Quality of Work Life of Librarians in Government Academic Libraries

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between work and non-work variables and quality of work life. It is anticipated that the contribution from this study will provide useful information to the top management level in organizations for the purpose of planning appropriate policies that can enhance employees’ overall life satisfaction. The research questions, which serve as a foundation of this study, focus on the relationship between work and non-work variables and quality of work life.

This study applied a quantitative research design as well as descriptive and correlation approach. Respondents are all librarians working in government academic libraries in the Klang Valley, Malaysia. An online survey was used to gather data for each participating library. The questionnaire was divided into two sections: Section A, the socio-demographic information; and Section B, the seven questions related to the study. The data were analyzed using Pearson Correlation Analysis. Findings from this study indicated that both work variables and non-work variables do matter in determining the quality of work life.

Among the contributing factors that lead to the signi? cance of this issue are the social and demographic changes that have added to the diversity in ork and family structures. Many have to struggle with work and family demands simultaneously in order to balance work and life responsibilities. In library and information science literature, the “greying of the profession” is a concept that elicits much attention, yet relatively little has been done to explore this phenomenon, particularly as it relates to the transformative change process in libraries. Karpiak’s (2000) investigation of social work faculty at midlife transitions provides a view of this phenomenon that might relate to similar aspects of librarianship.

Similar to Karpiak’s (2000) ? ndings on a call to stagnation and a call to consciousness, Smith (1995) notes for librarians “there is both a poignant awareness and a sense of frustration about the ways in which their career paths have been blocked or irrevocably altered, that they are faced with the loss of opportunities for advancement and achievement of goals”. In many ways, Smith (1995) views that librarians desperately try to realign themselves within their profession while turbulence and uncertainty abound.

At present, the theoretical relationships between work and non-work are complex and largely unknown. Though the work-non-work issues in relation to quality of work life have been discussed and argued extensively for the past thirty years, until now efforts to investigate work and family have been hampered by the absence of a strong theoretical framework. Therefore, this study has been carried out to examine the relationship between work variables, nonwork variables and quality of work life, focusing on librarians working in public universities in Klang Valley, Malaysia.

Most literature discussing job involvement uses different terms to explain the same concept. Terms such as job involvement, work involvement and work centrality have been used interchangeably. Ballout (2008) noted that job involvement is one potential work-related variable that may cause work-family con? ict. Moreover, individuals who are highly involved in their jobs or careers may devote more time and effort to the work role than to the family role.