SirsiDynix—ALA-APA Award Winners Lauded for “Taming Horses” (Raising Salaries) at Networking Breakfast
Those who gathered on Sunday morning were treated to more than a fine breakfast—they were inspired by library managers who worked tirelessly to raise the salaries of their employees in sometimes challenging times. The winners of the 2007 SirsiDynix-ALA-APA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Promoting Salaries and Status of Library Workers were:
- Alachua County Library District (Fla.), represented by Director Sol Hirsch
- Connie Vinita Dowell (San Diego State University) and
- Theresa McMahan (Sullivan County Library System, Tenn.)
Hirsch is credited with working with the county Human Resources Department, the Library Board and Communications Workers of America to raise salaries above the poverty guidelines get a 2% raise for all staff and increase entry level salaries for librarians by 11.5%.
Dowell, called a “shining example as an administrator” by one of her nominators, was able to retain library staff in the midst of budget cuts, reclassify and promote staff and increase pay for staff with new responsibilities.
McMahan “embodies what the award is for and the profession of librarianship” for using the results of a county-initiated salary study to educate the Board and County Commissioners about the value of her staff’s service and was able to convince them to approve the first major pay increase in county history for the entire staff, including support staff and more hours for part-time staff.
Called courageous for “taming horses” during difficult times, Jim Wilson, Vice President of SirsiDynix, praised the winners and all of the SirsiDynix nominees for their work to improve working conditions for the nation’s library employees.
Saul Schniderman closed the program by welcoming guests on behalf of AFSCME Local 2910, Library of Congress Professionals Guild and all AFSCME library workers, numbering more than 20,000. He reflected on how times have changed from when it was almost impossible to get library staff to talk about salaries and unions twenty years ago. AFSCME is also a proud supporter of National Library Workers Day, the Tuesday of National Library Week.
Schniderman ended with a story about how a library employee, having lunch indoors in the comfort of an air conditioned room, wrote a note to an iron-worker outside which read—It’s 76 degrees in here. The iron worker, lunching in the heat of the day, wrote on his napkin—It’s $22.50 out here. Unions are one way to raise salaries for iron workers and library employees!
ALA-APA thanks the SirsiDynix Jury—Barbara Ford, John Jessee and Peter McDonald, SirsiDynix and its representatives, AFSMCE Local 1930 the New York Public Library Guild, AFSCME Local 2910, and the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO for their support of this event.
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