Volume 7, No. 1 • January 2010



  • Listening to Staff

    Formal Methods of Gathering Information on Staff Satisfaction, Needs and Expectations

    Pulp Fiction, the film that catapulted director Quentin Tarantino to fame, holds an important lesson in communication. Mob enforcer Vincent (John Travolta), takes his boss’ wife Mia (Uma Thurman) out on the town to entertain her. To break the ice, Mia asks Vincent a series of personality questions. “Do you listen, or wait to talk?” Vincent replies, “I want to say ‘listen’ but I … Read the rest


  • Union: New safety measures at Mount Vernon library inadequate

    New safety measures adopted by the Mount Vernon (NY) Public Library inadequately defend library workers, says a representative of the Civil Service Employees Association. The measures were enacted in response to several recent attacks on Mount Vernon Public Library staff and patrons.

    Gary Newman, president of the Mount Vernon Public Library unit of the CSEA union, argues that the library has no comprehensive security plan. Newman argues that MVPL is bound by … Read the rest

  • Pierce library board cuts jobs, hours to save $1.5 million

    To afford a $1.5 million budget cut, the Pierce County Library System will convert 31 positions to lower-level jobs with less pay, slash hours for 10 jobs and eliminate 24 others.

    Library hours will not be affected by the cuts.… Read the rest

  • Libraries hit by random closings

    A recent hours policy of the understaffed Free Library of Philadelphia is taking a toll on the mental health of library employees.

    Staff shortages at the Free Library of Philadelphia have led the system to institute unscheduled closings of any of its 54 branches. Daily closings increased significantly toward the end of 2009, peaking on December 3, when ten branches closed or reduced hours unexpectedly.

    The director of the Friends … Read the rest

  • Libraries forced to slash hours, staff, popular programs

    As a result of declining state funding, 90 percent of the Allegheny County Library Association’s libraries will be reducing hours of part-time workers or eliminating positions, reports ACLA’s Executive Director Marilyn Jenkins.

    One ACLA library, Mt. Lebanon, has frozen salaries and cut staff by 11 percent. Another, Brentwood, has frozen the position of a staff member who already planned to leave the state.… Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • What is “Special”?

    Minding Your Words

    In organizational politics, power brokers have long understood that control of language is half the bid for control of the organizational culture, ideas and staff. Language—in both tone and content—can reinforce or undermine organizational goals. The written word and the language employed to describe specific groups or individuals have “a powerful influence on the organization’s collective consciousness” (Reeves, 2006).

    The Stereotype Epitomized

    Within some corporate and academic institutions where diverse groups of professionals are … Read the rest


  • Focus: The Point of the CPLA

    As a prospective Library Director, I believed that I had the work and life experience to be able to manage the staff, budget, building, and even the direction of a public library. I also believed that a Certified Public Library Administrator (CPLA) Certification could provide the credential that said at a glance, “professional administrator.”

    I landed my first Library Director position in June 2008 with support for the CPLA as part of the compensation package. I began … Read the rest

HR Practice

  • Top 10 New Manager Mistakes

    Few career milestones compare to the very first time one manages other people. Whether this change is the result of a promotion or change of position, going from supervised to supervisor is a career-defining moment. Yet that moment often fails to meet the expectations of the fortunate few who reach that seemingly unattainable height—being “the boss.” Why do so many new managers fall from elation to deflation before fully settling into their new role? … Read the rest


  • Talking the Talk with Confidence

    Developing a Knowledge of Academic Culture for Academic Library Interviews

    Regardless of the specific position at stake, any job interview is really a series of interviews, both formal and informal. From setting up an appointment via phone or e-mail, to introducing yourself at the front desk, to meeting potential coworkers, to answering questions about your qualifications, the interview process usually involves discussions with many unfamiliar people, often in an unfamiliar environment. You have to be confident. You … Read the rest


  • Libraries nationwide receiving ALA-APA Library Salary Survey Invitation

    CHICAGO – Library directors and human resources staff, check your mail. Nearly 1,700 public and academic libraries are being asked to participate in the 2010 ALA-APA Library Salary Survey. This year, the survey asks for salary data for six librarian titles. The deadline is Friday, Feb. 28, for completing the Web-based survey. Survey letters with instructions are addressed to the attention of the library director or human resources manager and are in envelopes with the ALA logo.

    In order to … Read the rest

  • Compensation Trends Improving, but Employees Won’t Make Up Lost Ground From 2009, Just Yet, Says Towers Perrin Study

    Companies Focus on Pay Differentiation Strategies Targeted at Retaining Critical Talent

    STAMFORD, CT, December 7, 2009 – Salaries will be on the rise in 2010 at many companies across the U.S., according to recent research from Towers Perrin. This is a significant shift from the lockdown many organizations placed on compensation budgets during 2009. In fact, 65% of companies that froze salary budgets in 2009 will unfreeze them in 2010. Yet most companies report continued uncertainty and lack of confidence … Read the rest


Support Staff

  • Libraries Changed My Life

    Libraries changed my life.

    Of course, at the age of 10 when my father signed me up for my first summer reading program at the local public library, I had no idea this would be the case. I only thought it was cool to get stickers to put on my treasure map after I plunged through so many library books.

    I didn’t realize it either when I checked out a book about babies that turned out to … Read the rest


HR Law

  • Historic Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act Takes Effect:

    EEOC Assumes New Area of Jurisdiction to Protect Confidentiality of Genetic Information

    WASHINGTON – In the first legislative expansion of its jurisdiction since passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on November 21, 2009, assumed responsibility for enforcing Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).

    GINA, signed into law in May 2008, prohibits discrimination by health insurers and employers based on individuals’ genetic information. Genetic information includes the … Read the rest