academic librarians; burnout; quiet quit; pandemic; censorship


There is substantial research about sources of burnout among academic librarians; however, very little addresses the impact of the local environment. Responding to regional and institutional shifts while still trying to uphold the values of librarianship such as providing confidential and free access to information can quickly lead to mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion, classic symptoms of burnout. A panel discussion was hosted at the Arkansas Library Association (ArLA) / Southeast Library Association (SELA) Joint Conference, on Saturday, October 14, 2023. Academic librarians from different Southern states discussed their local environments, their libraries’ responses to recent events, and their strategies for working through burnout. Some of the aspirational outcomes from the discussion were: recognition that burnout is a common experience; how to find ways to serve patrons despite fluctuating hurdles; and understanding how personal burnout can impact the entire library organization.

Publication Date


Original Citation

Phillips, J. D., Pitts, L., Riedmuller, J., and Warren, Joanna. (2023, October 14). Keeping the Light On: Academic Librarians, Politics, and Burnout. [Discussion Panel]. Arkansas Library Association / Southeastern Library Association Conference, Hot Springs, AR.

Document Type

Conference Presentation




Orlando (Main) Campus

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