Impact of COVID-19 on Parents/Guardians in the Library Profession




Objective: The authors sought to collect qualitative data with support from the literature to elucidate the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. parents and guardians working in the library profession.

Methods: The research team conducted a literature search in January 2022, with an update completed in January 2023 of several bibliographic databases and Google including the search terms COVID-19, parents, guardians, librarians, workplace, among others. In addition, requests for participation in a survey was sent out over listservs within and outside of the Medical Library Association (MLA), including regional library groups, and on social media to collect stories from library professionals who were parents or guardians during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Data from the survey and the literature search were analyzed and categorized according to theme.

Results: There were 51 respondents to the survey and 90 relevant studies found in the literature search. The most prevalent themes that emerged from the data analysis were “employer support/lack of support,” “childcare issues,” “mental health/stress/burnout,” “remote work–positive outcomes,” and “flexibility.”

Conclusion: The COVID-19 pandemic affected parents and guardians who were library professionals beyond childcare issues. While organizations and individual workers have learned to live with the pandemic and minimize risks of transmission, COVID-19 brought to light some of the existing and underlying issues that are specific to parents and guardians who are library workers in the United States. Further research is warranted.

Keywords: COVID-19, librarianship, parents, guardians

Author Biographies

Stephanie Clare Roth, MLIS, Christiana Care

Medical Librarian, Christiana Care, Helen F. Graham Cancer Center

Elizabeth G. Hinton, MSIS, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Associate Professor and Head, Research Impact and Engagement, University of Mississippi Medical Center

Bridget Jivanelli, MLIS, HSS Education Institute

Medical Librarian, HSS Education Institute, Hospital for Special Surgery




How to Cite

Roth, S., Hinton, E., & Jivanelli, B. (2023). Impact of COVID-19 on Parents/Guardians in the Library Profession. Library Leadership & Management, 37(2).



Peer Reviewed