a timely piece on burnout in libraries

Marathons and long races are meant to be sporadic occurrences, with ample rest afterwards to avoid injuries. With both exercise and work, you can motivate yourself to work much harder than usual when you know the end is in sight, but what if there is no end? Or if the end is simply beyond our means?  What happens when the “vision” becomes a culture in which we are expected to work harder and faster all the time, forever?

Catching up on my Library RSS feeds and have come across this Sept. 19th piece on In the Library with the lead pipe entitled Running the Library Race authored by 2012 LJ Mover and Shaker Erica Jesonis. It juxtaposes marathon running with burnout in a library setting – two things I’m becoming more interested in, what with the Freep half-marathon only weeks away – and burnout a growing concern of mine. There’s a quote in the same paragraph as above that resonated – and I stopped reading at this point because I wanted to get something down – and plan to revisit the post for a more thorough examination multiple times. That said lead in quote? 

When put under increasing pressure, the values that have kept us afloat through these lean years become tainted with cynicism, one of the most concerning risk factors of burnout (Maslach, 2011, p. 46).

Boy does that sound like me.

I think it’s an important topic – perhaps I just miss the academia of my MLIS years – and easy access to more scholarly research on the topic – but I’d like to think there’s some hope out there for what is becoming a long grind. I’ve been going to work and experiencing way too much crankiness of late – from both myself and my coworkers, and I’d like some sunshine. 

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2 Responses to a timely piece on burnout in libraries

  1. Wow – thanks for the great props and for sharing my article! How’s your half-marathon training going?

  2. kevinyezbick says:

    Hi Erica! I really enjoyed the article, so thanks for writing it! Half-marathon is next Sunday and I’m nervous but feel prepared. I didn’t really follow by the book training – just kept incrementally increasing my distances since February – although I did try my first “threshold” run yesterday and ran my fastest 5k yet. The ultimate goal is to make it to the Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage next summer – and run with my sister in law. Goals! It’s good to have them – helps fight burnout! :)

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