Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Library Burnout Factor

The very nature of library work predisposes us to burnout. A normal library workday can be described as a continuous round of interruptions. When demands for our services (including reference questions and reader's advisory) roll in, we must refocus ourselves to find the answers and set aside whatever else we have been working on. These constant breaks in our day interrupt the flow of our concentration and make it hard for us to complete our tasks. The repetitive nature of library work induces monotony; boredom can easily set in by doing things over and over again, making us prime candidates for burnout. From Running on Empty: Dealing with Burnout in the Library Setting by Tim and Zahra M. Baird, published at
The authors go on to suggest that burnout is an extreme consequence of workplace stress and that investing time in oneself outside of work may ease the symptoms.

This is definately an issue in Libraries, and I would like to agree that you do have the power to change how your work environment affects your life!