What’s in a Workload? Affect, Burnout, and Complicating Capacity in Academic Librarians

Published in Academic Librarian Burnout: Causes and Responses, 2022

Matthew Weirick Johnson & Sylvia Page

The connections between emotional labor and emotional exhaustion are underexplored in burnout literature. This is particularly troubling for service professions and feminized fields such as librarianship where invisible labor in the form of emotional labor is often an expected aspect of the job. To better consider affective and emotional labor, we explore these concepts and their application in library literature, and we discuss the ways that burnout is gendered and raced. We consider existing literature on burnout in academic libraries, assessment of burnout among academic librarians, and proposed solutions for burnout. We present several recommendations for approaching affect, burnout, and complicating capacity in order to more holistically understand and combat burnout.

Purchase the book from the ALA Store
Read the chapter for free online