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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.


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    Saturday, August 04, 2007

    Classic Guardian stereotyping

    Admittedly the article in Thursday's Guardian begins by talking about "people in the early stages of their careers" but it goes on to generalise about "The most high-pressured jobs were not necessarily held by white-collar workers in city firms, the researchers found. Head chefs in large restaurants..." and then points out that Librarians have one of the least stressful jobs. As Katherine Rushton in theBookseller blog says
    On the one hand you would expect the life of a librarian to be pretty stress free: All those hushed environments and walls lined with books, without the nuisance of sales targets or profit margin worries. Plus there’s the position at the heart of a community, and the tremendous sense of satisfaction when a user tells you they’ve loved the book you recommended.

    But for all those with any knowledge of the change and controversy that beleaguers the library sector, this low stress-rating comes as a great surprise indeed.

    Professionally qualified librarians in Dorset and Kent face having both their pay and status downgraded as the councils find ways to meet budget cuts. In Hampshire, librarians must work in the knowledge that the man running the service, director of recreation and heritage Yinnon Ezra, thinks there may be no need for libraries to indulge in fiction at all. And all across the country library staff face cuts to their pay as councils slash library opening hours; criticism as book stocks and lending figures fall each year; and an uphill struggle if they want to pioneer any change.

    I wonder where the report places journalists in the grand stress scale?? Or writers of reports on stress in the workplace? That warm feeling of a job well done - column penned, report written, factoid published - has to be up there with aromatherapy and Shirobyanga when it comes to de-stressing people. Or do I mean distressing people?

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