A new report from the trade union DIK, which organises librarians, among other things, shows that six out of ten librarians have changed or are considering changing jobs. Among them, a third want to change industry.
– It feels like we should carry the whole of society when other institutions and activities close down or do not offer the help that visitors need, says Džana Gečević, librarian in Stockholm, to SVT and continues:
"I think it's because libraries are an open place where everyone is welcome and there aren't many places in society where that's the case.
The report is based on a survey that DIK sent out to its librarian members last spring. 42 percent of the respondents responded to the survey.
"Visitors have shouted at me"
The report shows that 94 percent of respondents experience social anxiety at work, which is a slight increase since DIK conducted a similar survey.
Džana Gečević has worked as a librarian in various locations in Stockholm. During her years as a librarian, she has experienced several threatening situations.
"Visitors have shouted at me or been angry at me or my colleagues. I have experienced times when my colleagues have been exposed to racism, micro-aggressions, sexism and other violations," she says.
Džana Gečević thinks that both herself and her colleagues need to be better at setting boundaries, and to react as soon as something threatening happens.
"Even on occasions when people have shouted at me, I have responded politely, and I think that my colleagues and I need to get better at setting boundaries," she says, explaining that it can sometimes take time for a security guard to get to the library if a threatening situation arises.
"At our 40 or so libraries within Stockholm City Library, there is a guard. If that guard is on the other side of town, it can take up to an hour before it gets to us," says Džana Gečević.