Burnout among librarians is a real thing, and it’s a problem. Sharing stories about burnout with a supportive community is one way of coping with the stress burnout can cause. Burnout can be isolating and upsetting and dehumanizing, and it may help you feel better to know others in your field have similar experiences and feelings.
But sharing burnout stories is not just about finding an empathetic audience. It also can also help us begin important conversations about the current state of the library field. What are we doing, and why? What could we do differently?
And this blog is not necessarily limited to exploring burnout in academic library instruction, although that’s how it initially was born. I’m open to exploring, and featuring guest voices and stories, about burnout in the library profession in general, no matter what kind of desk you sit at.
The mission of this blog project is threefold:
1) Providing a platform for sharing burnout stories. I will solicit and publish personal narratives about burnout from librarians. Stories can be shared with your real name, or anonymously (no one knows your name, including me) or confidentially (I know your name, but no one else will).
2) Analysis and context: I will analyze the collected stories, identifying common themes, and situating them in the context of discussions of the literature on burnout in the profession. I will also invite analyses from other contributors.
3) What does it mean? I want to discuss the current philosophies, practices, and professional culture of librarianship as they relate to burnout, and whether a cultural shift in the profession is necessary. I also want to examine what, if anything, the new ACRL Framework will do for instruction librarians struggling with burnout.