Your Name and Title: Mary June C. Bayog (student)1, Jewel Ann D. Merbal (student)1, Stephen B. Alayon (Associate Professor)1
Library, School, or Organization Name: 1College of Information and Communications Technology, West Visayas State University, Philippines, 2University Learning Resource Center, West Visayas State University, Philippines 3West Visayas State University, Pototan Campus, Philippines
Co-Presenter Name(s): Mary June C. Bayog1, Jewel Ann D. Merbal1, Manuela R. Losañes1,2, Analiza C. Rosales3, Stephen B. Alayon1
Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Asia - Philippines
Language in Which You Will Present: English
Target Audience(s): Librarians
Short Session Description (one line): Gardening as a coping mechanism for Filipino librarians and library staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and their physical, mental, and emotional health status, anxiety, and ways of coping
Full Session Description (as long as you would like): please see above
Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: None
Gardening as a coping mechanism for Filipino librarians and library staff during the COVID-19 pandemic and their physical, mental, and emotional health status, anxiety, and ways of coping
Mary June C. Bayog1, Jewel Ann D. Merbal1, Manuela R. Losañes1,2, Analiza C. Rosales3, Stephen B. Alayon1
1College of Information and Communications Technology, West Visayas State University, Philippines
2University Learning Resource Center, West Visayas State University, Philippines
3West Visayas State University, Pototan Campus, Philippines
The Philippines has been dramatically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the government implementing strict measures to curb the spread of the virus, libraries and schools in the Philippines were forced to close their doors during lockdowns. Libraries gradually opened following safety protocols or offered online services. This study aims to fill in the gaps in the limited information about the status of librarians and library staff during COVID-19. The study investigated the physical, mental, and emotional health status of librarians and library staff in the Philippines and their ways of coping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, the study explored if the respondents used gardening as a coping mechanism during the pandemic. An online survey was conducted. The questions on physical, emotional, and mental health status were adopted and modified from Corley et al. The scales from the revised WAYS OF COPING (Community Sample) were used in this study. The rest of the questionnaires were self-made. An online survey was conducted among 284 Filipino librarians and library staff. The respondents comprised librarians (94.7%) and library staff (5.3%) working in the Philippines. The majority of the respondents were female (84.5%), married (60.2%), living in the urban area (60.2%), regular/permanent employees (83.1%), and working in Academic libraries (61.3%). Almost half of the respondents rated themselves as having very good physical health in 2020 (44%) and 2021 (48.2%), and more than half in 2022 (51.8%). An increasing trend was observed in the group that rated themselves as having very good mental and emotional health in 2020 (36.6%), 2021 (42.6%), and 2022 (51.8%). Some of the respondents rated themselves as having anxiety some of the time in 2020 (42.3%) and more than half in 2021 (51.1%) and 2022 (58.8%), with decreasing number of those having anxiety most of the time and all of the time. The top seven ways of coping were identified. The most commonly used coping mechanism was praying.
Moreover, in 2020 and 2021, almost half of the respondents used gardening a great deal as a coping mechanism, 129 (45.4%) and 126 (44.4%), respectively. But in 2022, a sudden drop to 29 (9.9%) was observed. Furthermore, the kinds of plants bought, bartered, planted, and grown by librarians and library staff will be described. The average time and money spent on plants and gardening, frequency, and means of acquiring will be discussed. Their decisions or plans to put plants inside the library or its premises were also investigated. Lastly, the perceived benefits of gardening or viewing plants by the respondents will be discussed. The study revealed that most librarians and library staff in the Philippines had good physical, mental, and emotional health despite some levels of anxiety related to COVID-19. Gardening was also determined as a coping mechanism, with most participants obtaining plants through gifts or growing personally. Gardening was perceived to have a positive effect on reducing stress and enhancing mental health. The study also offered valuable information on librarians' and library staff's diverse spending habits and preferences for ornamental plants.
Keywords: Physical Health, Emotional Health, Mental Health, Anxiety, Coping Mechanism, Gardening, Librarians, Library Staff, Philippines, COVID-19 Pandemic
This is an undergraduate thesis of MJC Bayog and JAD Merbal. Preliminary results were presented as a poster at the 8th International Conference of Asian Special Libraries (ICoASL 2023); 22-24 February 2023, University of San Carlos - Talamban Campus, Cebu City, Philippines, and published as an abstract in a Proceedings.