Where Burnout and Leadership Intersect: Implications From, and for, Academic Library (and Other Higher Education) Stakeholders

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Garczynski, Joyce
Jennings, Karlene Noel
Schmand, Kathleen L.
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American Library Association
As evidenced by both the Chronicle of Higher Education and Harvard Business Review issuing special reports on the topic in early 2021, burnout has become a hot-button issue in American workplaces. While burnout can manifest in individuals in numerous ways, it can also be catastrophic and expensive for organizations, including academic libraries, if it is left unaddressed by leadership. As a result, this chapter looks at how leadership changes can create uncertainty that exacerbates employee burnout. We present three case studies from three different points of view to show how leadership can make a difference in librarian and library staff burnout. Ultimately, we argue that the renewed focus on burnout, performance measurement, and assessment presents university and academic library leaders with the opportunity to prevent their organizations from being consumed by burnout.