Volume 2, No. 8 • August 2005


  • An Examination of the At-Will Employment Doctrine

    From time to time a fairly obtuse legal concept crosses the bridge between the law and reality and enters the mainstream. This usually occurs during the latest ‘trial of the century’, when some obscure legal point becomes the major focus of the media, and an everyday topic of conversation. I cannot explain how disconcerting it is as an attorney, when someone waiting in line for the bus clearly knows more about the use of DNA … Read the rest


  • U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush Wants Kids to Get in the “Zone” of Information about Congress and Scholarships with Addition of New Student Section on His Web Site.

    School may be out but students can log on and learn how a bill is created, where to find scholarships and how to stay safe on the ‘net.’

    WASHINGTON (July 2005) – To ensure even his youngest constituents have the opportunity to learn and instantly gain access to the inner workings of the federal government on the information highway, Congressman Bobby L. Rush in partnership with the Metropolitan Library System, a regional library consortium providing consulting, advocacy and continuing education … Read the rest

  • Loan Forgiveness Now Extends to Librarians Working in Low Income Area

    Washington D.C. (July 21, 2005) — Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva presented an amendment today during the House Education and Workforce Committee’s markup of H.R. 609, the College Access and Opportunity Act to expand loan forgiveness to highly qualified teachers in low‑income communities, bilingual teachers, librarians and child welfare workers.

    The amendment passed by voice vote.

    The amendment will extend Section 428K of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to include loan forgiveness to first responders in low‑income communities, highly qualified … Read the rest

  • ALA Member Demographics Still Needed

    The ALA Office for Research and Statistics (ORS) Survey of Member Demographics is open until the end of September. The Web-based survey, which has only six questions and takes a few minutes to answer, is being conducted by a task force of t he ALA Committee on Diversity and the ALA Membership Committee. By undertaking this member survey, ALA is taking a big step toward knowing itself and being able to describe itself to others. Your individual response remains confidential, … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • An Introduction to Followership for Librarians

    “Leadership” was one of the catchphrases of the 1990s, taking the place of teamwork, cooperation, and collegiality (Smith 1994, 22). Unfortunately, the recent focus on leadership created an imbalance in the literature of human dynamics by largely ignoring the people who comprise the largest and most important component of any organization: Followers. As changing communication and information networks force library organizations to evolve, we can benefit from the application of followership principles in management as well … Read the rest

  • How to Appraise Employee Performance

    Catch Them Doing Something Good

    Last month Library Worklife featured an article on how employees should prepare for performance evaluations. This month we look at what employers can do to make performance appraisals productive.

    It seems employers and employees alike dislike performance appraisals. Employees fear them as remonstrations. Employers put them off as yet another drain on their time. According to Karen McKirchy, author of Powerful Performance Appraisals: How to Set Expectations and Work Together to Improve Read the rest

HR Practice

  • How Employment Discrimination Is Like Food Poisoning

    At the 2005 ALA Annual Conference, two noteworthy events happened. The first was that the ALA Office for Diversity and ALA-APA hosted a program called “ How Do I Know It’s Discrimination?: Recognizing and Resolving Discriminatory Employment Practices in Libraries.” The second was my contraction of food poisoning. As I prepared to write about the program, I realized that there are similarities between the two. The program featured a panel discussion and an engaging conversation about a … Read the rest

  • The Advantages of Employing Part-Time Professionals

    Many employers, including libraries, are taking advantage of an increasing trend: using part-time professionals to fill a variety of positions they never thought could be successfully staff by anything other than full-time employees. Part-time workers are those employees working approximately 20 hours per week, in addition to employees who are job-sharing and doing shift work, independent contractors, and temporary workers. There are many groups of people looking for part-time professional … Read the rest


  • Thinking Outside the Hiring “Box”

    Getting a job in today’s market – in the vast majority of situations – involves an application and interview process. Although most institutions have designed processes bound by guidelines and rules based primarily on federal and state law, there are a wide variety of differences in specific areas of the hiring process. Two major differences include the pre-interview and the interview process. In these hiring areas, institutions and organizations have the opportunity to gather more and, often, … Read the rest


  • Salary Negotiation Success

    Putting (New) Knowledge into Practice

    Editor’s Note: ALA-APA hosted a program at the Annual Conference called “Negotiating Your Next Compensation Package: Tools You Can Use”, which featured Mary Pergander, Lake Bluff Public Library (IL) and John Keister, John Keister and Associates. It was billed as an “interactive session to give you the opportunity to learn the principles of negotiation. You will leave the session excited and empowered with tools you need to make your next … Read the rest



  • Being Organized—Oh, the Irony

    Have you found that quite a few people who work in libraries, especially librarians, are extremely disorganized? I find it particularly ironic that this happens in institutions based on classification and order. The job responsibility doesn’t matter-secretaries, circulation clerks, supervisors, librarians-everyone needs to start being more organized. Organization leads to increased productivity (happier supervisors!) and less frustration (happier staff!) Basically, you can’t provide information if you can’t find it, so here are some steps to get you … Read the rest