by Nicole Dyszlewski, Roger Williams Univesrity School of Law
When Brian Flaherty started his “Theory Into Practice” posts on the LLNE blog, he asked some of the members of the LLNE Executive Board if there had been any memorable experiences they had to share of turning something they learned at an LLNE meeting (theory) into something they did at their own library (practice). I immediately emailed him that I had something to share.
Back in November, 2010, I attended the Fall LLNE meeting hosted by Northeastern University School of Law Library titled “Improve Your Workplace Health! Inoculate Against Bad Morale.” What made this meeting so memorable is that it focused heavily on bringing positivity to the workplace. The theme of the meeting resonated strongly with me and I have tried to bring some of the lessons learned from that meeting to work every day.
It is not always easy to be positive at work. In fact, sometimes (Mondays? Snowstorms?) it is downright impossible. What I learned from the Fall 2010 meeting is that there are small things we can do to try and increase morale. One of the things I do to boost my own mood is listen to upbeat music. In the registration packet for that meeting we were given a list of upbeat songs (one song on the list was Katrina and the Waves “Walking on Sunshine”!) and while I can’t say that I play “Don’t Worry Be Happy” every day before my reference shift, I can say that I have made an effort to have a few “happy” Pandora stations at my disposal when I am working on a tedious task or just need a burst of sunshine.
Another way I have worked to inoculate myself and my workplace against negativity is by adding a bit of fun to my job. For example, I regularly participate in the Green Bag’s Lunchtime Law Quiz. While the weekly question itself is released at lunchtime on Monday, you usually have a day or two to research and answer the question. While I find legal research to be fun on its own, the Green Bag quiz is a lighthearted way to take a break from serious work and flex my research muscles on something more humorous and less consequential. Not only does it give me an opportunity to discover (or re-discover) some of the resources in my library’s collection, but it gives me an opportunity to discuss possible answers with other librarians who may also be stumped on a question. If you haven’t tried it, you should!
This Spring, the LLNE meeting is being co-hosted by the University of New Hampshire School of Law Library & The Association of New Hampshire Law Librarians. The meeting’s theme is Mindfulness and Librarians. According to the description, “We will explore how practices will lead us, and those we serve, to… decrease stress and anxiety, cultivate and advance joy and satisfaction in the practice of law.” I look forward to attending this meeting and finding new ideas to bring back and put into practice!