Volume 1, No. 4 • April 2004


  • Balancing Acts

    Library Worklife represents a significant contribution from ALA-APA to support everyone’s development and retention of library workers in any library setting. The groundswell of enthusiasm for these efforts is truly inspiring. The positive responses will be demonstrated in another first on Tuesday, April 20, for National Library Workers Day, during this year’s National Library Week celebrations and activities. The day will emphasize the important role … Read the rest


  • National Library Workers Day Is Tuesday, April 20th!

    How will your library celebrate? ALA-APA has received creative ideas for how libraries, friends groups, trustees, and patrons are encouraged to “recognize the hard work, dedication, and expertise of library support staff and librarians.”

    Representative Major Owens Submits a NLWD Resolution

    Congress knows about NLWD! H. Res. 597 was submitted on April 2, 2004, by Rep. Owens, “congratulating the American Library Association (ALA) as it celebrates its first annual National Library Workers Day on April 20th.

    Libraries Work Because We

    Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • Negotiating Isn’t Just For “The Donald”

    One of the organizers of Reaching Forward, Illinois’ annual conference for library support staff, recently commented that they wanted to offer a negotiating skills workshop this year. It sounded promising to me and I offered to look into it. While I had thought that my communication skills were at least “above average,” as I researched the fine art of effective negotiations I quickly realized how many opportunities each of us walk away from on … Read the rest


  • Continuum of Library Education

    Western Council of State Libraries, Inc.

    In small, rural public libraries, the library director is usually not a person who moves into the community from somewhere else; in other words, she or he is not usually a library school graduate who moves into the community as a result of being hired as the public library director. The director of a small, rural library is most often an individual from the community who is connected to the community … Read the rest



  • Alternative Compensation Plans

    Skills-Based Pay, Gain Sharing, Temporary Pay

    This article has been adapted from Developing a Compensation Plan for Your Library; Chapter 10: Trends; by Paula Singer; © 2002 by the American Library Association. Developing a Compensation Plan for Your Library is available from the ALA Store at www.alastore.ala.org.

    In this issue, skills/knowledge-based pay, gain sharing, and temporary pay are described. In tough economic times, creativity is required to give employees incentives that recognize excellence while keeping the … Read the rest


  • Preparation for the new ALA-APA Support Staff Salary Survey

    One of ALA-APA’s first publications will be a Support Staff Salary Survey, which will replace and extend the survey that had been conducted every three years by Library Mosaics , which was featured in theJanuary issue of Library Worklife. To ensure that terms that adequately reflect positions are used, a question asking the titles that libraries use to describe support staff is the supplemental question in the 2004 ALA Librarian Salary Survey. Public and academic libraries will receive the … Read the rest

Support Staff

  • The Visible Library Worker

    What Can You Do to Become More Visible?

    Begin by asking what value you provide to the library and its customers. I think it is important to think about the people who come into the library as customers, not patrons. Customers of public and school, and some academic, libraries have prepaid for their services-with their tax, and tuition, dollars. All customers pay for your services with their time.

    What do your customers want? They … Read the rest


  • Two Little Words That Make a Big Difference: Thank You.

    New Ideas for National Library Workers Day Celebrations

    National Library Workers Day is a wake-up call for some libraries and library systems, but many honor their workers on a regular basis. In this article you will read about traditional library service awards, as well as financial awards and creative staff-bonding and cost-cutting celebrations. Many of the items on the NLWD Ideas Web Site are from already scheduled employee recognition programs. See what seeds are being planted across the country because … Read the rest

HR Law

  • Fair Compensation Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

    Transport back in time to the world of work in 1930s America. Emerging slowly from the Great Depression, people are leaving the farms in droves to look for any work possible. Children are unable to attend school due to their families’ reliance up their meager wages, most of which is earned at pitiful rates and in dangerous situations. People are so desperate for work that they bid for hourly work, each person underbidding … Read the rest