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A Passion Deficit:
Occupational Burnout and the New Librarian
A Recommendation Report
Presented by
The Settlement Library Project:
Promoting an Eclectic Librarianship in Rural
Appalachia
Serving
People,
Broadening
Perspectives,
and
Sharing
Resources
in
Libraries
Publication:
The Southeastern Library Association (SELA)
The Southeastern Librarian (SELn)
Volume 62, Number 4 (Winter 201...
Research question:
What are the best solutions for preventing
occupational burnout in librarianship?
Definitions
Stress
a state of mental or emotional strain exerted
through demanding or difficult circumstances. A
condition or feeling ...
Burnout
a prolonged response to chronic stressors. A
disabling reaction to an overload of stress. In
professional fields a...
The issues
Institutional imbalance
Challenges and demands
In the public sector, libraries have become community-building
forces of ci...
Institutional imbalance
Hazards and representation
The explosive growth of technology and social media have
dramatically e...
The problems
Significant issue #1
Workload
• too much work and too little time to accomplish the demand
• increased professional collab...
Significant issue #2
Control
• a lack of influence on-the-job
• budget cuts
• service reductions
• obnoxious or rude patro...
Significant issue #3
Recognition
• low salaries
• limited opportunities for advancement
• increased competition for jobs
•...
Significant issue #4
Image
• a blurred idea of occupational and societal roles
• too many tasks that cross departmental li...
Significant issue #5
Value
• increased job discrimination
• unrealistic organizational and public expectations
• shifted w...
Pressures and problems
• Medically and
psychologically unhealthy
patrons and co-workers
• Homeless or mentally ill
populat...
More pressures and problems
• Inadequate knowledge or
skills to perform
assignments
• Significantly increased
workloads an...
The results
The burnout factor
Occupational burnout involves a prolonged exposure to
workplace stressors that often drain an employee’...
A passion deficit
The repression of natural reactions and emotions contributes to
organizational and emotional exhaustion,...
Definitions
Emotion regulation (management)
refers to the conscious or non-conscious control of
emotion, mood, or affect. It is the pr...
Emotional labor
sometimes referred to as “emotion work or
management”. It explains workplace emotional
events and roles th...
Emotional dissonance
includes negative feelings that develop when an
individual views his or her emotions in conflict with...
The challenges
It begins in school
• Instructors in schools of Library and Information Science
generally do not address the essential com...
A challenged profession
• Specific organizational emotional requirements are prevalent
within the field.
• Administrators ...
Negative pressures
Difficult situations and emotional conflict within the library
setting, as well as organizationally imp...
Definitions
Display rules
are rules for expressing one’s emotions that an
institution or organization requires for on-the-job
interact...
Emotional intelligence
is a social awareness and relationship management
skill. It includes the ability to understand mood...
Possible solutions
Traditional and current solutions
• Self-examination
• Coping Strategies
• Resisting
• Pro-active Solutions
• Managerial C...
Solutions in brief
• Self-examination attempts to address the direct cause of a
problem by defining what the librarian per...
Discussion of possible solutions
Self-examination and Resisting
These techniques may not be
effective because each suggest...
Continued discussion of possible solutions
Pro-active Solutions
These solutions establish on-
the-job support, such as
fle...
The Recommendations
#1: Begin in the classroom
Emotional intelligence abilities need to be taught, and should
encompass the idea of “service,”...
How?
When teaching courses that focus on organizational dynamics–
such as administration and management—content should
inc...
#2: Benefits for on-the-job
Successful managers should provide support to staff for dealing
with problems associated with ...
How?
• Define organizational goals and plans on paper.
• Encourage open communication.
• Prioritize opportunities for prof...
#3: Combating burn-out
Dealing with the long-term demands and consequences of
emotional labor should include introducing s...
How?
• Like an emergency response checklist that is easily practiced
at staff meetings, display rules are organizational r...
The answers
• Public engagement involves both technical knowledge, as well
as emotion skills.
• Personal competence includ...
Summary
• Dealing proactively with staff morale reduces staff turnover.
• Proactive solutions reverse the symptoms of a pa...
Online Resources
Burnout Self-Inventory:
American Institute for Preventive Medicine. (2001). Burnout self-
inventory: Syst...
Online Resources
Stress Management:
Mind Tools: Essential Skills for an Excellent Career. (2014). Stress
management techni...
Online Resources
Preventing Burnout:
Infopeople Webinar: U.S. Institute of Museum and Library
Services. (2011). Preventing...
Reference
Christian, Linda A. (2015). A passion deficit: Occupational
burnout and the new librarian: A recommendation
repo...
The Settlement Library Project
http://circuit-out-rider.blogspot.com/
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The Settlement Library Project Presents: A Passion Deficit: Occupational Burnout and the New Librarian: A Recommendation Report

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The Settlement Library Project Presents: A Passion Deficit: Occupational Burnout and the New Librarian: A Recommendation Report

  1. 1. A Passion Deficit: Occupational Burnout and the New Librarian A Recommendation Report
  2. 2. Presented by The Settlement Library Project: Promoting an Eclectic Librarianship in Rural Appalachia
  3. 3. Serving People, Broadening Perspectives, and Sharing Resources in Libraries
  4. 4. Publication: The Southeastern Library Association (SELA) The Southeastern Librarian (SELn) Volume 62, Number 4 (Winter 2015)
  5. 5. Research question: What are the best solutions for preventing occupational burnout in librarianship?
  6. 6. Definitions
  7. 7. Stress a state of mental or emotional strain exerted through demanding or difficult circumstances. A condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize. Stress can result from any situation or experience that makes an individual feel frustrated, angry, nervous or anxious, and can cause severe health problems. The word Stressor refers to anything that provokes a stress response.
  8. 8. Burnout a prolonged response to chronic stressors. A disabling reaction to an overload of stress. In professional fields and athletics it is referred to as a “passion deficit”. Having no “passion” for a job often overflows into every aspect of one’s life and may contribute to a lack of energy, or loss of interest. Symptoms fluctuate between absenteeism; nausea, weight gain, and insomnia; or emotional health issues involving detachment, feelings of isolation, and lack of concentration.
  9. 9. The issues
  10. 10. Institutional imbalance Challenges and demands In the public sector, libraries have become community-building forces of civic engagement, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, and workforce progress. In academia, the additions of coffee shops and collaboration spaces have contributed to the shaping of a campus social-building dynamism, and global information resource.
  11. 11. Institutional imbalance Hazards and representation The explosive growth of technology and social media have dramatically expanded the responsibilities and perceived role of the New Librarian. This institutionally innovation-driven new identity is expected to be an international force for change through multiple levels of expertise, global knowledge sharing, and voracious social enterprise.
  12. 12. The problems
  13. 13. Significant issue #1 Workload • too much work and too little time to accomplish the demand • increased professional collaboration (including global) • lack of on-the-job support systems • insufficient help • technology problems and rapid technological growth • a lack of closure on ongoing projects
  14. 14. Significant issue #2 Control • a lack of influence on-the-job • budget cuts • service reductions • obnoxious or rude patrons • deficient work environments • poor management and supervision • oppressive political climates
  15. 15. Significant issue #3 Recognition • low salaries • limited opportunities for advancement • increased competition for jobs • repeatedly defending one’s occupational status
  16. 16. Significant issue #4 Image • a blurred idea of occupational and societal roles • too many tasks that cross departmental lines • a poor public representation • an increased ethical dimension • a “New Breed” 21st century stereotype
  17. 17. Significant issue #5 Value • increased job discrimination • unrealistic organizational and public expectations • shifted workforce and workload priorities • required to prove one’s professional value on paper
  18. 18. Pressures and problems • Medically and psychologically unhealthy patrons and co-workers • Homeless or mentally ill populations using the library as a shelter • Negative or ineffective workplace cultures • Poor building design or maintenance • Aged or substandard work facilities
  19. 19. More pressures and problems • Inadequate knowledge or skills to perform assignments • Significantly increased workloads and deadlines • Fewer staff and more patrons • Increasingly disgruntled or obnoxious patrons • Technology-related problems • Continuous interruptions • Monotonous and routine tasks • Carpel tunnel syndrome, neck and back injuries, and muscle strains
  20. 20. The results
  21. 21. The burnout factor Occupational burnout involves a prolonged exposure to workplace stressors that often drain an employee’s vitality and enthusiasm, and lead to less engagement and productivity. Results of burnout include • an increase in turnover rates and absenteeism • decreased professional performance • workplace accidents • poor customer service • the possibility of serious personal health problems
  22. 22. A passion deficit The repression of natural reactions and emotions contributes to organizational and emotional exhaustion, and is often contagious. This type of labor includes • appearing authentic when professional norms suggest expressing positive emotions and suppressing the negative • mental weariness, cynicism or depersonalization, and depression brought about by faking or pretending a specific display of emotion • hiding symptoms of increased stress until it affects the immediate environment
  23. 23. Definitions
  24. 24. Emotion regulation (management) refers to the conscious or non-conscious control of emotion, mood, or affect. It is the process of modifying one's emotions to fit a social or organizational structure by either changing the way one feels about a situation, or modifying one’s behavior by suppressing, faking or amplifying a response. The emotional gap between exhibiting true emotions and artificial responses creates personal stress.
  25. 25. Emotional labor sometimes referred to as “emotion work or management”. It explains workplace emotional events and roles that require emotions to be consistent with organizational goals. It is the awareness of the emotional expressions required on-the-job, such as showing a genuine concern for the needs of others and making positive contacts. When considered essential to worker performance, these constitute emotional labor. Library workers are likely to regulate their emotions according to organizational demands.
  26. 26. Emotional dissonance includes negative feelings that develop when an individual views his or her emotions in conflict with his or her identity. It involves a struggle between experienced emotions and expressed emotions. Emotional dissonance often results in job dissatisfaction, and reduced organizational commitment.
  27. 27. The challenges
  28. 28. It begins in school • Instructors in schools of Library and Information Science generally do not address the essential component of person- to-person interaction skills when training students. • Students are not prepared for the realities of dealing with the public. • Students are not equipped to demonstrate emotion skills necessary in the field. • Students are not armed with the skills to combat negative emotional labor. • Emotional intelligence abilities are not taught in the classroom.
  29. 29. A challenged profession • Specific organizational emotional requirements are prevalent within the field. • Administrators are concerned with the effect emotion management has on service quality. • Professional norms suggest that librarians should express positive emotions and suppress the negative. • Librarians strive to produce a positive emotional state within the library by masking their own feelings. • Librarians are expected to perform emotional labor but are not formally trained to do so.
  30. 30. Negative pressures Difficult situations and emotional conflict within the library setting, as well as organizationally imposed ideals for expressing emotions, frequently account for • job discontentment • on-the-job stress • physical injuries and mental anxieties • occupational burnout • organizational and emotional exhaustion
  31. 31. Definitions
  32. 32. Display rules are rules for expressing one’s emotions that an institution or organization requires for on-the-job interactions. It involves a group’s norms, which define how and in what manner emotions are expressed corporately.
  33. 33. Emotional intelligence is a social awareness and relationship management skill. It includes the ability to understand moods, behaviors, and motives. Possessing these skills improves the quality of relationship-building by understanding the way people feel. It is as important to professional success as technical abilities, and contributes to lower staff turnover. Positive strategies can be taught and include self- awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
  34. 34. Possible solutions
  35. 35. Traditional and current solutions • Self-examination • Coping Strategies • Resisting • Pro-active Solutions • Managerial Contributions • Organizational Strategies
  36. 36. Solutions in brief • Self-examination attempts to address the direct cause of a problem by defining what the librarian personally did to promote it, or can do to change it. • Coping Strategies ignore a patron’s or co-worker’s emotional state and focuses on the problem only. • Resisting involves walking away from a patron or co-worker in an unresolvable interaction. • Pro-active Solutions establish on-the-job personal and organizational support. • Managerial Contributions and Organizational Strategies attempt to reduce stressors and emotional labor in the workplace through education and action.
  37. 37. Discussion of possible solutions Self-examination and Resisting These techniques may not be effective because each suggest a “What if . . .” aftermath to any workplace stressor. For this reason, applying these individually or organizationally may add to personal and organizational stress levels. Coping Strategies These strategies have the potential for being very effective in confrontational situations between librarian and patron.
  38. 38. Continued discussion of possible solutions Pro-active Solutions These solutions establish on- the-job support, such as flexible work schedules or transferring within an organization, and offer the greatest potential for successful implementation within the workplace and across hierarchies. Managerial and Organizational These strategies could produce a workplace environment to combat organizational stress, and the effects of negative emotional labor. Via effective leadership, these can be seamlessly promoted in Library Science curriculum, seminars offered at library association conferences, and through public sector management.
  39. 39. The Recommendations
  40. 40. #1: Begin in the classroom Emotional intelligence abilities need to be taught, and should encompass the idea of “service,” by teaching students how to • communicate across geographic, cultural, societal and jurisdictional boundaries • develop rapport, acquire relationship-building skills, and promote connectedness • reflect a caring and responsive attitude
  41. 41. How? When teaching courses that focus on organizational dynamics– such as administration and management—content should include • defining and explaining emotional labor and the performance of emotion work • allowing students to discover their own communication style to understand how they will respond to emotional labor • teaching necessary skills that lead to emotional intelligence • targeting the warning signs of burnout, and the positive techniques for mastering it
  42. 42. #2: Benefits for on-the-job Successful managers should provide support to staff for dealing with problems associated with occupational stress, including • employee orientation and learning programs • involving employees in decision-making • providing employees an opportunity to vent • keeping the workplace fun • enhancing available personal resources
  43. 43. How? • Define organizational goals and plans on paper. • Encourage open communication. • Prioritize opportunities for professional education, staff training, and in-house innovation. • Create collaboration and cross-departmental team efforts. • Provide break rooms for time-off to release tension. • Rearrange the workday to keep unnecessary duties at a minimum. • Limit time working at labor intensive tasks. • Encourage taking vacation days, sick leave, and breaks.
  44. 44. #3: Combating burn-out Dealing with the long-term demands and consequences of emotional labor should include introducing specific strategies, such as • teaching display rules • teaching emotional intelligence • offering staff assistance programs • practicing buffering
  45. 45. How? • Like an emergency response checklist that is easily practiced at staff meetings, display rules are organizational rules for responding to any patron or issue. • Teaching skills in emotional intelligence helps reduce the likelihood of chronic emotional conflict that leads to emotional exhaustion. • Stress management and emotional health services should be made available to employees. • Front-end personnel—as trained strategists—can help diffuse potential “situations” by directing problems to skilled workers.
  46. 46. The answers • Public engagement involves both technical knowledge, as well as emotion skills. • Personal competence includes an ability to stay aware of one’s own emotions, and managing one’s own behavior and tendencies. • Specific occupational stressors can be reduced or eliminated. • Training programs can be developed that assist librarians and library science students in handling negative emotional labor.
  47. 47. Summary • Dealing proactively with staff morale reduces staff turnover. • Proactive solutions reverse the symptoms of a passion deficit. • Stress reduction strategies result in an acceleration of performance and efficacy in the workplace. • Library policies are needed that reflect an understanding of emotional labor. • Professional development should reflect an understanding of emotional labor, skilled relationship-building techniques, and an acquired emotional intelligence.
  48. 48. Online Resources Burnout Self-Inventory: American Institute for Preventive Medicine. (2001). Burnout self- inventory: Systematic stress management: The proven way to relax. Retrieved from http://aipm.wellnesscheckpoint.com/library/banner_main.asp?P =338992ASM2C&zsection=Burnout%20Self%20Inventory&lang= E&title=N
  49. 49. Online Resources Stress Management: Mind Tools: Essential Skills for an Excellent Career. (2014). Stress management techniques by category. Retrieved from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_TCS.htm HelpGuide.org. (2014). Preventing burnout: Signs, symptoms, causes, and coping strategies. Retrieved from http://www.helpguide.org/mental/burnout_signs_symptoms.ht m
  50. 50. Online Resources Preventing Burnout: Infopeople Webinar: U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. (2011). Preventing staff burnout. [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from https://infopeople.org/sites/default/files/webinar/2011/06-22- 2011/preventing_burnout.pdf TalentSmart: World’s #1 Provider of Emotional Intelligence. (2014). Newsletter articles. Retrieved from http://www.talentsmart.com/articles/
  51. 51. Reference Christian, Linda A. (2015). A passion deficit: Occupational burnout and the new librarian: A recommendation report. The Southeastern Librarian, 62, 4, 2-11. Retrieved from http://selaonline.org/publications/index.htm
  52. 52. The Settlement Library Project http://circuit-out-rider.blogspot.com/

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