Volume 3, No. 2• February 2006


  • Getting Even: Exploiting the Gender Gap

    In preparation for National Library Workers Day and Equal Pay Day in April, LW is publishing reviews of two books that purport to answer why a gender gap still remains in the salaries for most professions and what can be done to remedy the situation. We invite your comments.

    Getting Even

    Why Women Don’t Get Paid Like Men—And What to Do About It

    Over her working lifetime, a woman will lose between $700,000 and

    Read the rest


  • Pennsylvania Area Facilities Rebound after State Funding Cuts Two Years Ago

    Morning Call (Allentown, PA), January 11, 2006

    For two years, state funding for Pennsylvania libraries was halved. Bucks County Free Library and others have recalled laid-off workers, re-instated positions, increased library hours and services, and resumed buying materials due, in small part to the state restoring funds, but in larger part to assistance from private donors, local governments, and grants. Find out more.… Read the rest

  • Salinas (CA) Still Squeezed for Money

    Monterey County Herald (CA), January 18, 2006, and February 8, 2006

    Salinas City Council voted on January 17, 2006, to increase library hours to 69 a week and hire three librarians and two clerks. Rally Salinas, a campaign to raise funds to keep libraries open when money from the city could not cover operations, will pay for additional staff.

    On February 7, City Finance Director Tom Kever explained that the city’s $489 per resident for services … Read the rest

  • Mesa (AZ) Public Libraries Facing Budget Crisis

    The Arizona Republic, January 25, 2006

    The Mesa, Arizona, Public Library is dealing with what some would see as crushing blows as the budget was cut $500,000 and 42 staff positions have been lost over the past year. Services and programming have been scaled down or eliminated even as circulation and visitation grows. Interim Director Heather Wolf is working with the City Council on how the library can recoup some of the lost funding as the city … Read the rest

  • Memphis Public Library Must Cut Spending

    The Commercial Appeal
    (Memphis, TN), January 27, 2006

    The Memphis public library must cut $700,000 from its operating budget for the upcoming year, part of the city administration’s drive to reduce costs across departments, according to the board. The library system plans to leave between 30–40 positions unfilled, saving about $500,000. Other cost savings will be achieved by canceling or cutting existing contracts and purchasing fewer supplies and materials.… Read the rest

  • Clinton (LA) Library Board Approves Operating Budget, Raises

    The Audubon Regional Library’s Board of Control on December 15, 2005, approved a tight operating budget for 2006 that includes raises of approximately 7 percent for employees.

    The budget anticipates revenues of $323,900, most of it from 2.5-mill property taxes in the member parishes, East Feliciana and St. Helena. Salary expenses account for $178,650 or 55 percent of the budget.

    In other news, Audubon Regional Library Director Beatrice Parker has resigned, after allegations … Read the rest

  • Piedmont (WV) Librarian Works Many Hours Without Pay

    Clayton News Daily-Online (MD), February 2, 2006

    As Piedmont librarian for 32 years, Paula Boggs has watched generations of children pass through the doors of the corner library on Child’s Avenue. When the two major funding sources for the library—the Allegany and Mineral County United Way—didn’t reach their goal this year, she knew there was a possibility the building she spent her life in would be forced to slash hours or even close completely.

    “Right now … Read the rest

  • Librarians Vote in Favor of Forming Labor Union

    Saying they wanted a stronger voice, a majority of librarians at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County voted January 30th in favor of forming a union.

    The vote was 74-65 in favor; 141 employees were eligible to vote. Two did not vote.

    Recent budget cuts that resulted in staff reductions and reshuffling of some staff to part-time positions without health benefits sparked talks of union representation. Read the full article.… Read the rest

  • Diversity Research Grants Call for Proposals

    The American Library Association’s Office for Diversity is pleased to announce its 2006–2007 Diversity Research Grants Call for Proposals. Grant proposals should address one of the following three topics:

    1. An Active Learning and Service Approach to Diversity in Small or Rural Libraries
    2. Emerging Technologies and Services to Diverse Populations
    3. The Role of the Diversity Committee, Liaison, or Officer in the Creation of Institutional Change in Libraries

    The ALA Office for Diversity began sponsorship of the Diversity Research Grant program in … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • American Library Association offers e-Learning Service for members

    CHICAGO-The American Library Association (ALA) has contracted with the Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN) to make more than 1,500 e-learning courses from Element K®, the largest provider of Web-based courseware in the country, available to ALA members at affordable prices starting January 20, 2006.

    The ALA e-Learning Services provides learning opportunities for members at all levels in all types of libraries. The courses from Element K ® include those that are instructor-led and self-paced. Courses will be … Read the rest

  • What’s Stopping You?

    Achieving Success by Avoiding Procrastination

    By Julius Rhodes

    As a child I often heard my parents say, ‘never put off ’till tomorrow what you can do today’. Unfortunately in our society today more often than not we are faced with a reversal of fortune that says, ‘never do today what you can put off ’til tomorrow.’

    Procrastination is not only rampant in our world but it has reached epidemic if not pandemic proportions. During our nation’s formative years and the … Read the rest

  • Where Is Norman Rockwell When You Need Him?

    Appreciating the Results of Challenges

    Editor’s Note: In the December issue, Larry White wrote a convincing argument about why he has chosen to take positions that seemed like losing propositions. He said it was worth the headaches to overcome workplace challenges because he has developed his leadership abilities and professional skills. We invite you to respond to this article.

    In one of my more recent librarian incarnations, I served as a Library Director for … Read the rest


  • Seven Courses Approved for Public Library Administrator Certification Program

    Chicago—The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association Certified Public Library Administrator Program (CPLA) Certification Review Committee has approved seven courses in its first provider application review during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

    The approved courses cover all four core standards as well as two of the five electives. The standards and providers for core standards are:

    • Budget and Finance, taught by William Sannwald, sponsored by ALA’s Library Administrators and Management Association (LAMA);
    • Management of Technology, taught
    Read the rest

HR Practice

  • Editorial

    Health Insurance Problems and Solutions in Libraries

    Editor’s Note: After reading this editorial, please consider responding to the questions at the end.

    Library Journal recently reported that entry level salaries for librarians entering the job market in 2004 rose by 2.91% past 2003 levels. Although this increase does not keep up with inflation, hovering around 3.5%, it is much better than the previous year (October 15, 2005 online edition). Unfortunately, from the view of many library employees … Read the rest

  • Evaluation Instruments—More than the Forms.

    Of all the human resources issues and management responsibilities “out there,” evaluating employees is the most hated. Managers hate to evaluate; employees hate to be evaluated. It doesn’t seem to matter whether employees feel they are doing well or not, and it doesn’t seem to matter if managers are going to give an employee a good evaluation or a bad one—everyone hates to evaluate. Evaluations should be taken as an opportunity to sum up and provide … Read the rest


  • Working@Your Library Free Video Guide

    Remember the video—Working@Your Library: For Love or Money? It now has a FREE detailed guide to accompany it that will help those who are convincing your colleagues, managers, trustees, and elected officials that it is fair and possible to align library workers’ salaries with those positions requiring similar education and responsibility.

    Working@Your Library is a ground-breaking video that:

    1. Illustrates the importance of work done by library workers
    2. Highlights the variety of work done by library workers
    3. Emphasizes the inequities of
    Read the rest


  • Finding Local Library Salaries

    Not Just from Black Box Web Sites

    For most, the job seeking and negotiating salary and benefits process can seem like a daunting task. Naturally, people looking for work find it easy to first consult the Web.

    Job posting and salary information can be accessed on several popular Web sites. Unfortunately, many library job notices simply mention something like “salary commensurate with education and experience.” The most commonly used tool in the salary negotiation toolkit is … Read the rest

Support Staff

  • Keep Your Job Growing

    Editor’s Note: This is the first submission vetted by our new volunteer editor, Catherine Hakala-Ausperk, Deputy Director of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, Ohio. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer editor, please contact ALA-APA.

    You finally got the job you’ve always wanted (or needed) as a library support staff employee! Everyday you arrive at work happy to be there, learning the job, making new friends. Day after day you are doing the same … Read the rest

  • IN TRIBUTE: Gerald Hodges, a True Friend to Support Staff

    Gerald Hodges, Associate Executive Director for Communications and Marketing for the American Library Association, passed away on Jan. 10. Honoring his wishes, there will be no formal funeral services.

    Library support staff are indebted to Gerald for his tireless recruiting efforts, resulting in our increased participation and visibility at all levels of ALA. Gerald and the ALA Office of Membership aggressively promoted the $59 LSSIRT/RUSA/ALCTS Special Membership Initiative, and later spear-headed a new member category enabling support … Read the rest


  • Librarianship Is an Excellent Career!

    Librarianship was on the list of “Excellent Careers for 2006” in an article by Marty Nemko, in the U.S. News & World Report, posted on January 5, 2006. Nemko says it’s an underrated career and predicts job growth for librarians in nontraditional settings. Other careers on the list are audiologists, pharmacists, personal coaches and landscape architects. He focuses on the unique and perhaps unknown features of the professions, presenting a balanced viewpoint of opportunities and disadvantages.

    www.usnews.com/usnews/biztech/articles/060105/5careers_excellent.htmRead the rest

  • Library Worker By Day, Blogger By Night

    Using Blogs to Increase Visibility in Your Library

    Looking for a fun place to take your break? Don’t move! The blogosphere is your ticket to knowledge as current as today’s entry. Either an informed library worker sharing ideas with colleagues, or a speaker on behalf of a whole library system, bloggers and blogs are the latest technology to increase awareness among library users.

    Before I attended the “Scholars in Residence” program at Chicago’s Herald Washington Library Center … Read the rest