Librarian Burnout: The Public

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:

They might be the necessary component in order for a library to continue but they can also be part of the problem. As most of you know, people can be ungrateful. They can be unappreciative and make you feel undervalued. Some say “don’t let it get to you” but the bad attitudes and sense of entitlement can cause so much stress in librarians and cause them to have doubts in not only in their jobs, but in their abilities as well. If that happens, then there is no incentive for them to stay, is there? And that not only hurts the libraries but also the communities they serve.

What can be done? Unless you somehow change the personality of the general population, there is nothing that can be done. Not all members of the public are all that bad, so my advice to you is to hold on to the ones that appreciate the work that you do. At least, they are the ones that will make your job worthwhile.

Do you have public interaction stories? Post any comments you have below.

If you have any librarian burnout stories, please submit your story here or email me at

2 thoughts on “Librarian Burnout: The Public

  1. I used to work in a library, both circulation and as manager. It was unnecessarily stressful due to poor upper management (now gone) but on even at a day-to-day level, the public could be very demanding about unreasonable things. I had one woman come in to us the computers/internet so she could work on some application for medicare. Unfortunately she was not prepared to do so, and yelled and cried at me when I didn’t know the password to her email account or her medicare account. I really think systems need to consider having social workers employed at branches. It’s not that librarians don’t care, but they are not equipped for that sort of thing and it only leaves everyone feeling frustrated.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I could not agree with you more. There are times I feel bad because I am being thrown in situations that mentally and physically equipped to deal with but they are situations that require my full attention. More training involved around social care are a necessary need.


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