ALA-APA Salaries and Status-Related Policies

Approved MW 2010

APACD #8.1Rev


ALA-APA Salary- and Status-Related Policy Statements

January 2010

Note:  Wording from American Library Association Policies 54 Series: Library Personnel Practices are in italics


ALA-APA will be a resource to both staff and employers for research, activities and understanding in the areas of better salaries, comparable worth, pay equity and similar programs related to the status of all library employees.  ALA-APA will encourage inclusiveness of all library employees in the research, promotion, planning, activities and discussion of work in libraries.  ALA-APA will also provide forums for discussion and avenues for recognizing those in the library community who are concerned with improving the salaries and status of library employees.

ALA-APA will manage, and assist in the development of, certification programs in library specialties beyond the initial degree.  To improve the status of library employees, ALA-APA will provide professional development opportunities for library employees, through educational programming, and leadership training through committee participation.

Skills and disciplines other than those of librarianship also have an important contribution to make toward the achievement of superior library service. There should be due recognition in both the professional and supportive ranks for all individuals whose expertise contributes to the effective performance of the library.[1]

The title “Librarian” carries with it the connotation of “professional” in the sense that professional tasks are those which require a special background and education at the master’s level. The master’s degree from a program accredited by the American Library Association is the appropriate professional degree for librarians.[2]

All library employees must have access to continuing and professional development, including, but not limited to:  conference attendance; continuing education opportunities; certification programs; and employer support of formal education related to the work of the library.  Employees also have a role and responsibility in their own professional development.

Library employees should have the opportunity to be certified in the work they do, so that they can advance their skills and demonstrate their skills through certification programs.

1. Equal Employment Opportunity. 2

2. Status of Library Employees. 2

3. Workplace Rights. 3

Library and (all other) workers have the right to: 3

3a. A Safe Workplace. 3

3b. Overtime Pay. 3

3c. Family and Medical Leave. 3

3d. A Workplace Without Discrimination. 4

3e. A Workplace Without Sexual Harassment 4

3f. Join or Form a Union. 4

3g. Unemployment Benefits. 4

4. Salary and Other Compensation. 5

5. Advertising Salary Ranges. 5

6. Collective Bargaining. 5

1.  Equal Employment Opportunity

The ALA-APA supports the right to equality of opportunity for all library employees or applicants for employment, regardless of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, health condition, individual lifestyle, or national origin.  Key factors in the selection of library personnel are skills, training, knowledge, job interest, behavioral competencies (e.g., commitment to good customer service) and the particular physical or mental abilities to do a specific job.  Modification of the work environment should be considered if necessary to assist an individual in performing the job.

2.  Status of Library Employees

Library employees at all levels shall have the status deemed equitable and comparable to their job duties/responsibilities and the required skills and knowledge necessary to perform the job.  Faculty status for academic and school librarians should entail the same rights and responsibilities granted to, and required of, other members of the faculty.[3].

Security of employment means that, following the satisfactory completion of a probationary period, the employment of a library staff member carries with it an institutional commitment to continuous employment, on a tenure track where applicable.  Job competence, in accordance with the aims and objective of the library, should be the criterion of acceptable performance for a library employee with permanent employment.  Library employees shall not be terminated without adequate cause and then only after being accorded due process[4].

Employing anyone for successive, limited periods with the intent to avoid the granting of permanent appointment is deemed unethical.

Security of employment, as an elementary right, guarantees specifically:

  1. Intellectual freedom, defined as freedom to assume the responsibility placed upon a person by a democratic society to educate oneself and to improve one’s ability to participate usefully in activities in which one is involved as a citizen of the United States and of the world; and affirming the ethics of the profession via institutional adherence to the Library Bill of Rights.
  2. Appointments and promotions based solely upon merit without interference from political, economic, religious, or other groups.
  3. A sufficient degree of economic security to make employment in the library attractive to men and women of ability.
  4. The opportunity for the library employee to work without fear of undue interference or dismissal based upon racial, political, religious, health-related, or other unjust reasons.

Library employees have the right to have their performance evaluated objectively on an annual basis.  Titles should be reflective of the written job description and the work done.  Performance evaluations should be based upon pre-established responsibilities with clear expectations.

ALA-APA opposes mandatory drug/alcohol testing and mandatory screening for AIDS or other health conditions.[5]

3.  Workplace Rights

Working people have certain basic legal rights in the workplace, such as the right to minimum wages, safe working conditions, and freedom from discrimination based on race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, health condition, individual life-style, or national origin.[6] But there are so many exceptions and loopholes that many workers are left unprotected. Some rights are limited by the size of the employer, length of service, or other conditions. Some states have strengthened these protections for workers.

Library and (all other) workers have the right to:

3a. A Safe Workplace

Employers are required to provide a workplace free of recognized health and safety hazards. You have the right to file complaints with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, to bring job safety hazards to your employer’s attention without retaliation and to get information from your employer about hazardous workplace exposures.

3b. Overtime Pay

Employers must pay you overtime at the rate of one-and-a-half times the normal rate of pay if you work more than 40 hours in a week. However, many library workers—such as managers, librarians and certain sales employees—are exempt from overtime pay.

3c. Family and Medical Leave

Library workers have the right to up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave on the birth or adoption of a child, to care for seriously ill family members or to recover from their own illness. To be eligible for this leave, library workers must have worked for 12 months and for at least 1,250 hours for the same employer with more than 50 employees.

3d. A Workplace Without Discrimination

In hiring, firing, pay or promotions based on:

  • Age—The law protects workers 40 and older.
  • Disability—Employers must make reasonable accommodations for an otherwise qualified person with a disability to do his or her job.
  • Sex.
  • Sexual orientation.
  • Gender identity or expression.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Health condition.
  • Race, color, creed or national origin.
  • Religion.
  • Individual life-style.
  • Immigrant status—It is illegal to refuse to hire someone because of an accent or because that person was born in a foreign country. Employers have a duty to verify that every worker hired is authorized to work, but it is illegal to assume that a worker is undocumented just because he or she has a foreign name, speaks with an accent, or was born in another country.

3e. A Workplace Without Sexual Harassment

It is illegal to be forced to agree to sexual favors to keep your job or get a promotion or job benefit. It also is illegal to be subjected to severe and pervasive comments or behavior at a workplace that creates a hostile work environment.

3f. Join or Form a Union

Library workers have the legal right to join, form or support a union and negotiate contracts with your employer. They have the right to decide whether or not they want union representation, free from employer intimidation and interference.

3g. Unemployment Benefits

Unemployment benefits are available to jobless workers who can prove they have been in the labor force and meet other requirements imposed by their states and the federal government.

4.  Salary and Other Compensation

ALA-APA believes that all library employees shall receive pay based upon comparable worth, and that employers shall compensate their employees based on the skill, effort, responsibility and working conditions of the job being done.

ALA-APA also fully supports the concept of comparable wages for comparable work done by persons in female-dominated occupations and persons in male-dominated occupations.  ALA-APA therefore supports all legal and legislative efforts to achieve wages for library employees commensurate with wages in other occupations with comparable qualifications, training, responsibilities, and working conditions.[7]

ALA-APA particularly supports the efforts of those library employees who have documented, and are legally challenging, wage discrimination and whose success will benefit all library employees throughout the nation.

ALA-APA urges employers to observe national, state, and local minimum wage and living wage laws and guidelines in compensating and providing benefits for employees in libraries and archives – including, but not limited to, health insurance and retirement plans.

5.  Advertising Salary Ranges

Available salary ranges should be given for positions listed in any placement services provided by ALA and/or its units.  A regional salary guide delineating the latest minimum salary figures recommended by state library associations shall be made available from any placement services provided by ALA and/or its units.

All ALA and unit publications printing classified job advertisements shall require the inclusion of the salary ranges established for open positions, and shall include a regional salary guide delineating the latest minimum salary figures recommended by state library associations for library positions[8].

6.  Collective Bargaining

The ALA-APA recognizes the principle of collective bargaining as one of the methods of conducting labor-management relations used by private and public institutions.  The Association affirms the right of eligible library employees to organize and bargain collectively with their employers, or to refrain from organizing and bargaining collectively, without fear of reprisal.[9].

ALA-APA urges employers within libraries and archives, in both the public and private sector, to uphold and respect the fundamental human right of their employees to form unions and to bargain collectively.

[1] 54.1

[2] 54.2

[3] 54.5

[4] 54.7

[5] 54.13

[6] 54.3

[7] 54.10

[8] 54.18

[9] 54.11