Libraries Nationwide Will Soon Receive Non-MLS Salary Survey

As you know, ALA has collected and published salary information on librarians with ALA-accredited masters degrees since 1982. In 2005, that survey was expanded to address the request by the library community to have state-level data. In 2006, we are conducting the first annual non-Masters degree in Library Science (non-MLS) Salary Survey! The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association and the ALA Office for Research and Statistics (ORS) will conduct the inaugural non-MLS salary survey beginning in late January. “We often get requests for accurate and current information about how the spectrum of library staff is compensated. Many libraries have no data for analysis of non-MLS salaries, and prior to this survey the only detailed national tool was the bi-annual support staff survey by Library Mosaics: THE Magazine for Support Staff, which is no longer in publication. We want to meet that need,” said Jenifer Grady, Director of the ALA-APA.

A scientifically selected sample of public and academic libraries will soon receive a letter detailing the purpose of the survey and instructions on how to respond. This survey, to be collected and published annually, will complement the Survey of Librarian Salaries, which was expanded in 2005 to include smaller libraries and to present state-level data.

Appropriate staff at libraries that receive the Non-MLS Salary Survey, as it has been dubbed, will be asked to supply the annual salary for both full- and part-time positions that do not require an ALA-accredited MLS. It is generally accepted that two-thirds of all library employees are not degreed librarians or are in positions for which the MLS is not required. “Expanding the base of data on salaries to include non-MLS is critical in our understanding salary inequities and in advocating for the profession and all its staff,” said Denise Davis, Director of the ALA Office for Research. “The new survey of non-MLS staff is an important step in that direction.”

It is recommended that all libraries participate in the survey in an effort to provide invaluable information to managers who set and benchmark salaries. Survey information will also be potentially useful for library employees who are in the process of evaluating their career prospects.

If you have any questions, please contact the ALA-APA Office at 1-800-545-2433, ext. 2424, or jgrady@ala.org.

The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association is a service organization to the American Library Association and the library community. It has two missions: providing certification in specializations of librarianship and advocacy for salary improvement efforts.