Time, Tasks, and Toll: Changes in Library Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Rachel Ivy Clarke, Alexandra Grimm, Bo Zhang, Katerina Lynn Stanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article analyzes survey data from 900-plus U.S. respondents to identify and explain COVID-19 pandemic-induced changes in different work tasks for library workers. Results show negligible change in overall hours for academic library workers and an almost two-hour decrease in overall hours for public library workers. Analysis by task type shows decreased work hours for most tasks, although professional development and administration/management showed increased hours across library types. In contrast, qualitative responses reveal that workers feel they are working more hours because the pandemic has broken down boundaries between work and non-work tasks, surfacing ongoing issues of labor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-445
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Library Administration
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023


  • COVID-19
  • academic libraries
  • labor
  • public libraries
  • work tasks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Administration
  • Library and Information Sciences


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