BLC Workshop: Library Staff Training on Mental Health

Monday, February 3, 2020 - 10:00am to 12:00pm

Library Staff Training on Mental Health: How Staff Can Better Serve Challenging Patrons and Their Behaviors

Academic libraries are more than the books they house, they are the combination of the collections they steward, the services they offer, and the spaces where they make their patrons feel comfortable.

As staff in libraries serving primarily students and faculty, it is important to have an understanding of the ways in which patrons can experience a variety of mental health challenges, and how library staff can handle these patrons in a caring and professional manner.

Students in particular can experience a range of issues, stemming from the pressures of a new environment, increased expectations, and lack of a support network. As a result, they may become depressed or self-harming, anxious, disruptive, and have other issues that can be distracting, scary and troublesome to staff and other patrons. 

This workshop will: 

  • Provide a better understanding of the range of mental health issues presented by patrons that might affect a library setting; 
  • Identify clear ways to take action in a variety of scenarios to keep all patrons and staff safe; and 
  • Bring library staff together to share the training experience and support one another.

This training is fun, will give participants specific language to use and new approaches to implement, will give participants information about mental health which will be useful to them personally, and is interactive and empowering.  Presenter Jon Mattleman has over three decades of work in public service, facilitates 75+ trainings a year for library staff, parents, and professionals, and gives people tools they can use immediately. Learn more about Jon at

Workshop Logistics:

The BLC is pleased to bring this workshop to our member libraries on Monday, February 3rd from 10:00am-12:00pm. Registration will close on Thursday, January 30th.

Register here 

  • Capacity: This workshop is limited to 40 participants. We encourage libraries who wish to send multiple participants to limit to 2-3.
  • Participants are encouraged (not required) to submit examples of issues faced at their institutions. These examples will be anonymized and used during the workshop.
  • Coffee and lunch will be provided
  • Directions: Attendees are encouraged to take public transit or carpool to the workshop, as there may be limited parking available near Boston College's Theology and Ministry Library (TML). The TML is on the Green Line. There may be limited parking available in the parking garages located in Boston College's Newton Campus, a short walk to the TML. For more directions, please visit
  • There will not be a remote option for this workshop.
  • Please contact Mei Mendez ( with any questions.