User:Tony Cherian/Temp/Stress and library

User:Tony Cherian/Temp/Stress and
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1 Work-related stress among Academic Librarians in Kerala
o 1.1 Introduction
o 1.2 Methodology
o 1.3 Levels of Stress
o 1.4 Stressor or Sources of stress
o 1.5 Stress relieving techniques or coping techniques
o 1.6 Reference
Work-related stress among Academic
Librarians in Kerala
The study deals with the work-related stress among academic librarians. The library environment
has changed drastically over the last few decades. With the development & application of
information technologies, the library environment has shifted from traditional to computerized
rather digitized. The economic conditions and work load is getting worse. There are bigger and
specific demands from the user-side. The library and information science professionals
experience stress as they re-adjust their lines with the changing library environment.
The term stress was first employed in a biological context by the endocrinologist Hans Selye in
the 1930s. He later broadened and popularized the concept to include inappropriate physiological
response to any demand. In his usage stress refers to a condition and stressor to the stimulus
causing it. It covers a wide range of phenomena, from mild irritation to drastic dysfunction that
may cause severe health breakdown.
Stress is defined as any adjustive demand to one’s physiological and psychological reaction to
challenge imposed on him/her that requires coping behaviour. Generally, stress is the change
which our body/mind experience as one adjusts to the continually changing environment. It has
both physical and psychological or emotional effects on us and can help compel us to action
result in a new awareness and an exciting new perspective. As a negative influence it can result
in feeling of distrust, rejection, anger and depression which in turn can lead to frustration to work
and also several health problems.
Signs of stress may be cognitive, emotional, physical or behavioral. Signs include poor
judgment, a general negative outlook excessive worrying, moodiness, irritability, agitation,
inability to relax, feeling lonely, isolated or depressed, aches and pains, diarrhea or constipation,
nausea, dizziness, chest pain, rapid heartbeat, eating too much or not enough, sleeping too much
or not enough, social withdrawal, procrastination or neglect of responsibilities, increased alcohol,
nicotine or drug consumption, and nervous habits such as pacing about, nail-biting and neck
The investigator adopted survey method. Questionnaire was used as the data gathering tool to
collect data.40 academic libraries were selected in random from 13 districts of Kerala state,
India. The investigator tabulated all the responses received and simple statistical methods were
used to reach the findings.
Levels of Stress
Different levels of stress are there according to the nature and effect of stress.
It is a kind of stress that helps in some situations. It experience right before you have the need to
exert physical force. Eustress prepares the muscles, heart, and mind for the strength needed for
whatever it about to occur. Eustress can also apply to creative endeavors. When a person needs
to have some extra energy or creativity, eustress kicks in to bring them the inspiration they need.
Occurs when the mind and body undergoes when the normal routine is constantly adjusted and
altered. The mind is not comfortable with the routine, and craves the familiarity of common
Acute stress
Acute stress is the type of stress that comes immediately with a change of routine. It is an intense
level of feeling, but it passes quickly.
Chronic Stress
Chronic stress will occur if there is a constant change of routine for week after week. Chronic
stress affects the body for a long period of time. This is the level of stress experienced by
someone who constantly moves or changes job.
Burnout refers to a state of overwhelm, emotional listlessness and depression due to prolonged
levels of high stress, usually related to excessive workplace or lifestyle demands and a general
imbalance in lifestyle. People at highest risk of burnout are those who feel a lack of control over
their environment, have unclear expectations placed on them, receive little recognition and lack
social support while having high performance expectations placed on them.
The study reveals that most of the academic librarians (48%) are with positive, creative eustress
while they work. But 5% of them are experiencing chronic stress and 13 % of them are in a
burnout level.
Stressor or Sources of stress
Anything that creates stress can be called as a stressor or source of stress. It can be a person,
situation, ailment, feeling or anything. Some of the stressors at workplace are the following.
Over work load/work under load
Unreasonable demands for performance
Role conflict and ambiguity
Responsibilities unmatched to support systems
Interpersonal relations with the employees, users and employer
The fear of losing one’s job
Under paid job
Under utilization of skills
Technological changes or disorders
The study shows work load is the major (63%) stressor in academic libraries. 40% of them
having role conflict in their institution. Technology changes or disorders (28%) and interpersonal
relations(20%) are the other notable sources of stress.
Stress relieving techniques or coping techniques
Different coping techniques can be used to reduce stress. Identification of stress rather the level
of stress is the first step to cope with stress. The investigator asked them to list the coping
strategies used to relieve stress. 65% of them believe positive thinking would help them to
overcome stress. ‘Share with friends’ is the better option for 53% of them.35% of them suggest
to ‘spend more time with family’.30 % say exercise can be do wonders and 25 % of the
academic librarians follow meditation and yoga as the stress relieving technique. Some of them
pointed out pets and some are interested in alcohol to ease stress. Conclusion ===
Redefine the role in organization and work load is the way alleviate work-related stress in
academic libraries. Interpersonal relation among the employees must be soothing. Regular
medical checkups are necessary for those who are suffering from stress. Stress can be negative or
positive regarding how we see it and how we manage it. In Kerala, the academic library system
is changing drastically in technological and policy level. Stress is definitely there. Further
research on this must be carried out carefully. The problem must be treated more scientifically
and psychologically.
Bijulaxmy Rotary ; Sunil Kumar Sapthathy. (2003, january 2). stress management of library and
information science professionals in digital environemt. Retrieved Navember 11, 2008, from
Pors, N. O.;C. G. Johnson. (2003). Library directors under cross pressure between new public
management and value-based management. Library Management , 1 (4), 51-60.
Riggs, D. J. (1997). what in store for academic libraries? Leadership and management issues.
Journal of academic librarianship , 1 (23), 2-8.
Stress. (n.d.). Retrieved 10 10, 2010, from wikipedia:
stress in workplace. (n.d.). Retrieved 10 18, 2010, from
togia, A. (2005). Measurement of burnout and influences of background charecterestics in Greek
academic librarians. Library Management , 26 (3), 130-138.
--Tony Cherian 08:54, 30 September 2011 (UTC)
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