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Free Online Presentation: Flexible Programs for Inflexible People: Yoga and Accessibility at Academic Libraries

  • 1.  Free Online Presentation: Flexible Programs for Inflexible People: Yoga and Accessibility at Academic Libraries

    Posted Jun 05, 2023 10:02 AM

    FREE Online Presentation: Flexible Programs for Inflexible People: Yoga and Accessibility at Academic Libraries

    Presented by Erin Burns, Megan Benson, and Brian Quinn
    Wednesday, June 14th at 1pm CT
    Register here
    Sponsored by the ACRL ULS Professional Development Committee

    Due to the changing nature of academic library student spaces and interest in mindfulness practices and contemplative pedagogy, yoga programs in these spaces are on the rise. Librarians have been conducting yoga outreach sessions for at least several years prior to the pandemic to combat the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression, as they are frequently offered during high stress periods like midterms and finals. Usually with cross-campus collaboration, yoga programs in academic libraries focus mainly on student participation and student wellness (Lenstra 2020). However, there are some examples of yoga being offered to employees of the library and the larger campus community (Burns 2021; Jackson 2021), despite resistance from some who may feel that it is not the goal of the library or the role of the librarians.

    In 2021, the presenters conducted a survey of academic librarians to assess how these programs may have changed during the pandemic and their accessibility options. The results from this survey will be presented, as they show both the need for such programs and ways in which these programs can be made accessible. Participants will also learn ways to create and sustain their own yoga programming. 

    The webinar will include several poll questions asking participants about their experiences with yoga and a brief (10 minutes) chair/desk yoga session. 


    Erin Burns, MLIS and RYT500, STEM Librarian, Texas Tech University

    Erin Burns is a STEM librarian at Texas Tech University and serves as the personal librarian to the Whitacre College of Engineering. She has a BA in English from Youngstown State University and an MLIS from Kent State University. Her research interests include mental health and academic ableism, digital humanities, critical librarianship, and yoga. She is also a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 500), and conducts a free yin yoga session for the Texas Tech community online once weekly. You can find her walking or hiking when she is not knitting, creating yarn art, or standing in tree pose.

    Megan Benson Assistant Head of Instruction and Outreach, Binghamton University

    Megan Benson is the Assistant Head of Instruction and Outreach at Binghamton University where she liaisons to First Year Experience, Writing courses, and the English Language Institute. She also teaches a two credit research skills class, where she incorporates yogic philosophies to her teaching. Prior to becoming a librarian, Megan earned a Master's Degree in history from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln and taught Western Civilizations I at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida before earning an MLIS from Syracuse University. She is a registered yoga teacher and is often an ice cream tourist when she isn't making it herself. 

    Brian Quinn Graduate Student Services Librarian, Texas Tech University
    Brian is Barnie E. Rushing, Jr. Outstanding Researcher and author of numerous peer- reviewed publications. A recipient of the Excellence in Librarianship Award from the American Psychological Association, Brian has served on the editorial boards of Library Resources & Technical Services and other journals. His article "The McDonaldization of Academic Libraries?" was selected by the Association of College and Research Libraries as one of seven landmark articles published in its flagship journal. He is a registered yoga teacher and certified meditation teacher. 

    This free presentation is sponsored by the ACRL University Libraries Section Professional Development Committee. It will take place on Wednesday June 14th at 1pm CT via Zoom. Register here: https://ala-events.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_APBK9IJdRPiSXxpt2mjMAA 

    If you can't make this session but wish to view a recording later, please register so that you'll receive an email that includes a link to the video of the presentation.

    Please direct questions and concerns to Andrea Wright (wright.andrea@outlook.com), or Samantha Harlow (slharlow@uncg.edu), chairs of the ACRL ULS Professional Development Committee. A full list of the committee's past and future programs are available here

    Alicia Vaandering (pronouns: she/her)
    Assistant Professor, Student Success Librarian
    University of Rhode Island
    Carothers Library, Office #125

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