Meeting Report – February 25, 2021

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Attending: Pettigrew, Jennifer; Koshoffer, Amy; Kean, Emily; McCormick, Lisa; Hill, Barbarie; Herrlein, Starbuck, Edith; Alex; Temple, Alex [guest]; Bartels, Jacqueline [guest].

CAHSLA held a virtual meeting via WebEx hosted by Amy Koshoffer. President Jennifer Pettigrew welcomed everyone to the meeting and invited attendees to do an introduction

Attendees described how they are functioning in their organization during the ongoing pandemic Some CAHSLA members are still working virtually (Kean, Starbuck, and Koshoffer at UC for example) while others are doing onsite work (Pettigrew at TCH; Herrlein at Lloyd by appointment).

Amy introduced the idea of a virtual journal club. She will conduct an online survey to gauge interest. As chair of the program committee, Amy is in discussion with June Taylor-Slaughter, supervisor and manager of student workers at UC, to do a presentation to CAHSLA on microaggression in the library. It may be possible to co-host this presentation with SLA. More details will follow.

Thanks to Cara Yurkowski (formerly TCH) who created a “Jeopardy” game with a library/information/literary theme. Amy acted as the emcee. It was a challenging, lively, and highly competitive game. The winner of this round was Lisa McCormick (formerly TJH).

The meeting concluded at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Lisa McCormick, Secretary

Meeting Report – April 13, 2021

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Attending: Pettigrew, Jennifer; Koshoffer, Amy; Kean, Emily; McCormick, Lisa; Bryant, Kathleen [guest]; Taylor-Slaughter, June [presenter].

CASHLA held a virtual education meeting via WebEx hosted by Amy Koshoffer. We welcomed a Northern Kentucky University library student guest to the meeting, Kathleen Bryant.

Amy introduced the speaker, June Taylor-Slaughter, Public Service Manager and Student Supervisor, UC Geology-Mathematics-Physics Library, for a presentation and discussion of Microaggressions in Libraries. June, a 25+ years UC staff, was awarded the university’s 2021 Marian Spencer Equity Ambassador Award for staff. By way of background, June explained that the onboarding course was a product of the COVID-19 pause in onsite work which gave her the extended time period to develop a formalized training course in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for UC Libraries student workers.

Student workers are at the front-line of customer interactions, and, because of the diverse community of library users they encounter, often as the first face representing UC, June wanted to develop a training course to promote the people skills necessary for a diverse customer population. An eight module, online DEI training course that incorporates video and participant interaction, to educates the user on microaggression is the outcome of June’s COVID-19 project. (Microaggression is a term used for brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicates hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes toward stigmatized or culturally marginalized groups. Wikipedia)

Two resources highlighted in the course are by Dr. Derald Wing Sue: Microaggressions: More than just race; and Micrograggression in everyday life: race, gender, and sexual orientation [2010 Hoboken, NJ; Wiley Publications].

Those in attendance had the opportunity to chat and offer feedback to Ms. Taylor-Slaughter at the conclusion of her presentation.

Following the educational presentation, Jennifer led a brief informal meeting. The idea of an in-person end-of-the-year picnic was briefly discussed. Amy offered to do some investigating on possibilities. Kathleen Bryant, library student guest, had the opportunity to seek in-put on identifying the availability of library internships during the pandemic.

The meeting concluded at approximately 6:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Lisa McCormick, Secretary

Program Committee Report

On April 13th, June Taylor-Slaughter gave a presentation on Microaggressions to a small but interested group of attendees (#6). Ms. Taylor is the public service manager and student supervisor for UC Libraries Geology Math and Physics Library. Her entertaining presentation and discussion highlighted what is a microagression, the different types and how we might check ourselves to prevent the harm they cause. A similar version of this presentation is used to train student library workers.

Next up is our annual picnic. Planning is still under way.

Respectfully submitted, Amy Koshoffer, Program Committee Chair

2021-05-12 CAHSLA Treasurer Report


as of 12/18/2020:



Membership Dues (2)






Meeting Honorarium






as of 05/12/2021:



as of 12/18/2020:









as of 05/12/2021:



as of 05/12/2021:


















9 Regular (Paid)

0 Student (Paid)
11 Life Members

Respectfully submitted by Emily Kean, Treasurer

Cara Yurkowski, Electronic Resources Librarian at The Christ Hospital Network’s The James N. Gamble Library and CAHSLA Treasurer (2018-2020) Program Committee Co-Chair (2018-2019), is now editing and proofreading fulltime. We are very grateful to Cara for her contributions to CAHSLA and will miss her.. We wish her much success in her business.

Lisa McCormick (formerly TJH) is published in the Spring 2021 OHSLA Voice. The article, Annual CAHSLA Book Drive Perseveres Through Pandemic, describes CAHSLA’s very successful collaboration with Melanie Moore’s Cincy Book Bus to continue the annual holiday book drive in 2020 which benefitted Lighthouse Youth Services.

Regina Hartman is sad to report that Shawntel Ensminger (Archive Intern at The Christ Hospital) passed away on April 8 after a long battle with cancer. Although she was battling another recurrence, Shawntel’s death was unexpected, as she had been working 2 days before. Here is a link to a memorial tribute on her blog: (S)intelligent (sintelligently.blogspot.com

2020's Most Challenged Books Addressed Racism and the LGBTQ Community
The American Library Association (ALA) conducts an annual survey among librarians to identify those books that were challenged for inclusion in public, school, or university libraries. The 2020 survey found “For the first time in the survey's history, six of the 10 most-challenged books — out of 273 books that were targeted in libraries, schools and universities — touched on issues of race, and the complaints ranged from "divisive language" to "anti-police views” according to a report on the WLWT website. By contrast, in 2019, the top 10 most challenged books dealt with LBGTQ themes.

“Rapping Librarian” Abruptly Resigns from Smith College Library
Admittedly, the title of the article and where it is published, Rolling Stone, is the reason for including this news tidbit. How a Rapping Librarian Became a Right-Wing Anti-Cancel Culture Hero chronicles the alleged ongoing challenges by former Smith College librarian Jodi Shaw, to College’s programs on racial justice and diverse hiring practices as creating for her, a white woman, a “racially hostile environment.” The last straw for Shaw at the women's liberal arts college in Pine Grove, Massachusetts, according to the article, was being reprimanded for rapping at a library orientation.

Coping with Pandemic Stress
The most recent article by Scientific American contributing editor, Melinda Wenner Moyer, Coping with Pandemic Stress [Scientific American. Mar2021, Vol. 324 Issue 3, p46-51] addresses the unprecedented rise in depression and anxiety brought on by the pandemic and offers some scientific backed approaches to coping. She cites several studies, those that have been published and those pending publication, that are tracking the mental toll that the pandemic has taken. Some scientists have found 25-30% increases in depression and anxiety in those surveyed about the mental health impact of the pandemic.

One of Wenner Moyer’s main points in the article is that people can develop resiliency – and it is resiliency that will get us through the social and psychological upheaval of the pandemic. She taps into the knowledge of mental health practitioners in the fields of trauma, disaster, and rehabilitation psychology to reveal the foundation for resiliency: "When people in devastating situations can spot warning signs of mental trouble, acknowledge and express their distress, focus on the present moment and the small things they can control, and find ways to connect with others, they can get through the darkest of moments and show resilience."

According to the article: (1) Look for warning signs such as changes in appetite and/or sleep patterns, irritability, and physical symptoms such as pain or gastrointestinal distress; (2) Acknowledge your fear. "You can feel scared and fearful and angry and resentful and simultaneously be a victor and be resilient. Reminding people that they are both, versus either/or, is extremely important."

To cope, Wenner Moyer advises: (1) Find new ways to connect with people or a therapist– virtually, by email or snail mail; (2) Find ways to help others -volunteer. Volunteering/being of service helps one to feel more useful, connected, and hopeful about the future. The act of volunteering can lessen one's feelings of distress; (3) Pay attention to yourself through mindfulness practices. Practicing mindfulness helps to lessen distress and experience calmness by focusing on the present moment. Mindfulness practices include meditation (there's an app for that: Breathe 2 Relax and Mindfulness Coach), focused breathing, or pulling out your colored pencils and a coloring book.

Libraries as Mental Health Hubs
The provision of library and information services can be impacted by the emotional and mental health state of the patron – or the librarian. Talk to any librarian about disruptive patrons, and you may get an outpouring of stories of the stressful or sometimes harrowing encounters they have experienced. Heather Stringer has written an article, Libraries as Mental Health Hubs, describing how some libraries are employing social workers or librarians specially trained in “mental health first aid” to connect patrons with mental health services or to de-escalate angry or upset patrons.

Stringer also describes a National Network of Libraries of Medicine funded project at the Avon Free Public Library in Avon, Connecticut, “where 40% of the city’s population is age 50 or older, librarian Tina Panik decided to partner with the senior center to offer more education about mental health. Through funding from the NNLM, the library offered a series of 16 programs on such topics as memory loss, depression and grief.” Stringer describes several public library programs for mental health of their communities that have been operational for many years, like the San Francisco Public Library System that first employed a social worker in 2009.

If you are interested in a mental health first aid course, consult https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/take-a-course/find-a-course/,

Professor Advocates for Mental Health Support for Librarians
Abigail Phillips, assistant professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin is an advocate for supporting the mental health needs of library workers. Amanda Niebauer writes in the UMW Report about the work of Phillips along with other professors of library and information studies across the country to provide support to those library workers with poor mental health. As Phillips says, there is “emotional labor” involved with delivering information and library services to distressed communities and individuals, and library workers do not always have the support to handle the burden this work entails. The article cites one study among academic librarians that reported more than half of the survey participants had a diagnosed mental health condition.

Read the full article by Niebauer for Phillips approach to supporting the library community with the creation of annual zine titled “Reserve and Renew: the LIS Mental Health Zine,” The zine “is filled with submissions from librarians, library volunteers, professors and students from all over the U.S.” with poetry, artwork, comics, and personal stories as a way for library workers to find a supportive community.

Top Mental Health Apps 2021
Psych Central has highlighted their top mental health apps to improve mental well-being. Listed below are the apps the website is highlighting. Some of the apps are free and others incur a fee; read the fine print before downloading.
· Best for anxiety: MindShift
· Best for PTSD: PTSD Coach
· Best for deep breathing: BellyBio
· Best for quitting unwanted habits: Quit That!
· Best for stress relief: Take a Break!
· Best for CBT and ACT: What’s Up?
· Best for people of color: Shine
· Best for better sleep: Relax with Andrew Johnson Lite
· Best overall symptom tracker: Bearable
· Best for bipolar disorder: eMoods

Need Help?
If you suspect that you or a loved one is suffering from a mental health disorder, please seek help. One of the resources below may be able to assist. For medical emergencies, dial 911 immediately.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Call 800-273-TALK (8255). If you or someone you know is in crisis—whether they are considering suicide or not—please call the toll-free Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline connects you with a crisis center in the Lifeline network closest to your location. Your call will be answered by a trained crisis worker who will listen empathetically and without judgment. The crisis worker will work to ensure that you feel safe and help identify options and information about mental health services in your area. Your call is confidential and free.
  • Crisis Text Line – Text NAMI to 741-741 Connect with a trained crisis counselor to receive free, 24/7 crisis support via text message.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline – Call 800-799-SAFE (7233) Trained expert advocates are available 24/7 to provide confidential support to anyone experiencing domestic violence or seeking resources and information. Help is available in Spanish and other languages.
  • National Sexual Assault Hotline – Call 800-656-HOPE (4673) Connect with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area that offers access to a range of free services. Crisis chat support is available at Online Hotline. Free help, 24/7.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) - Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) . Also known as, the Treatment Referral Routing Service, this Helpline provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention, and recovery in English and Spanish.
  • Veterans Crisis Line Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, Chat, or Text 838255 .Connect with the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Many of them are Veterans themselves.