"Burnout, Professional" [MeSH]: Burnout extinguishers

A Toolkit to accompany presentation at MAC 2017

It's up to you

"Remember; nobody dies in a bibliographic emergency.” (Campbell 2008)

Work hard, work well, work effectively . . . until quitting time. Then go home and enjoy the rest of your life.” (White 1990)

Working with patrons

Coping Strategies might include:

  • finding the right information that will ease the patron’s distress
  • taking oneself out of the responsibility for the patron’s mood
  • realizing that the librarian understands library practices better than the patron
  • verbalizing empathy with the patron (Shuler & Morgan 2013)
  • internalizing optimism and refocusing your energies
  • developing a detached view of the job and not taking things personally
  • knowing your limitations and learning to delegate (Baird & Baird 2005) (Christian 2015)

Most cited by burnout literature

Interventions most often cited by burnout research:
  • improving working conditions
  • positive job support
  • on the job training
  • self awareness
  • physical exercise
  • setting realistic goals
  • vacation
  • hobbies
  • more education
  • breaks during work
  • family support
  • workshops/seminars
  • decompression
  • changing jobs
  • improved salary levels
  • sense of humour
  • meditation/yoga

(Smith & Nelson 1983)

Projects at work

•Find extra time (work overtime for a limited time only- don't throw off your life balance)
•Ask for help 
•Adjust dates (there's difference between your deadline and theirs)
•Delay some discretionary work (research guides, professional reading, filing)
•Cut corners
(Whisner 2011)

Additional ideas

•Learn how to say no (Bacon 2000, Campbell 2008, Christian 2015, Kaspar 2013) but make it a positive no (Ford 2009)
•If something is bothering you, deal with it. (Campbell 2008)
•Professional and personal support systems (Campbell 2008, Christian 2015) but that doesn’t mean complaining about how busy you are (Ryan 2007)
•Take a lunch break/walk (Campbell 2008, Christian 2015)
•Personalize your work space (Campbell 2008)
•Vacation (Campbell 2008)
•Regular exercise (Campbell 2008)
•Meditation/ mindfulness/ yoga (Campbell 2008, Moniz 2016, Ruhlmann 2017, Mastel 2013)
•Find a hobby (Campbell 2008, Christian 2015)
•Volunteer (Campbell 2008)
•Flexible work arrangements (Robinson, in Holcomb 2007)
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