Welcome to Librarian Burnout, a new platform on cup of tea with that book, please, where we will both share different factors that cause burnout and our librarian burnout stories:
Dealing with incompetent management (whether it is library branch level or higher up) and bureaucratic policies that you feel prevent you from doing your job can cause unpleasantness at any job. However, there are times that it will get to you. It can go both ways: either they ask us to do more with so little or do more with so much. Either way the pressure is put on us while the “big whigs” in their ivory towers are made to look good based off of your hard work. The burden of the stress and anxiety comes from them and honestly, there are times I can’t decide if they are oblivious or nonchalant to librarians’ strife.
What can be done? Unfortunately, I do not have a right answer. The clear answer is to switch jobs but that doesn’t really help the overall situation. New librarians entering the profession will eventually feel this way. I’ll be taking a page out of Mrs. Bennet’s book: have compassion on our poor nerves. I felt that I didn’t really have a summer this year because it felt that my entire life centered on the library. We are not machines. We are human beings, humans beings that have lives outside the library. Work/life balance is essential for any employee but I believe it is especially for people who work in public service. And once management realize this, a happier work environment we will have. However, the amount of work we are given and the pressure we receive doesn’t appear that they are getting the message any time soon.