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Librarian career trajectories are varied and unique, but the cultivation of nurturing peer relationships among library professionals can prove essential on the road to professional and personal fulfillment. Far from a work distraction, the intentional building and maintaining of personal relationships can be truly professional acts. In this chapter, we discuss the ways in which our relationships with peer librarians have helped us identify and unlock opportunities, grow intellectually, prevent boredom and mid-career stagnation, and resist the diminishing effects of burnout. Through the informal communities of practice we have forged for ourselves, we have been introduced to new ideas and inspired to take on challenges and experiment professionally. We have found trusted sounding boards and collaborators and, at times, support for making tough decisions about career opportunities to pursue (or not). We have learned that accepting the support of others makes us stronger and more resilient than we are alone and that genuine care for each other as whole persons contributes to both professional and personal growth.


Published as chapter 18 in:

Emery, J. L., Hyde, R. C., Albert, A.B., and Fancher, S.E. (2023, forthcoming) Don't go it alone: The restorative power of peer relationships in mid-career librarianship. In B. West & E. Galoozis (Eds.), Thriving as a mid-career librarian: Identity, advocacy, and pathways. ACRL Publications.



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