First Aid for Librarian Burnout

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Kaetrena Davis Kendrick

Although this article has been taken down, I hope a new one centering a continuing discussion on reducing/eradicating SYSTEMS that cause burnout and related negative workplace phenomena is offered. In addition to the already stated concerns in other commentary, the actions that were covered in the removed article are Coping Strategies, which do not address systems that aid in the development of these phenomena. Please see my Twitter thread here, which reviews my three low-morale studies and the Enabling Systems for academic and public librarians who have experienced workplace abuse and neglect:

Posted : Oct 11, 2019 09:41

Victoria Dow

I find this an appallingly offensive article coming from a major professional journal. It does nothing to address chronically understaffed and under-funded libraries, and under-paid library professionals.

Posted : Oct 11, 2019 01:08

Abbey Lynch

I think it's really irresponsible to equate weight loss with mental health. While I appreciate the author is sharing her personal story, weight loss content is completely out of the scope of SLJ's purpose. Stories like this and especially before and after pictures can be extremely triggering for folks who deal with disordered eating or chronic illness or other areas surrounding weight loss and I don't see why they were included in an article that intends to have a positive effect on mental health.

Posted : Oct 10, 2019 10:53

Skeptic Al

Compare yourself to those who have it worse? To make yourself feel better? That is terrible advice.

Posted : Oct 10, 2019 10:32

Ingrid Conley-Abrams

A trigger warning about before and after weight loss pictures would be kind and responsible considering many of your readers struggle with eating disorders, are recovering from eating disorders, or have a variety of chronic illnesses that cause their weight to fluctuate. When I burnout I shrunk down to a weight so low my friends would cry when they saw me. My hair fell out and I fainted at work. Also became seizure-prone. What was it? Stress-related stomach illness called Post-Viral Gastroparesis. When I gained my weight back, that's when I was finally healthy. Could work a full day. My hair grew back. For me, thinness was a sign of my illness. Thin doesn't mean well for everyone. In fact, thin can be a red light that our mental health is failing. I feel so betrayed by this article, published completely oblivious of those recovering from eating disorders and other chronic illnesses. Betrayed, disgusted.Tying mental health to weight loss is irresponsible and toxic. Be our allies. Support us. All of us.

Posted : Oct 10, 2019 10:18

Lesley Knieriem

I could not get past the first few paragraphs (and pictures) that tied "unhealthy stress" to weight gain and "healthy self-care" to losing weight.There are many people - especially in a profession dominated by women - who react to stress by developing eating disorders. Body-shaming only piles on to their stress.I am glad that this author found a self-care routine that worked for her. But shame on her (and double shame on on SLJ!) for not only not acknowledging the toxic impact of our body-shaming culture and for cruelly endorsing and perpetuating it.

Posted : Oct 10, 2019 09:59

Amy Hermon

Thanks for this great perspective! If you are interested, I'd love to interview you for my podcast, School Librarians United. I did record an episode during season 1 about burnout and self-care. There's is always room for additional conversation on this topic. If you would consider sharing sharing this on my podcast - please let me know.

Posted : Oct 10, 2019 08:41

Kim Johnson

Wow! I needed this article. I started at a new to me school this year that is 600 students bigger than my previous school. It has been a hard adjustment and I've taken a lot too personally. Thanks for sharing.

Posted : Oct 09, 2019 08:41



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