Why Isn't This Being Studied?

Why Isn't This Being Studied?

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3761-8.ch006


This chapter poses and attempts to answer a significant question regarding emotions research within academic librarianship – namely, why isn't this topic being researched more? Given how emotionally-laden the work is and how emotionally-laden information-seeking behavior can be, it seems surprising that there is a dearth of research on emotion-related issues. Other people-oriented professions like healthcare and hospitality seem very focused on understanding the qualitative experiences of their professionals; in comparison, academic librarianship seems reluctant to tackle the topic. The chapter examines what does exist in the academic librarianship literature regarding emotions and branches out into other disciplines to see how they examine the issue of emotion and its impact on professional practice. The chapter also posits answers for why this topic isn't studied more within academic librarianship, focusing on issues of objectivity and data-driven decision making.
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Emotions Research In Library Fields

Much like the previous chapter in which we examined burnout in the words of public and technical services librarians, this section will likewise look at the very words of librarians to determine why these topics have been studied as a means of understanding why academic librarians are not studying the emotional dimensions of the profession. The main reason for studying any problem is to understand it and identify ways to prevent it – to identify solutions. Obviously, we argue that it is important to study the emotional dimensions of academic librarianship because of the chain reaction that leads to emotional exhaustion and burnout. Surely, we thought, the profession recognizes the problem. Quite apart from the research, our personal experiences as academic librarians in public services and technical services reveals that there are emotional dimensions to what we do. Therefore, we wondered at the dearth of research in academic librarianship. So, we turned to other fields of librarianship to identify the reasons why they conduct emotion-related research.

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