Perhaps because of the popular stereotype of librarianship as a low-pressure, nonstressful profession, librarians have been largely overlooked in current research on occupational burnout. Yet, like other human service personnel who are in continual contact with the public, more and more librarians are experiencing burnout and consequent alienation in the workplace. This study is the first to provide a comprehensive analysis of the problem as it exists among today's librarians. Nauratil begins with an examination of the burnout phenomenon and the factors that contribute to stress and alienation in the human service professions. She discusses the additional pressures resulting from the dilemmas faced by libraries, including dwindling budgets, theft of library materials, understaffing, and the demand for broader or improved services. The costs associated with burnout--such as reduced productivity, rapid employee turnover, and deterioration of services--are also considered. The author asks whether alienation and burnout are the inevitable consequences of the librarian's job under contemporary conditions, and assesses the possible long-term effects of current developments both within library systems and in the communities and institutions they serve. Finally, she explores various strategies for coping with this type of occupational hazard and for strengthening the library system as a whole. This carefully researched and clearly written work will be a valuable resource for courses or research in librarianship, occupational sociology, personnel management, and related subjects.