Thursday, 21 June 2012

Workplace stress in libraries: a case study

an article by Liz Farler (Coleg Sir Gar, Ammanford) and Judith Broady-Preston (Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University) published in Aslib Proceedings Volume 64 Issue 3 (2012)


This paper seeks to analyse the results of a case study conducted in 2008/2009 investigating workplace stress in a further education college library service.
Results from questionnaires and a series of semi-structured interviews held with library staff are analysed and discussed in the paper.
Librarians reported that interaction with students can be stressful or enjoyable, depending on context. The need to control noise levels, modify student behaviour and balance the needs of different user groups are cited as stressors. The results also show that the library staff exhibit a degree of humour and self-awareness in their work and employ a range of methods to cope with stress.
Research limitations/implications
Repeating the study more widely amongst a range of differing library services would add credibility to the findings.
Practical implications
This study shows that positive stress may motivate librarians to engage actively with students and thus create job satisfaction. Negative stress may be managed by measures such as zoning and flexible governance.
The study contributes to knowledge and understanding of stress in the library profession by contributing a case study of stress in the college sector.

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