Identifying and Preventing Burnout

Primary author: Chelsea Price

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Working in a small, rural library can be a tough gig.

What’s in this tool?

  • Interactive no-judgment quiz
  • Self-care tips and guidance to create your burnout prevention plan

You may be a one-person show with no staff to lean on, or maybe you are not part of a library system and are geographically isolated.  You are tired, stressed, and drained, but you still have to serve your community—it is hard to muster up enthusiasm for your job when you are running on empty, and you cannot aid in improving your community’s social wellbeing when you are consistently stressed out and overwhelmed.

The work we do can easily end in job burnout, a type of work-related stress that is physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting, and that can lead to lots of serious health problems. We are especially susceptible because we are working with limited budgets, staff, and time, and all responsibilities often lay on one person’s shoulders.  

But don’t despair you are not alone!  Burnout may be avoided if you learn how to recognize its warning signs and use some simple self-care strategies.

LISTEN: “I’m stretched so thin being only two of us here, which is kind of typical for a rural library, that I haven’t had time to devote to getting that project done…Sometimes I have to go without some training and have to kind of wing it…So I kind of struggle with that sometimes.” (Jason, interview #3-2-18a)