Circle of Wellness: Half-Way/summer Moon Months: Abitaa-Niibini-Giizis

American Libraries, June-July 2008 | Go to article overview

Circle of Wellness: Half-Way/summer Moon Months: Abitaa-Niibini-Giizis


Libraries are blessed with a workforce that includes many vibrant individuals who are creating and coping with changes in our community demographics, services, buildings, and ourselves. Like many others, we have to work to create healthy lifestyles.

My interest in wellness stems from my previous career as a medical imager in community hospitals and my connections with tribal communities, where wellness is a key communitywide concern. As an indigenous person, I consider wellness an expression of all aspects of a person's life--not only of our physicality but also part of our social and emotional well-being.

Last year an able task force launched an initiative to support wellness for library workers. My former student Henry Stokes, a gifted web designer, created the workplace wellness website that will be housed at www.ala-apa.org/wellness, home of the ALA-Allied Professional Association. Background about the ideas and process behind the effort can be found in an article coauthored by Stokes and Siobhan Champ-Black-well on page 52 of this issue.

We invite you to read stories of wellness journeys and add your own, follow the news, and check out the resources, especially the new "Staying Healthy at Conference," "Workplace Wellness Inventory," and "Wellness Passport" documents created for ALA members. Let us know how you are incorporating wellness in your library workplace.

We have already heard about "Livestrong @ your library" events held recently at Victoria (Tex.) Public Library and St. Mary's Academy Charter School Library, also in Victoria. When you care about your colleagues, you care about their health.

Final Farewell

This is my final message to you as ALA president. My year started with an Honor Dance and a blessing. I have been humbled by the honor of serving you and I have been blessed by the work of ALA members who have helped me realize my campaign platform of "Celebrating Community, Collaboration, and Culture. …

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