Trauma in the Library Workplace

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The groundbreaking Urban Library Trauma Study (ULTS) used emancipatory and participatory action research frameworks to explore how public library workers in urban centers experience trauma while providing library services and create a path forward for exploring institutional and individual solutions to enable library workers and their institutions to continue providing vital library services to communities in need while caring for the well-being of staff.

We will discuss our series of recommendations to address the pervasive issue of trauma in the library workplace and how the library field can research solutions to problems while being radically inclusive of the workers those problems most impact.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this class, students will be able to:

1. Understand the background of how trauma manifests in libraries
2. Be able to apply the Library Trauma Cycle in work interactions
3. Understand the next steps to solving the problem of trauma in library work


Lauren Comito is a cape wearing, ukulele playing, sword swinging, activist librarian in NYC. She is currently a Neighborhood Library Supervisor at Brooklyn Public Library and Executive Director of Urban Librarians Unite, a national 501c3 not for profit focused on providing training, advocacy, and support for front-line library staff working in large urban systems. She is creative, passionate about connecting library patrons to the services they need, and a true believer in the ability of the library to change people’s lives and communities for the better.

Christian Zabriskie is the Executive Director of the Onondaga County Public Libraries and the Founder and board member of Urban Librarians Unite. He has worked in urban public libraries for nearly twenty years and has been a circ supervisor, children’s librarian, YA librarian, reference librarian, cataloger, and administrator. He speaks, writes, and teaches in a variety of areas of librarianship including graphic novels in libraries, library advocacy, grant writing, library service to at risk communities, and library service to unaccompanied minors.

State library and/or archives agency; Public library; Academic library: 4 year and graduate; Academic library: 2 year
This webinar is presented in Eastern time.