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Emotional labour in librarianship: an unpublished case study and postscript

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  • Ge. Staff.
  • Cb. User Studies.


University students are increasingly disregarding library rules, leading to emotionally demanding rule-enforcement in library reading rooms. A librarian at the University of the Witwatersrand kept a record of the incidents that evoked his emotions during twelve episodes of rule-enforcement. He then interviewed ten other librarians with regard to rule-enforcement. The investigation confirmed that misbehaviour is widespread and that where librarians oppose this with rule-enforcement they perform much emotional labour. Nonetheless, the majority of librarians claimed it did not affect their job satisfaction seriously.

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