Volume 1, No. 7 • July 2004


  • Dead Wood

    Staff Who Won’t Work and Don’t Get Fired

    The Extra Edge

    Staff is a library’s most important asset and the most expensive. So what happens when staff becomes a liability? These can be dead wood, staff members who once were good employees but are no longer.

    In research conducted over the past two years, I learned that dead wood in libraries is common and shares common characteristics. These employees hold jobs that do not demand strong … Read the rest


  • Library Worklife Update

    If you are currently receiving Library Worklife, it is because you have become an individual subscriber or you are an employee of an institution that is a member of the American Library Association.  ALA-APA appreciates your support and welcomes your participation in the growth of newsletter.

    All of you now have a login and password to access Library Worklife.  It is included in the email you were sent to alert you to this issue.  For individuals, the login … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • What’s Your Learning Style?

    How can your learning style influence your job satisfaction? Some management and education gurus believe strongly that learning style influences the way we learn and retain new information. Because of this, the learning options that your organization and direct supervisor provide can influence your new skills development.

    But first, what are we talking about when we say “learning styles?” There are many schools of learning theory, but generally we are referring to three ways we learn.visual, auditory … Read the rest

HR Practice

  • Moving Towards Strategic HR in Libraries

    We all know that we can’t deliver our library services without our employees. We know that the largest budget item (easily 55–85%) in our operating budgets goes for personnel costs: salaries, wages, benefits. And, we know that managing people is time and energy consuming. As with so much else we do, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details of HR work and forget that our great investment in people is for a greater purpose: providing … Read the rest


  • Working @ your library

    For LOVE or MONEY Advocacy Video Is Here!

    The crowd-pleasing ALA-APA video, Working @ your library: For Love or Money, was debuted at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando. It was shown in many forums, including an advocacy program hosted on Sunday by Advocacy Subcommittee and at the ALA-APA Board of Directors meeting. But the highlight was seeing it on the big screen, before the viewing of Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911.

    Featured in the 10.5 minute video are … Read the rest


  • Public Libraries Survey

    The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) publishes data collected through the Public Libraries Survey by the Federal-State Cooperative System. The most current issue of Public Libraries in the United States: Fiscal Year 2001 has some relevant information for salary and benefit data seekers.

    The entire report is available in a .pdf. It primarily includes usage and materials statistics from the nation’s 9,129 public libraries, but there is some information about the staff of the libraries. In 2001, there … Read the rest

Support Staff

  • ALA Insurance Informational Brief

    Contact: John Chrastka

    Your ALA membership allows you access to special insurance programs. ALA is now offering its members various types of insurance coverage. Underinsured or uninsured coverage is provided through Marsh Affinity Group Insurance and is available for individuals or families. There are several programs offered to ALA members, depending on their location, including: Customized Major Medical; Short-Term Medical; Dental Insurance; Catastrophic Major Medical; Long-Term Care; Term Life Insurance; and a Disability Income Plan. Plans are available to supplement … Read the rest

  • Special ALA Dues Categories

    Contact: Cindy Ahrens

    ALA members voted to pass the special membership category for support staff. The bylaws were amended to include a dues classification for support staff for $35. Members will be able to take advantage of this new dues category on September 1. Adding the Library Support Staff Interests Round Table (LSSIRT) for $10 would bring the total to $45. A task force will be working on marketing and promotion of this new membership category. The regular members classification … Read the rest


  • Beat the Work/Life Balance Conundrum with a Quality of Life Context

    By Burt Woolf

    The Work/Life Balance Conundrum

    I don’t like using the term “work/life balance” to describe the relationship between my personal and professional worlds. For me, the word “balance” suggests an “either/or” relationship between my personal life and professional work—as if when I’m at work, I’m not in my real life; and when I’m not at work, my job somehow disappears from my consciousness.

    Now it is true that work can be tedious, frustrating, unfulfilling, and limiting—and sometimes (maybe … Read the rest