Mentioned: Digital Stewardship Studies

Shira Peltzman and her co-authors deftly summarize their research focusing on how digital preservation initiatives and oversight evolve over time. They note there is “increasing dissatisfaction among stewards with the way that digital preservation is organized at their respective institutions,” and continue the summation of their impetus and scholarly effort (a qualitative study) to find out why.

The 2017 low-morale study’s methodology is mentioned as “a a pivotal precedent” for this group’s work. 

Read the summary.

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#RecommendedReading

Title: Incivility and Dysfunction in the Library Workplace: Perceptions and Feedback from the Field.

Authors: Jo Henry, Joe Eshleman, Rebecca Croxton, and Richard Moniz.

ABSTRACT: Issues associated with lack of civility, less than ideal functionality and employees that may not self-reflect as much they should are all challenges in the modern workplace and libraries are no exception. The purpose of this study was to determine which issues associated with a lack of civility such as mobbing, bullying, workplace dysfunction, and lack of abilities regarding self reflection were found in the library workplace and to what extent. The data represents the feedback of 4,168 library employees through a self-reporting survey instrument designed by the authors with the help of the American Library Association. Data is both quantitative and qualitative and seeks to examine the issues addressed across all types of libraries. While useful for all library employees, this study and report are especially relevant to the modern library administrator.

Read the article.

From the October 2018 Course: Course Evaluations

This post is the final part of a four-part series of items I’m sharing from the first session of my course, “Deconstructing the Low-Morale Experience in Academic Libraries,” which was offered via Library Juice Academy in October 2018. (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3)

Following are some summarized results of the course evaluation. The evaluation was voluntary with 54% of participants responding.

What expectations were met during this course?

I’ve learned a lot more about toxic behaviors and coping methods. I hadn’t really thought about cope methods and their importance in the process of dealing with toxic environments. This was eye-opening and will shape my research in the future.”

“To explore my low morale experiences in my library and to figure out ways to combat them.”

I now better understand my low morale experiences and have some answers on how to lessen their impact.

Share any items you wish were covered in this course.

I think this course was comprehensive and well-planned. I really enjoyed the [practical interview]. I think more [interviews] should be included with people working to bring mindfulness and non-toxic behaviors into the library.”

I think this course covered a lot in such a short period of time. I liked the videos of both the instructor and the TED talks.”

Share something that you learned in this course or a concept that was defined more clearly as a result of this course.

“Coping models and methods – this topic is amazing.”

“I’ve learned it really is abuse, even if the abuse isn’t yelling or physical threat, and I understand why some co-workers are acting the way they do, or at least I have a hypothesis that makes sense to me based on what I see at work. I really appreciated learning about the many different forms abuse can take, especially the quieter and less obvious ones, because I was surprised to discover how many applied to my situation. I also liked the space to work through for myself what might help in my situation, and I appreciate that the course didn’t immediately go into pat answers that won’t work.”

“[T]he work on shame and shame screens was really deep and impactful. I could go much deeper into that work.”

Please share if any mental or emotional impacts of low-morale improved – even incrementally – as a result of this course.

“One part of this course asked us to think about previous toxic managers of behaviors we’ve worked with….how we felt and how we healed. I hadn’t really thought about that previously. Kaetrena showed us how to work through those emotions in a healthy way. We stated what happened – how we coped – next steps. For me, it really highlighted all of the ways I was abused in the workplace and how I came out stronger from the other end.”

“Yes, I’ve been working on trying not to let the low morale pull me down too but with this course, I’ve been able to put some things into perspective. For example, I never really connected all of my health issues as being a direct result of the work environment.”

Because I better understand what is going on and can recognize abuse when I see it, I feel I have a little more control and can better regulate my emotions. I can see that although the situation is bad, the perpetrators are acting out of their own insecurities and needs, as am I.”

How has this course impacted your career outlook and/or your approach to your daily librarianship practice?

“The low-morale experience is not a simple matter; it is serious. And at the first signs I must do something to not let it grow.

“I now have a few options for first steps I can take that I had not thought of before.”

What are your immediate plans to continue your positive recovery (personally and/or at work)?

“Meditation, communicating clearly, and setting boundaries.”

“I am going to continue learning about the subject and seeing how it applies to me and my workplace. As mentioned earlier, I’m trying to re-engage at work. I am also working on refraining from responding negatively to provocations. Eventually, I’d like to start a conversation about civility that goes beyond my support group.”

“To clarify boundaries between work & personal life.”

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