Public library work during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic

Preliminary findings of a national survey


  • Christine D'Arpa School of Information, Wayne State University
  • Noah Lenstra University of North Carolina Greensboro
  • Fatih Oguz University of North Carolina Greensboro



Library work, Library workers, Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Burnout, Work-Life balance


The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted and challenged not only our assumptions about work but our experience of it. Public libraries and library workers sit on the front lines of service to communities. Public library workers expressed their frustrations and concerns in the early stages of the pandemic via dynamic and uncensored spaces in social media. This poster shares initial analysis and further questions from a survey designed as part of a research project to cultivate a more structured set of evidence from public library workers in order to better examine and understand job satisfaction among them during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a nationwide survey, librarians shared challenges and opportunities faced and their thoughts on the future of library work. The survey was open from 12-14-2021 to 1-31-2022 and 1228 library workers responded. 

We will also draw on the analysis to inform practice LIS education.






Works in Progress Posters