Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A link that's been doing the rounds at work is to a BBC report saying being a librarian is an incredibly stressful job.

Librarians are the most unhappy with their workplace, often finding their job repetitive and unchallenging, according to psychologist Saqib Saddiq. He will tell the British Psychological Society that one in three workers suffer from poor psychological health. The study surveyed nearly 300 people drawn from five occupations. They were firefighters, police officers, train operators, teachers and librarians and were intended to cover the spectrum, with the librarians first-thought to be the least stressful occupation.

It's not been a bed of roses, I've commented here on the odd occasion about difficult and sometimes scary situations I've been in that are job-related. I am surprised that librarians are worse off than police officers or fire-fighters, I can only assume that those two careers have better medical and psychological support for their members or that they looked at librarians in the worst parts of Glasgow and police officers in somewhere like Sandford. However, libraries can end up in the middle of sink estates and staff can, without any training at all, can be sent to work in them, I've not been in the situation of me or the staff I work with being attacked but once or twice it seemed like a real possibility. Police patrolling the same area have had training on how to deal with dangerous situations.

Librarians complained about their physical environment, saying they were sick of being stuck between book shelves all day, as well as claiming their skills were not used and how little control they felt they had over their career.

There's a lot of old library buildings out there. Horrible strip-lighting that does your head in and makes your eyes ache, staff areas which are often cramped and just on this side of being unsanitary... it all adds up.

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