Volume 5, No. 4 • April 2008

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  • The Elusiveness of Loyalty

    I have loyalty issues. I admit it. I am one of those crazy old-timers who actually thinks about being loyal to my employer. Perhaps I feel this way because I was brought up to have no sense of entitlement, being taught that if you want something in life, most of the time you have to work for it, and if someone gives you something, you should be grateful. At the same time, in my family, we all … Read the rest

  • If You’re Wondering Whether Library Staff are Important, See the (NLWD) Stars

    National Library Workers Day (April 15) is fast approaching! It’s not too late to nominate your favorite library employee as a NLWD Star—www.ala-apa.org/nlwd. By submitting Stars, dozens of library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups have already shown the world how library workers are crucial to their respective communities.

    Read about Joan, who is chronicling the February tragedy at Northern Illinois University; Karen at a school library in Alabama, who creates a MARC record that is a work … Read the rest


  • ALA-APA Names Thirty Leaders as Its Angels

    CHICAGO— Thirty library leaders will be honored as ALA-APA Angels at the American Library Association Annual Conference in June. The ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) is celebrating five years of service, and honoring some of the many people and organizations that have helped it grow and flourish in its missions of providing certification and supporting better salaries.

    ALA-APA angels were instrumental in the creation and development of ALA-APA. They represent thousands of library employees who gave their time, energy, ideas and … Read the rest

  • Libraries Might Lose A Day A Week

    A plan by county officials to reduce staffing costs has led to a staffing shortage in the Martin County (FL) Library System.

    Last month Martin County started offering employees early retirement buyouts last month to eliminate positions and save money because of an estimated $26 million in cuts needed to balance next year’s budget. But so many library employees have accepted early buyouts to retire, a reduction in branch hours … Read the rest

  • Library is looking for increase to avoid criticism

    The Bigelow Free Public Library (MA) hopes to provide small salary increases for its staff while staving off potential censure by the Massachusetts State Library.

    Head Librarian Christine Flaherty notes that the state Board of Library Commissioners requires local libraries to meet budget and policy mandates or face the consequences. Among the requirements: libraries are required to create budgets that are at least 0.0125 percent times the average of its budgets … Read the rest

  • Pay Day Like It’s 1997

    County library facing shorter hours, program cutbacks

    Support your local library

    In the face of a projected $380,000 county deficit, some Douglas County officials propose to reduce staff hours, delay merit increases and shorten hours at several branches of the Douglas County Library System.

    The room tax/sales tax fund, the primary source of funding for the Douglas … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • What Having the Wrong Job Taught Me

    Let’s face it: even if your job is perfect for you right now, that won’t always be the case. At some point you will—and should—outgrow your current responsibilities. Within your own library you might not see a good opportunity to move up. For personal reasons, you might decide to relocate. You might find that a new administration, within your library or larger institution or government, changes your job responsibilities for the worse or even renders your … Read the rest

HR Practice

  • Where Do We Go From Here?

    Understanding and Conducting the Exit Interview From The Employee’s Perspective—A Case for the Future – Part II

    In the first of this two-part series (LW vol. 4, no.2) we discussed the role of the employer in arranging an optimum exit interview. Ideally, the exit interview provides an employer valuable insight into the workings of the organization that will allow him or her to improve the overall operating environment of the organization and to … Read the rest


  • HR-ology: Onboarding

    Reprinted with permission from the Management Association of Illinois’s Web site, www.hrsource.org. The article was posted on March 20, 2008.

    The HR buzzword of the millennium, onboarding, is an employee retention tool which is a systematic and comprehensive approach to orienting a new employee to help him get “on board.” It gets newly hired employees up to speed with the culture, processes, expectations, policies and day-to-day operations of the organization, as … Read the rest


  • Working Union

    Reprinted with permission from Michael McGrorty’s blog, On the Job—http://librarydust.typepad.com/on_the_job, from February 6, 2008.

    As a child I often would lie awake in the darkness of my bedroom, listening to my parents talk about the day’s events. My father was a school teacher and my mother was a theatrical wardrobe worker. In their jobs they had only one thing in common: both of them were members of unions. Even so, their unions were also very … Read the rest


  • 2007 ALA-APA Non-MLS Salary Survey Examines Librarian Titles

    In libraries across the nation, many non-MLS library employees hold the title of “librarian.” By including a new category for non-MLS Librarians in the ALA-APA Salary Survey, ALA-APA acknowledges this trend. This hiring phenomenon may be attributed to any number of factors, including the size and nature of recruitment pools, budgetary considerations and evolving needs within libraries. Because this is the first year that the ALA-APA Salary Survey collected data on these employees, it is impossible … Read the rest

Support Staff

  • They Need Us, They Just Don’t Know It Yet:

    Spotlight on Elizabeth Stearns, Assistant Director of the Waukegan Public Library

    Editor’s Note: Library Support Staff are people who work in a library position that does not require a Master’s of Library and Information Science. Though this definition does not usually include library staff who have degrees in another professions and whose work is not directly related to library service, such as public relations, human resources, accounting or facility management and maintenance.

    Elizabeth Stearns is an Assistant … Read the rest


  • Ergonomics: A Simple Solution to That Pain in Your Neck

    Library workers are no strangers to repetitive tasks: checking media in and out, shelving, cataloging and typing. It’s no wonder that repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) are the most common work related injury in the United States. But awareness of ergonomics can minimize your risk of developing an RSI.

    The word “ergonomics” is derived from the Greek words “ergon,” to work, and “nomoi,” natural laws. Ergonomics is the application of scientific information of objects, systems and environment for … Read the rest

HR Law

  • FMLA: How it Can Benefit You

    The delicate balance of work and family obligations may be easily disturbed by the onset of serious health issues. But employees should realize that existing legislation can protect employees when personal or family health conditions take them away from work. Knowledge of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will help you determine eligibility and take advantage of its provisions if the need arises.

    FMLA Basics

    The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been in effect, … Read the rest

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