Academic Librarian Burnout: Causes and Responses

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Librarianship has been conceptualized as a vocation or calling—rather than a profession—since the 1800s. Within this historical context, librarians are encouraged to think of ourselves as possessing a natural disposition to showing perpetual engagement, enthusiasm, and self-regulation in pursuit of our shared vocation. These assumptions about the profession can sometimes shield us from introspective criticism, but they can also prevent us from recognizing and managing the systemic occupational issues that afflict us.
Academic Librarian Burnout can help librarians develop the agency to challenge the assumptions and practices that have led to so much professional burnout. In five thorough parts, it offers ways to discuss burnout in our work environments, studies burnout’s nature and causes, and provides preventative intervention and mitigation strategies:

  • Reframing Burnout
  • Conditions that Promote Burnout
  • Lived Experiences
  • Individual Responses to Burnout
  • Organizational Responses to Burnout

Chapters explore the relationship of burnout in academic libraries and illness, intersectionality, workload, managerial approaches, and more, while offering real-life stories and ways for both individuals and organizations to address the symptoms and causes of burnout. The emotional, physical, and mental investment we require of librarianship—to go above and beyond to serve the ever-evolving needs of our patrons while perennially justifying our existence to library stakeholders—can come at the expense of our well-being. Academic Librarian Burnout addresses unsustainable work environments and preserves and celebrates the unique contributions of librarians.

Imprint: ACRL

Published: 2022

Pages: 398

Sku: 9780838948569

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