Publications and Research

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This chapter provides an overview of different styles of leadership as these relate to burnout among academic librarians, illustrating some of the contexts where these problems manifest. The authors discuss recent research related to leadership practices, both negative and positive/transformational, and discuss how these may impact academic librarians’ experiences of fatigue/exhaustion, hopelessness, frustration, and a lack of work-life balance. They present specific case studies of leadership behavior in burnout situations, representing positive/transformational management practices in different academic library contexts, and examine specific challenges faced; the varied leadership behaviors in play; the ways organizational cultures and structures can be built, influenced, and shifted to positive effect; and also the strategies that didn’t work so well and an examination of lessons learned. Finally, through specific examples, they showcase ideas and opportunities available to those who seek to “lead from the middle” (or from any level of the organization) to help mitigate burnout and address workplace stressors, while encouraging growth and positivity among other members of the organization.


This work was originally published in Academic Librarian burnout: Causes and responses, edited by C. Holm, A. Guimaraes, & N. Marcano, and published by the Association of College & Research Libraries.

This work is made available under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License (CC BY NC 4.0).



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