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An Infopeople Online Learning Course

July 7th, 2020 12:00 PM
August 3rd, 2020 4:30 PM
Fee per learner $ 200.00

Instructor: Debra Westwood

People who work in “high touch” human services positions, like libraries, face challenges on a daily basis. Some are specific to our field: serving high need communities, adapting to changes in the library’s role, keeping up with new services and technologies. Some are more universal: local and national politics, changes in the economy and, especially now, public health and safety. When pressure is coming from that many directions, it can contribute to a gradual grinding down, a weariness, a sense of being burned out.

In this 4-week course, we will look at the physiology & psychology of burnout, as well as how it manifests itself physically, emotionally and behaviorally. By the end of this course learners will be able to:

  • Describe the relationship between stress and burnout
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of burnout in themselves and others.
  • Identify how different aspects of work, lifestyle and personality contribute to or exacerbate workplace burnout
  • Identify habits and practices that contribute to building or restoring resiliency
  • Select and put into practice 3-5 specific restorative practices to help restore balance and enhance job satisfaction.

This course will be most beneficial to those who feel they or the people they supervise may be exhibiting signs of burnout. It includes information from a variety of disciplines, from the corporate world to yoga to Weight Watchers. The information and activities presented will not be therapy but they may be therapeutic, a kind of tonic for the crispy soul.

Course Description: Through readings, assignments and online discussion forums learners will learn the factors that contribute to burnout, how those can be altered or alternative ways to respond. Each week we will introduce one or more habits & practices that can help build or restore resilience and we will practice incorporating them into our lives.

Course Outline: When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:

  • Week 1: Defining and understanding burnout
    • Prevalence in helping professions
    • Difference between stress and burnout
    • Physiological
    • Emotional
    • Signs and symptoms
  • Week 2: Internal and external factors
    • Lifestyle
    • Personality
    • Workplace
    • Privilege as a factor
  • Week 3: Prevention and reduction of burnout risk
    • Physical (linked to Lifestyle)
    • Psychological (linked to Personality & Work)
    • Social (linked to Personality & Lifestyle)
  • Week 4: Restoration or Finding Your Way Back
    • Identifying and adopting practices that will help re-frame trigger situations or interrupt unhelpful responses
    • Mindfulness, Compartmentalizing, Reframing
    • If you can't change the situation, change your reaction
    • Positive intention
    • Changing the story
    • Creating your own safe space – unplugging, blocking and distracting

Pre-course Assignment: Before this course begins, it may be helpful for you to take a brief online burnout quiz at While it is not a formal diagnostic device, it may be a worthwhile tool to assess one's own burnout exposure and it starts us on the road of describing signs and symptoms, in ourselves or others. I will not ask you to publicly share either the questionnaire results or your experiences. The point of the exercises is to help you establish where you are now and to create a set of mental and emotional bookends, as it were, for your own spectrum of workplace satisfaction. We may refer back to these experiences as we go through the 4 weeks.

Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2 ½ hours per week, for a total of ten course hours. Each week's module contains a recorded presentation, readings and various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.

Who Should Take This Course: Library staff & supervisors working in areas of high public contact or in positions where high emotional investment is common.

Are you a member of ARSL? If so, you may be able to sign up for a free seat in this course. Limit is four free seats per course. Make your request here and if a free seat is available you will be notified.

Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at:

After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.

Keywords: staff development, supervision and management

Help spread the word about this event!

Please help us and let your friends, colleagues and followers know about our page: Workplace Burnout: Bouncing Back with Resilience

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