The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many people, including students and faculty, in profound ways. Concern for the mental health and the mental wellbeing of college students has increased. The need for access to mental health resources has also increased. One does not need to have a diagnosable mental health condition to be able to benefit from taking steps to take care of your mental health. For example, the resources provided for general mindfulness/ meditation can be useful to all who are experiencing stress at this time for a variety of reasons. Taking care of your own mental health can positively affect your ability to succeed as a student.
Developing a collection that will help support these efforts along with the other resources available on campus and in the community has become a priority, and the Mundt Library and the Counseling Center at DSU are partnering to create a collection housed on the first floor of the library. This collection is started with funds provided to DSU from the federal government for COVID-19 relief. There will also be resources such as memoirs, books and documentaries related to psychology and mental health, and self-help books. Having these materials available will hopefully increase awareness and understanding of mental health on campus and reduce stigma associated with mental health, which is no less important or real than physical health and health conditions. All physical resources in this collection may be checked out at the circulation desk.
The Mental Health and Wellness Collection is not intended to replace the services of a professional counselor for those in need of that assistance but to provide an additional resource to the campus community. This collection is developed in partnership with the Counseling Center at DSU. If you need to make an appointment with them they can be reached at 605-256-5121 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
All library users have the right to privacy. The Mundt Library is bound by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), in addition to the librarian profession as a whole being dedicated to advocating for privacy. We maintain confidentiality of what library users browse, use, and check out. FERPA gives university students an extra layer of protection in their right to privacy. It restricts anyone except the student and library staff from viewing what a student has checked out, unless the student has specifically filled out the necessary paperwork for us to release information to someone besides the student. In addition, library staff must have a professional reason to look up a student's record, such as the student asking to renew an item or to check when the item is due. Library staff never looks up a record for the sake of curiosity and never discusses what a student has checked out with anyone except the student or a library staff member with a professional reason to know. A student worker asking a supervisor if a book can be renewed beyond the normally allowed number of renewals at the students request is one example where this might happen. In this case, the supervisor will also maintain confidentiality of the student's record.
Karl E. Mundt Library, Dakota State University, Madison, South Dakota 57042