On-Demand Webinar - Best of Core Forum: Asking for Help in a Helping Profession

Description: In our work as librarians we encourage all library patrons to ask for help. Librarianship is the profession of “Ask Us” and “Get Help Here” but are we applying that same ethic to our colleagues and ourselves in the workplace? Asking for help or support is an act of bravery and vulnerability, one that can carry a great deal of risk in the wrong environment. Yet it is essential to growing and developing as a library professional.

This session will explore practices, attitudes, and structures that can encourage and promote, help-seeking behaviors among library workers. Panelists are a mix of library managers and librarians without supervisory responsibilities who will examine how help-seeking can mitigate against internal barriers such as perfectionism and imposter syndrome, promote a workplace culture that values learning and intellectual humility, and diminish the harmful effects of hierarchy in libraries. Participants will examine their own experiences with help-seeking behaviors, including barriers to asking for help, in hopes that at the end of the session they will leave with ideas on how to promote asking for help at their own libraries.

This webinar was previously presented in-person as a session at the 2023 Core Forum. We are hosting this webinar, with the session adapted and presented live as a virtual event, to extend its reach.


Learning Outcomes: 


At the end of the webinar, attendees will be able to:

  • Identify barriers to seeking help in their workplace;
  • Analyze different methods of encouraging help-seeking and learning behavior in their libraries; and
  • Adopt a personalized approach to asking for help and promoting help-seeking in line with professional and personal values.


Who Should Attend: Librarians from all library types (not just academic libraries) given that we all have internal hierarchies in our organizations.



Veronica Arellano Douglas is Head of Teaching & Learning at University of Houston Libraries.

Joanna Gadsby is Instruction Coordinator & Reference Librarian atUniversity of Maryland Baltimore County.

Katy Sullivan is Head of Reference and Instruction at University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Jennifer Holland is Teaching and Learning Librarian at University of Houston Libraries.

Mea Warren is Assistant Head of Teaching & Learning at University of Houston Libraries.


Tech Requirements

Core Webinars are held in Zoom. Speakers or a headset for listening to the presentation are required. Closed captioning is available in the Zoom platform.