Describes the concepts of challenge and support and applies them to the management of libraries and information centres. Contends that the environment of libraries and information centres is characterized by challenging activities which require high‐level cognitive and behavioural abilities and positive effective attitudes. Because of the psycological stress which the library and information centre professional is likely to experience, supportive mechanisms should be created to balance the stress resulting from the challenging activities. When challenging library activities are balanced by supportive mechanisms, the result is likely to be staff job satisfaction, high morale, increased productivity, intellectual and professional development staff.
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