Topic of the Week: Stress in the Library Workplace
Libraries are generally wonderful places to work – we all like it here!
But you also know that some days are just hard. We are a customer service profession, and that means dealing with all kinds of people every day: patrons, supervisors, colleagues – and it can be stressful.
It is not a surprise to anyone in the library field that we are feeling stressed at work. Any discussions between librarians seem to turn to the issues they are facing and ways they are solving problems, or not solving them. There have been many articles published with vague suggestions for reducing stress, including “take deep breaths” or “smile more often” – not completely helpful advice for many library people attempting to deal with increasing patrons pressures and decreasing funding.
Today we are going to talk about the some of my research work, which identified some of the most common sources of stress. Then we will talk about taking some organized steps to help alleviate or eliminate these stressors.
It is time to get past the idea that workplace stress is an issue affecting library people on just an individual level, and to begin to look at stress as a widespread issue we can address across the profession. Then we can help everyone to be more satisfied at work, and more productive!
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