Volume 1, No. 5 • May 2004


  • Best Search Engine? A Librarian.


    Zay N. Smith sings the praises of librarians and how it can be lucrative to develop a habit of calling on library staff when odd questions arise. One who learned this lesson the hard way was a contestant on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. The librarians at the local branch were waiting to be a lifeline, but were never called.

    All right. So how many people died in … Read the rest

  • Strike on National Library Workers Day

    Nearly 400 employees of the Cleveland Public Library (Cleveland, OH) observed National Library Workers Day out on the street. Members of SEIU District 1199 organized a one-day strike on April 20, 2004 to protest concessions they were asked to take during negotiations to replace an expired contract. The union represents several categories of library workers.

    In May 2003, the Library, with the help of employees at all levels of the organization, passed an unprecedented $5.8 million tax levy. The levy … Read the rest

  • Democracy in Action

    Illinois Library Advocacy Day

    Have you been to an Advocacy Day? How did you make sure your message was received? On April 21st, I traveled with a group of trustees, friends, support staff, librarians, and library organization staff to Springfield, Illinois, for Illinois Library Advocacy Day. It was an incredible trip. At 5:45 am, we left Chicago to pick up colleagues at the Suburban Library System in Burr Ridge, IL. The bus trip was hosted … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • Writing Professional Statements

    Tips to Help Secure Your Future in Academic Libraries!


    Being a tenure-track librarian magnifies the challenge of thriving in an already rapidly changing academic library environment. As part of the tenure and promotion process, librarians need to assemble a dossier. An important component of the dossier is the professional statements, sometimes referred to as candidate’s statements or statements of philosophy. These statements should reflect the hard work and accomplishments of a librarian’s emerging career. Articulating … Read the rest

HR Practice

  • Alternative Compensation Plans

    Broadbanding and Pay for Performance

    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. You may contact Paula Singer at pmsinger@singergrp.com.

    Broadbanding is a concept that has been in existence for approximately twenty-five years, which was developed by for use in two U.S. … Read the rest


  • The Value of Diversity

    The language and interpretation of the “D” word, “diversity” is complex and subject to interpretations which do not necessarily equate with the traditional values of the race-based affirmative action of the past. Now, diversity can be and often is, interpreted as the same thing as multi-culturalism. While this on the face of it is good, it dilutes the intent for racial inclusion and has been broadened to incorporate, for better or worse, gender, sexual orientations, special … Read the rest


  • AFSCME Salutes Library Workers

    First Annual Library Workers Day April 20, 2004

    The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest union representing librarians and other library workers salutes the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) on its annual National Library Workers Day on Tuesday, April 20. National Library Workers Day is a time to honor the contributions of all library workers, including librarians, support staff and others who make library services possible. National Library Day is part of … Read the rest

  • Equal Pay Day, April 20

    April 20 was National Library Workers Day, but it was also Equal Pay Day. The National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) chose April 20th to demonstrate that it takes a woman more than an additional three months to earn what a man earned the previous year. The average wage gap calculated in 2002 is still 77 cents for women for every dollar earned by men. For many women of color, the gap is even higher – 68% for African American … Read the rest


  • Cookie Monster

    For the first annual National Library Workers Day on April 20th, the Library Worklife survey asked whether you were celebrating and how. Two hundred and seventy (270) readers responded, and although 44% were celebrating, the majority (56%) were not. Let’s hope that the other libraries catch the spirit next year!

    Of those who were celebrating NLWD:

    • 46% had a party

    • 34% received and gave notes of appreciation and awards

    • 8% received gift certificates

    • 50% celebrated in another way

    Vanderbilt University’s … Read the rest

Support Staff

  • Union Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    This article is intended for information purposes only and does not purport to be exhaustive coverage on the topic. Answers have been compiled from the sources listed at the end of the article.

    What is a union?

    A union is a group of workers that join together to increase the strength of their bargaining position with employers on issues such as pay, working conditions, benefits, and job security.

    How are unions formed?

    Federal laws guarantee workers the right to organize … Read the rest


  • Who’s Blogging?

    Blogging is one way library workers are smudging the line between work and life. As you may know, a blog is short for weblog, an online journal. They show up on political websites, electronic magazine sites, and disease related sites as a way to share current information, inspire thought, encourage debate, and express emotions. Some blogs do all of these at once. You will find blog sites that are very personal, informative, interactive, thought-provoking, and funny … Read the rest

HR Law

  • A Follow Up to Fair Compensation Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

    Last month’s Library Worklife included background information on the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), a complex set of federal wage and overtime regulations, and an overview of upcoming changes to the regulations. Since then, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has published revised regulations, which could, if adopted, have impact on public libraries. This article previews those changes and further clarifies some information relevant to libraries from the first article.The FLSA sets two basic … Read the rest