Burnout Defined Recognizing and Responding in Libraries

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Cathy Mayer


This article defines the three components of burnout recognized by the World Health Organization—exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficiency. Personal factors and workplace factors that research has shown to contribute to professional burnout are defined. Questions for personal reflection and discussion of one’s workplace are offered to identify propensity for burnout and to consider how to respond. Though burnout is often a systemic issue connected to workplace factors, suggestions for action and further reading are offered for those seeking ways to mitigate risk for burnout or to address an existing state of burnout.

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