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Spring Fling 2015: Serving with Compassion
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Serving with Compassion: Improving Library Service to Patrons with Mental Illness within Public Libraries

Friday, May 22, 2015 | 8:30 AM - Noon
Oakland Public Library, Brad Walters Community Room
125 14th Street, Oakland California
Presented by the CLA Management Interest Group

Presenters:  Bettye Foster, Mental Health Association of Alameda County; Darcel Jones, Oakland Public Library; Rebecca J. Kemp, Tulare County Library; Mark Rahman, Family Education and Resource Center; Leanne "Lea" Woodrow, Loma Linda University

This seminar is designed to give attendees basic strategies for helping persons with mental illness in their libraries.  The day is divided in to different sections.  One section will address how to evaluate different situations, how to cope with those situations, and different aspects of the disease(s).  Another section will discuss how to access resources in your community and the daily experience of living with persons with mental illness.  The final session will give attendees a chance to either role-play in different scenarios or learn more about how to help patrons and their families.

8:30 - Registration - Coffee and refreshments will be provided. Please bring business cards so that we can keep in touch and continue the discussions we’ll start today.

Introduction of Ms. Leanne Woodrow, RN, of Loma Linda University.  
Ms. Woodrow will discuss:

  • the medical aspects of mental illness
  • the signs to look for
  • basic 411/911 for non-medical personnel.

We will learn:

  • "when to deal"
  • "when to help"
  • "when to call security"
  • "when to call 911"

Introduction of Bettye Foster and Marc Rahman from FERC (Family Education and Resource Center)
FERC will:

  • discuss some of the community resources available in Oakland and how to find similar resources in your community.
  • cover how to network with these resources and how to connect your patrons with them.
  • explain some of the challenges families face when caring for loved ones with mental illness and provide guidance to us librarians on how to support the families as well as the patients.

Breakout panels

Ms. Leanne Woodrow, RN

  • Role-play training
  • Q & A about handling difficult situations with adults (homeless or not).

FERC - Bettye Foster and Marc Rahman

  • Q & A focusing on serving children and teens with mental illness.
  • How to serve and support the families of people with mental illness


About the Presenters:

Leanne “Lea” Woodrow is a registered nurse and director of quality and safety for Loma Linda University. Ms. Woodrow has over thirty years of experience directing emergency nursing services, which include directly treating patients with mental illness. She has over twenty-five years as a health care consultant and travels throughout the United States as a professional educator and medical expert in legal matters. Ms. Woodrow brings a wealth of medical expertise to help us better understand mental illness diagnoses and how to serve our patrons.

Bettye Foster is the Lead Family Advocate at the Family Education and Resource Center (FERC) and a NAMI trained facilitator for family/caregiver support groups and the Family-to-Family course. Ms. Foster also facilitates Provider Education workshops and the Public Education Campaign for Future Mental Health Providers.  Her over twenty years of lived experience as a family member to someone with a mental health challenge has made her dedicated to helping family members find tools that will help them cope while working with their loved ones on their journey to wellness and recovery.  Ms. Foster strives to help family members realize that they are not alone and that support is available.

Mark Rahman has been a Family Advocate for five years through the Family Education and Resource Center (FERC).  Mr. Rahman has been building on his experience and initial training in all areas of providing a livable life for those with mental health challenges.  His best asset is his ability to gather information on all aspects of mental illness and integrate it into the needs of families in their individual struggles. As a parent with over twenty-five years of caregiving experience for a daughter going through serious mental health challenges, he has been able to make use of his experiences in order to help others. He is working with families so that they do not have to go through the same learning curve that he experienced.

Darcel Jones is a Children’s Librarian at the Oakland Public Library with a passion for helping patrons with special needs, specifically mental illnesses. As a ten year library veteran, she has witnessed the service disparity within the special needs population and has made it her mission to learn as much as she can to best serve this demographic. An Emerging Leader Alumna, and future ruler of the world, Ms. Jones’ goal is that with trainings such as these, the library can continue to grow and become a “third place” for everyone.

Rebecca J. Kempis a Reference Librarian at the Tulare County Library.  Her involvement in this seminar is part of the continuing education process which will help her to better serve her patrons.



Please note:

  • Refunds cannot be issued within three weeks of an event taking place.
  • All refunds are subject to a $25 processing fee.
  • Events costing $25 and under are not eligible for refunds.
  • If any early bird rate is offered, mail-in registrations must be received by the CLA office by 5pm on the day of the deadline to receive the early-bird registration rate.
  • CLA member rates: person must be an Individual Voting or Supporting CLA member to receive the discounted member rate for workshops or webinars. 
  • Group rates for webinars: one person must register for the entire group and the login information will be sent to that person. If the person registering the group is a CLA member the group is entitled to the member rate. Group rates are intended for four or more individuals viewing the webinar together. The login information you receive may only be used on one machine.
  • Webinars will be recorded and the recording will be made available to all registrants at a later date at no extra fee.
  • Your registration for a Spring Fling program constitutes permission to utilize photos taken of you at the event for news, promotion, and similar purposes.
  • Please contact the CLA Executive Director if you have questions.


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