Michigan State University

Ergonomics in Libraries Bibliography

Articles on Ergonomics in the library environment

A short annotated bibliography by Suzi Teghtmeyer, March 2012

I conducted a search for articles regarding libraries and ergonomics in two library article databases, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts and Library Literature & Information Science Full Text. I limited the results presented to articles over 2 pages in length and relevance to academic libraries.

Ergonomics and library professionals: a study
By: Sornam, S. Ally; Arputharaj, J. Issac; Mahalakshmi, K.
SRELS Journal of Information Management, Dec2011, Vol. 48 Issue 6, p625-640

Workplace stress has always been a source of consideration for organization that seeks to foster satisfied and motivated environment. Ergonomics, the science related to man and his work helps to design workstations and tools. The present study has made an attempt to identify the impact of ergonomics on academic library professionals. It has revealed that academic library professionals' perception on ergonomics is low. But they have shown problems associated with ergonomics with regard to IT tools, working posture, etc. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

ICT Facilities: Ergonomic Effects on Academic Library Staff.
By: Adeyemi, Aderonke O.
Library Philosophy & Practice, 2010, Vol. 2010, p1-5, 5p


In this article the authors examine ergonomic design, information and communications technology, and the construction of workstations for the academic library personnel working in two Nigerian universities. The facilities under discussion are the University of Lagos, a public educational institution, and Covenant University, a private college. A number of topics are addressed including the causes of problems related to ergonomics including stress and poor workplace design, the pain that can result for these problems, and ergonomic remedies.

A comparison study which concluded the need for ergonomic implementation in the libraries, but not necessarily how to implement the recommendations.

By: Timoteo-Afinidad, Christine B.
Journal of Philippine Librarianship, 2010, Vol. 30 Issue 1, p21-44, 24p;

Abstract: The article focuses on the relationship of the condition of workstations and the performance of the end users in academic libraries in the Philippines. It highlights the use of ergonomics, a study that analyzes the work in relation to the environment in which it is performed and those who perform, and it serves as the basis of designing jobs and workplaces. It notes the suggestion of modern ergonomists regarding the importance of providing human capital with convenient work stations to result in better performance. However, libraries in the country have failed to provide ergonomically-designed workstations, which prompted ergonomists to recommend ways to improve the work environment in libraries.

Chandra, A.M., et al. "Ergonomic issues in academic libraries in Kolkata, West Bengal: a pilot study." Library Philosophy and Practice (2009)


This article examines the library as a whole, not individual library workstations. It concentrates heavily on general library environmental conditions rather than ergonomics.

A Good Fit: One Library's Experience with Ergonomic Design
By: Fraser, Margo; Munro, Hilary.
Public Libraries, July/August 2004, Vol. 43 Issue 4, p233-238, 6p


Although not peer-reviewed, this is an informative article describing the diagnosis of need and implementation of ergonomic modifications at a circulation desk area. Additionally, it cites a document: Ergonomic Design Guidelines for Libraries (Vancouver, B.C.: Vancouver Public Library, no date), 24 pages. http://www.esao.on.ca/clients/libraries/ERGONOMIC%20DESIGN%20GUIDELINES%20FOR%20LIBRARIES%20final.pdf

Library Technology Reports, Nov/Dec2001, Vol. 37 Issue 6, 65 pages. Richard W. Boss, editor.


This entire issue addresses ergonomics in libraries. It's a comprehensive article with sections on the scope and interdisciplinary nature of ergonomics, musculoskelatal disorders (with great illustrations), ergo basics and workstation settings, standards, special products, what should be included in an ergonomics program and even a short glossary and recommended readings.

Ergonomics: human factors for librarians
By: Osif, Bonnie Anne


Library Administration & Management, Fall 2001, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p252-257, 6p

This is an annotated bibliography of ergonomic works that may apply to librarians. It is 11 years old, but there may be some gold nuggets mentioned.

Library ergonomics in literature: a selected annotated bibliography

The advancement of electronic technology and popularity of computer use have resulted in a variety of work related hand, wrist and arm injuries in computer operators. The phenomenon has raised public consciousness about ergonomics and the study of how humans interact with their physical environment. This article includes an annotated bibliography of books, book chapters, magazines, journal articles, and Internet resources from 1990 to the present dealing primarily with library ergonomic issues and concerns. The publication is suitable for researchers, administrators, librarians, library staffs, subject specialists, ergonomic consultants, physical therapists, or anyone interested in the topic to identify and locate useful information resources on library ergonomics.

By: Chao, Sheau-yueh J. Collection Building, 2001, Vol. 20 Issue 4, p165-175, 11p


Another good, yet older bibliography of books and websites. Unfortunately most are general workplace, not library specific.