The inaugural session of my Library Juice Academy course, “Reimagining Workplace Empowerment: Reducing Low Morale for Minority Librarians,” is now in its third week. Students enrolled in the course were asked to participate in a quick Low-Morale Experience Assessment survey so we could get a quick gauge on what the landscape looks like for the cohort.
There are ten people enrolled in the class, and they hail from from public and academic libraries in North America. The following results reflect the responses of seven participants (survey participation is not required). A majority of course attendees agreed I could share the aggregated results.
- 100% identify as members of a racial or ethnic minority group.
- 100% agree they have experienced low-morale according to the 2017 Kendrick study definition.
- 42% indicated their low morale experience is occurring in their current workplace.
- 57% indicate their experience has lasted one to three years.
- 86% indicate that the perpetrators are library colleagues; 71% indicate library administrators.
- 86% indicate they experience(d) system abuse; 71% tied at experiencing emotional abuse and negligence; and 57% experience(d) verbal/written abuse.
- Leadership Styles (71%) is a major Enabling System. Also showing up at 57% each were Uncertainty & Mistrust, Staffing & Employment, Diversity Rhetoric, Career & Environmental Landscapes, and Politics.
- 86% indicated that they’ve felt like they had to “prove” themselves as library employees because they were a member of a racial or ethnic minority group (Stereotype Threat).
- 43% have made decisions to deauthenticate during their low-morale experience.
- 100% of respondents indicate feelings of Anger; there is a two-way tie at 71% for feelings of Despair and Shame; and there is a six-way tie at 67% for feelings of Disillusion, Sadness, Depression, Worry, Skepticism, and Regret.
- 71% have developed physical health conditions as result of their LME, including hypertension, diabetes, fatigue, weight loss, and possible chronic headaches.
- 71% have developed mental health conditions as a result of their LME, including depression.
- 71% have noticed/experienced a desire to change careers and a decreased desire to collaborate; 57% of participants have also noticed a decrease in professional engagement.
These results give a real-time snapshot of the low-morale experience as perceived by colleagues currently dealing with this phenomenon. I appreciate their willingness to allow me to share this data with the public.