The LIS Mental Health project formally began in 2016 when Cecily Walker and Kelly McElroy facilitated the first LIS Mental Health Week. The week consisted of online discussions, blog posts, and resource-sharing. Since then, LIS Mental Health has expanded activities to include analog and yearlong events and discussions, including publishing an annual zine. To learn more about the history and outcomes, read “LIS Mental Health: Creating a Community and Breaking the Silence,”  published in 2018 by Voices: Topics in Canadian Librarianship.

LIS is the abbreviation for Library and Information Science. The intention behind LIS Mental Health is “big tent” librarianship, archives, and/or museums: if you work or volunteer in a library, archive, or museum (currently or formerly), if you’re working towards a library degree, are faculty or staff at an LIS instruction program, or are otherwise involved in library- or GLAM-related work, we consider you part of our community.

While LIS Mental Health has grown, its principles and goals remain the same: to create a space where all library workers and information professionals can connect with each other to discuss issues relating to mental health. The collective prioritizes accessibility and inclusivity in its spaces, providing opportunities for anonymity and participation in a variety of formats and at different levels of engagement.

Participation and membership to the collective is informal—if you want to participate, you’re in! Some ways to participate include:
• Join in the discussion using the hashtag #LISMentalHealth, either during a live chat or anytime you want to start a discussion
• Write a blog post for the website or for your own platform
• Share your favorite resource with the collective
• Organize a Mental Health Week at your workplace
• Submit a piece to the zine
• Record a podcast episode or vlog

If you would like to get involved the planning and operational side of the LIS Mental Health project, send an email to reserveandrenew@gmail.com and we’ll be in touch! Activities such as LIS Mental Health Week, the Reserve and Renew zine, and this website are maintained on a 100% volunteer basis by the LIS Mental Health team.