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Recently, I came across a blog by Jessica Olin, Letters to a Young Librarian, and its June 2nd post, “

Recently, I came across a blog by Jessica Olin, Letters to a Young Librarian, and its June 2nd post, “Preventing Librarian Burnout.” I could relate to the blog’s humorous yet direct subtitle: “Advice….from someone who has been doing this work for a while now.” I think it’s healthy to check-in with one’s self as often as possible not only to head off any potential burnouts but also to maintain an effective and consistent level of self-care. As librarians, service is one of the core pieces of our work. And service professions can be depleting of one’s own internal set of resources. I like the author’s suggested tips for preventing burnout. They’re doable and impactful.
  • Get Out!

Take advantage of any opportunity to take a walk outside the library. Unplug and, if you can, grab some rays from that bright ball in the sky we call “The Sun.” Use your lunchtime or afternoon break to run an errand, walk to the campus bookstore, sit and read, or eat outside. Make it a simple activity.

  • Develop Yourself!

At least once a week make time in your schedule to engage in professional development. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. Start with just taking some time to learn something that’s new to you. Whether you are reading a professional blog post, participating with colleagues in a Twitter chat, or watching a video, it’s important to make time for this kind of activity even if it’s only briefly each week.

  • Straighten Up!

I personally really enjoy this one. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I like it! Try doing a little tidying up around your office every day. There’s nothing like an old stack of, now meaningless, paper to get you feeling weighed down. Each day before you go home, recycle papers you know you no longer need. Straighten or file those papers you need to keep for a little while longer. No matter the size of your office, cube, or desk, brief rounds of decluttering can lift the spirits.

  • Meditate!

Setting aside any bit of time to relax your mind and breathe is a good and healthy thing. Clearing your mind and focusing on your breath and body helps to rebuild those internal resources. Even if you are just still and completely unplugged, this will have a great impact on your overall well-being.

Whether you are a newbie to the profession, in mid-career mode, or “someone who has been doing this work for a while now,” what do you do to beat “Librarian Burnout” and stay in the game as refreshed as you entered? Share your comments below!

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