Volume 6, No. 12 • December 2009



  • Library Burnout: Causes, Symptoms, Solutions

    Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, defines “burnout” as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation, usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.” But I didn’t need to tell you that. Chances are, you have developed your own definition of burnout, which tends to be high among those who work in helping professions like  library science. See the end of this article for a questionnaire you can take to determine if you are headed for … Read the rest


  • Bellingham libraries to cut hours, reduce senior services

    The Bellingham Public library has eliminated positions, reduced hours and cut the materials budget. The cutbacks result from a 13 percent budget cut to the library’s budgets.

    The library has cut nine positions, most recently a position in the library’s Outreach Services program. The employee holding this position accepted an entry-level library page position, with an according pay cut.… Read the rest

  • N. Idaho library reducing hours due to budget cuts

    In response to a 7 percent budget cut, the Lewiston City Library (Idaho) has eliminated one position and is preparing to cut others.

    In addition to cutting the circulation coordinator job, says Library Director Dawn Wittman, the Lewiston City Library will reduce its hours, opening later and closing earlier.… Read the rest

  • New Hudson, N.H., library wins approval for budget hike

    The public library of Hudson, N.H., received special dispensation from a zero-increase budget, allowing them to maintain all staff at the new Rodgers Library.

    The Budget Committee had urged all town departments to submit zero-increase budgets for fiscal year 2011. However, the library had recently moved from a cramped, 100-year old building to a new facility that is three times larger. Library Director Toni Weller and Library Board of Trustees Chairwoman … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • American Library Association Announces Library Staff Participating in Emerging Leaders 2010 Program

    The 2010 Emerging Leaders (EL) program, which is in its fourth year, kicks off with a daylong session during the 2010 American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Boston.

    Connie Paul, one of the program’s facilitators, said, “It’s networking at its best.”

    It will enable approximately 100 library staff from across the country to participate in project planning workgroups; network with peers; gain an inside look into ALA structure; and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership … Read the rest

  • The Library in the Classroom

    As a librarian at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University, I look for opportunities to collaborate with faculty to develop innovative approaches to teaching. I also strive to get our students to utilize our library resources and facilities. For a number of years, I’ve collaborated with several Wake Forest faculty to help students exhibit design and installation in the library exhibit spaces. Until these exhibits began, library exhibits were designed by library staff. With … Read the rest

HR Practice

  • A Brief Intro for Resolving Library Conflicts

    How long has it been since you settled a conflict among your library co-workers? A week? A month? More? Less? Library administrators say they spend 10 to 25 percent of their time settling conflicts as soon as they appear, although the disruption can steal valuable work time. Enter mediation, the choice for conflict resolution.

    What is Mediation?

    Mediation is a humanitarian method of helping people resolve the personal and confrontational problems that overwhelm … Read the rest


  • The Dating Game: First Dates and Job Interviews

    “You sit at a desk and answer questions. How hard can it be?” responded an applicant, when we asked why he wanted a job as a library reference desk student assistant. “Rule number one,” muttered a colleague to me after we bid the applicant adieu, “never insult your interviewers.” I was reminded of a long-ago first date when I was contemplating library school, and the potential suitor asked, “Library school? Once you’ve mastered the alphabet, what else … Read the rest


  • Dan Pink and the Surprising Science of Motivation

    In a July 2009 presentation, career analyst Dan Pink presents evidence that employees engaged in creative, complex tasks may respond more effectively to intrinsic motivation than to traditional carrot-and-stick motivators, like pay raises.

    The secret to success in 21st century work is not to be found in if/then motivation, says Pink. Such rewards and punishments serve to narrow the focus in a way that discourages innovation and thoughtful risk-taking. Instead, by appealing to an employee’s internal desires for autonomy, … Read the rest


HR Law

  • Terminating Employees During Leave Still Risky

    Reprinted with permission from the Management Association of Illinois’s Web site, www.hrsource.org. The article was posted in November 2009.

    While terminating an employee during a leave of absence does not necessarily violate the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employers must be certain that the termination can withstand scrutiny should it be challenged. The timing of the termination itself, coupled with a lack of documentation can give rise to a viable … Read the rest