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Report: Low Morale at Unionized Library Workplaces – Part 1 (August 2022)

Throughout my studies, librarians mentioned that either they were working in an organization with a union – or that their library’s workforce were contemplating starting a union. Additionally, there has been increased efforts from library workers who seek (or have successfully gained) labor organizing and/or collective bargaining rights and recognition.

My previous studies also hinted at or directly shared some understanding of the roles unions may (not) play during low-morale experiences. In my 2019 study, an African-American librarian summarized her union arbitration process:

“[My abuser] was a good actress, and she knew, you know, how to push their buttons so that I could be the one that looked like the big, bad, Black lady, and she could play the innocent, you know, little, young White department head. . . . I had said to the [union representative] after we met that [my abuser] had really spun this situation. And he got really angry and told me that he heard from her a lot of apologizing and that I was too tough and that I probably wouldn’t like him for saying that.” 

Last fall I launched a data collection project to learn more about if and how low-morale experiences manifest and/or are addressed in unionized library workplaces. This report shares results as of June 2022 and will remain open. 

Here are the quantitative results of the report, which reflects 26 responses:

Part 2 shares qualitative results. This survey remains open, and I will report results periodically. 

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