being a librarian “most stressful job of all”?

Apparently a study done in the UK says that being a librarian is stressful, really stressful. More to the point, people in professions known to be stressful — police officer, fireman — haev support structures in place to help them deal with that stress while people in other occupations like librarianship and teaching encounter high stress levels and don’t get as much help in dealing with it. [thanks paul, bri]

5 comments for “being a librarian “most stressful job of all”?

  1. Meg'n
    12Jan06 at 5:55

    They find their jobs repetitive? That’s weird. One of the reasons I love being a librarian is that my job changes every day. New questions, new people, new technologies, new classes to teach… Granted, I switch between two departments, but still. Are British libraries really so stagnant? Do other American librarians feel so bored?

  2. Lauren
    12Jan06 at 6:25

    Speaking as a British library assistant/LIS student, I find my job is neither stressful nor repetitive. However, I think I can understand why some British librarians (particularly those in the upper echelons of library management) would find their jobs stressful. I think it may be mainly to do with being comprehensively caught between user need and budgetary demand. It is certainly the case in academic libraries (my field) that budgets are tight and user need is increasingly diverse, and it is impossible often for library management to reconcile the two things. Another thing we suffer from greatly is Sick Building Syndrome in our libraries. This leaves an awful lot of librarians and library assistants (myself and my colleagues included) incredibly stressed about their place of work, rather than the job itself. I also wonder if the survey involved librarians or library assistants (I know it says librarians, but it’s a very confused term in the UK, I have found, meaning ‘a person who works in a library’ to the general public, rather than anyone more specific), or both, as that would have an enormous impact on the meaning of the results as the two jobs are so very different in nature.

  3. Shonda
    15Jan06 at 11:59

    While public school librarians in the US would laugh at the idea that their jobs are boring, I think that many would agree that their jobs ARE stressful for other reasons. The support system in place for them is non-existent, they don’t have control over many of the programs that are placed in their supervision, and they don’t have the funding (or the salaries) to support the library programs or the time it takes to make their libraries work effectively.

    I don’t believe most librarians are “just reading, shelving, and checking books in and out.” If they are, it is because they have no control over the impact that libraries can make in the schools or the communities–usually in the US, the school administrators will direct, guide and ultimately control how much the library will affect the curriculum or the students.

    Although this is just one segment of librarianship, the school librarian is often the one group that is least involved in curriculum— not by choice, but by ignorance. While many librarians have an MLS / MLIS, they are relegated to a position of clerk in many schools—and the stress comes from being under-appreciated, overworked, and disregarded in the decisions that directly affect the library.

    My job is only boring when someone without a library degree attempts to “teach” me how to run the library program. The results are a ridiculous stereotyped idea of what librarians should do and an unrealistic picture of how exceptionally professional AND effective we can be within the school and the community.

    My job is stressful when I am limited to performing only the tasks that others believe I should be doing, rather than giving me the professional authority to develop and implement programs that I know can be done. When others without my degree attempt to dictate what I should be doing, I definitely feel the stress of being controlled.

  4. joe
    27Jan06 at 5:50

    Let’s evaulate the survey: librarians are most stressed of all surveyed jobs – how many professions were surveyed? Wait for it….. 5

  5. Esakkimuthu&sayeeram
    03Feb06 at 7:09

    hai i am from India .As librarian ilove my love. this is the only department links entirely by this library only. A lot of new ideas has impelemented everyday work.

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