Volume 1, No. 2 • February 2004


  • The Better Salaries Effort

    A Long Train Running

    Adapted and updated from article titled “Taking Our Salary Fight to the Streets: Why We Need a New Campaign for America’s Librarians,” which appeared in a Library Journal opinion piece dated April 15, 2002.

    In April of 2002, Library Journal published an opinion piece I wrote called “Taking Our Library Salary Fight To the Streets,” about the importance of advocating for better pay for librarians and library workers.1Two years later it … Read the rest


  • Midwinter Meeting Update

    Midwinter discussions sparked the beginning of great things to come from the ALA-APA Standing Committee on Salaries and Status of Library Workers. The Committee, chaired by immediate past ALA President Mitch Freedman, accomplished several goals, including an update on activities through January 2004 and the establishment of sixteen subcommittees (listed below).

    ALA-APA Advocacy Video and Media Relations Subcommittee is producing an advocacy video. It will highlight the skills required and demonstrate the importance of improving … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • Presentation Skills Aren’t Debatable!

    People often ask my suggestions for preparing to move into positions of more responsibility within their organizations. I like to remind them of the importance of presentation skills. Think about how much of the time the leaders in your library are “selling” an idea, communicating information or training on new processes or policies?

    In fact, various surveys have shown that upwards to 90% of managers say that the ability to present ideas convincingly is critical to their … Read the rest

HR Practice

  • Recognizing (And Applying) New Conceptions of Work

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, technicians represent the fastest growing segment of the U.S. labor force. Also increasing is the technical nature of work in many professions, and the need for workers with technical skill is expected to continue to grow into the foreseeable future (Barley & Bechky, 1994). The implications of this growth are important to think about not only because this is all happening in library work, but also because the roles and characteristics … Read the rest



  • Survey Results

    Although we experienced rough economic times and tight budgets last year, sixty-six percent (66%) or two hundred seventy-nine (279) of the four hundred twenty-two (422) people who responded to the survey said their library had not instituted a pay freeze.

    Approximately thirty-four percent (34%) or one hundred forty-three (143) of those responding to the survey said yes, their library had instituted a pay freeze last year. Forty-four percent (44%) of those worked in public libraries, followed closely by academic libraries … Read the rest

  • Rural Library Compensation, The Vermont Initiative

    ”Whatever the cost of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” -Walter Cronkite

    The first librarian job I applied for in Vermont was part-time, and advertised as paying $12/hour. They were hoping to get someone with a Master’s Degree but were prepared to be reasonable. This was in 2002. When I asked the Trustees if there would be any money available for professional development, I could see that I was talking … Read the rest

Support Staff

  • Competencies and Certification

    Competencies are a perennially hot topic in career and education discussions. To be “competent” is to be capable and well qualified. Therefore, a “competency” is an expression of a skill or characteristic needed by a worker to be capable and well qualified to do their job. A list of competencies for a certain job or career can be used in a number of ways.

    Support Staff Competencies (PDF)Read the rest


  • Ten Surefire Ways to Tick Off Your Co-Workers

    Who couldn’t add to this list? Here are a few ways that you can sabotage or may already be sabotaging your relationships with your colleagues. These behaviors can have lasting implications and the potential for limiting your chances for advancement. Recognize anyone in these descriptions?

    1. “It’s always about me.”

    2. Responding to cell phone calls while conversing with co-workers

    3. Acting like an authority figure (without authorization or power)

    4. Taking casual day too casually

    Read the rest

HR Law

  • Proposed Changes to the EEO-1

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) EEO-1 report is an annual report prepared by employers. This is a composition of the workforce by sex and race/ethnic category. The information is collected in nine categories: (1) officials and managers; (2) professionals; (3) technicians; (4) sales workers; (5) office and clerical workers; (6) craft workers; (7) operators; (8) laborers; and (9) service workers. Race/ethnic designations used are White (not of Hispanic origin), Black … Read the rest

  • New Injury and Illness Posting Requirements Effective This Month

    Starting this month, employers must post a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred last year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reminds employers that the summary, OSHA’s Form 300A (not the complete Form 300 log), should be displayed in an area where all workers have access to view it and must list the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in 2003 and were logged on the OSHA 300 form. Companies … Read the rest