Librarian Burnout: The End of the Illusion

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:

This week, our library went through what our president or CEO like to call “a new beginning” Our work hours, my fellow workers and myself, are drastically changing. Hours of all the branches will change, however, each branch’s hours will vary. Apparently, the new hours are based on the community’s needs. My new branch’s hours were decent, up until I saw what our hours were going to be on Fridays. Instead of 10am-5pm, we will close at 6pm.

It may look like that one hour is not that much of a difference. The fact is there were whisperings going around that our hours were going to change. However, we heard nothing from management. There was no conference or meeting consulting with staff members about the prospective alterations. The director of our network attended one of our staff meetings and we asked him straight out about the upcoming changes. All we received were vague comments and evasive manoeuvres to avoid the questions. So, yet again, we were left in the dark. This unfortunate constant lack of communication has led me to a stunning conclusion. This management has very little care for their workers.

Did they ask us once for our opinion? Did they consider how this would affect their workers, both personally and professionally? Did they involve us in the planning process in any way? The answer to all these questions is a ruthless “no”. I may have let this go if I was not lied to, directly to my face. It shows little respect for my feelings. We were told that this decision took a lot of planning and was “well-thought-out”. This inconsistency of these hours looks rushed and appears not to have carried a lot of thought. We, the workers, were given no time to plan accordingly. This scheme was not set up overnight. If this came about due to careful precision, then why weren’t the workers involved in the decision process? Why wasn’t out input wanted?

I always knew that my managers had very little care about our need, our thoughts and our ideas. But this latest stunt put the nail coffin. This decision perfectly displays the little respect and the constant indifference that is shown for us. So in a rare instance, I would like to thank the library management for opening my eyes. This bad decision, and of course bad future decisions will indeed follow, was just the reminder I needed. We are viewed as the hard-working ants that are continuously stepped on to make way for those in power. I will not be blinded by their false sincerity anymore.

The end of the illusion has begun.

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

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