October 1st, 2013


Edit: Thanks Connie for the comment alerting to Managing Burnout in the Workplace: A guide for information professionals

So, to make an incredibly long story short, September was an enormous month of change over here. Our son started middle school (the Summer of Seventh Grade has paid off well thus far), our house was burglarized (stuff is stuff, we are fortunate and so many good people helped to outweigh the bad), we’re waiting for the results of some family health diagnostic testing, and I have resigned my full time position over here.

Wait, what?


This year has shown me that life is short and it was time to implement a career change I’ve been dancing around for quite some time: I’m starting the University of North Texas Learning Technologies program this month, and am seeking part time employment opportunities because I like having my evening hours with my family. I anticipate graduating in December 2014 and being involved more extensively in support of online education, which is undeniably my true passion. Look at the number of posts I managed to write this year – what were most of them about?

However, I have been talking with many of us across the nation about some (or all) of the aspects of making a career change away from librarianship and have noticed an alarming trend: Many of us are not happy. I’m not talking about being unhappy because Starbucks ran out of pumpkin spice syrup or because the satellite dish went out, but extremely unhappy to the point of exhaustion and feeling hopeless about work. This isn’t a healthy way to enter into National Medical Librarians Month!

If this resonates with you in any way, please read The Unscientific Causes and Cure to Burnout and know that you are not alone. Please take care of yourself first and remember we are humans and not machines. Your wellbeing is far, far more important than a job. All of the field’s potential for innovation and progress mean absolutely nothing if the people at the heart & soul of it are burned out and struggling to make it through the day.

There are a lot of ‘What’s next for…’ questions and I don’t have all the answers just yet. Unless the #medlibs community decides to kick me out I’m not planning on leaving, and other leadership/committee decisions involve many other people. I’m not flat out bailing and am excited about a future involving both the information science & learning technologies focus I’ll have, and will continue blogging the journey ahead!

Posted at 06 00 AM | 2 Comments » | print this post

2 Responses to “Onward”

  1. Congratulations on the decision to make the change, and to follow your passion. I agree, you should still say connected to the #medlibs community. I have managed to successfully stay part of the law librarian community despite moving to an independent consulting life. Our librarian communities need us to reveal new ways of approaching things so they can incorporate some of the new thinking into their work.

    Learning technologies are becoming so important to librarianship, I hope you will actively share and teach what you learn and put it into context for everyone.

    I am noting your comments about burnout. I had not thought about this as an industry-wide phenomenon, but you may be right (I am not a medical librarian, but now am wondering if the same may be occurring in some areas of law librarianship).

    As usual, a thought-provoking post.

    All the best to you and your family with the big changes!

  2. ….and guess what just came through my email box this afternoon? Some Canadian colleagues have a new book from Chandos about burnout in the workplace for information professionals:

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