The elusive dream of work-life balance

By Meredith Farkas | December 19, 2011

I have been wanting to write a post on work-life balance for a while, especially after spending a week at ACRL Assessment Immersion with a bunch of people who are deeply committed to their work and all define balance in their lives differently. Some of the people there are so active in the profession, so plugged-in, publish a ton, travel a ton, and get to meet lots of awesome librarians. Others are dedicated to work during their 40 hrs/wk there and are deeply focused on family and community. Most of us probably fall somewhere in between. And yet we are ALL amazing professionals.

I’ve noticed a tendency in our profession (and probably others) to see being immersed in the profession and spending lots of time outside of our 40 hrs/wk on professional stuff as unhealthy. And at the same time, there’s a tendency to see people who view their work as a librarian as a 9 to 5 job as not committed. To me, the only mistake you can make here is buying into what other people think and not defining balance as what works for you. It’s not about quantity, people, it’s about quality.

Colleen has written a great post about not wanting to feel like her job is her identity and become so immersed in her work that it makes her unhealthy. While I have to say that her “I am a librarian” vs. “I serve as a librarian” distinction doesn’t mean much to me (especially because I do feel like being a librarian is an important part of my identity), I applaud her efforts to find a healthy balance in her life:…read all here.


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