Volume 3, No. 5 • May 2006


  • Better Pay, Reduced Workweek Hours and Improved Benefits Revived Montville Township (NJ) Public Library

    Already established substandard wages, poor productivity, bad morale, high staff turnover, mediocre customer service, a non-competitive workweek, poor workplace conditions and facing hostile collective bargaining negotiations just around the corner, the outlook for improved wages and work conditions seemed hopeless. The year was 2003 and the union contract had already expired. As the newest director at the Montville Township Public Library, following a series of rotating directors, I had to remind myself why I accepted the Director … Read the rest

  • Winners of the SirsiDynix ALA-APA Award Spread the Word about Salaries

    In April and May we are featuring the winners of the 2006 SirsiDynix—ALA-APA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Promoting Salaries and Status for Library Workers. Elissa Cadillic is the current President of AFSCME, Council 93, Local 1526 at the Boston Public Library, Boston, Massachusetts (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees). In April, we interviewed James Fish, Director of Baltimore County Public Libraries.

    LW: Describe your process of advocating for better wages.Read the rest


  • Loriene Roy Elected ALA and ALA-APA President for 2007–2008

    Loriene Roy, professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information, has been elected president of the American Library Association (ALA) and the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) for the 2007–2008 term. Roy won over William Crowe, director of the University of Kansas’ (KU) Kenneth Spencer Research Library. [See Roy’s statement of her commitment to the missions of ALA-APA in the April issue of Library Worklife.]

    As ALA and ALA-APA president, Roy will be the chief … Read the rest

  • Volunteer Editors and Columnists Wanted!

    ALA-APA is seeking volunteer editors and regular columnists for Library Worklife: HR E-News for Today’s Leaders. This electronic publication reaches thousands of libraries and library workers each month, delivering high quality content in the following areas:

    • Career Advancement
    • Certification
    • HR Law & Regulation
    • HR Practice
    • Recruitment
    • Salaries & Pay Equity
    • Spotlight
    • Statistics
    • Support Staff
    • Maintaining the Work/Life  Balance

    Volunteer editors would be expected to secure a minimum of four and maximum of six manuscripts/articles for only one category of the … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • References Are Key to Job Search Success

    By Elisa F. Topper

    Editor’s Note: We welcome Elisa as one of newest regular feature writers.

    A mistake that job seekers make unknowingly is not selecting the best people to serve as their references. Countless articles have been written on resume writing, interviewing and the entire job search process, but few on how to use references to your best advantage. Once candidates have been narrowed down in the search process, often the references may be the deciding factor when candidates … Read the rest


HR Practice

  • Your Library’s Future

    Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Library Journal. Originally published in vol. 129, no. 17 (Oct. 15, 2004).

    We read the stories in the paper: an organization with tremendous influence goes from leading edge to leaderless in one horrible stroke of fate. Recently [April 2004], McDonald’s Corporation announced the sudden death of its chair and CEO, Jim Cantalupo. Yet the … Read the rest


  • A Rose by Any Other Name.

    What’s the “real” story about the library and information workforce today? We don’t know. What’s the real story about the library and information workforce of tomorrow? Frankly, we don’t know that either.

    There has been, however, much discussion including: not-one-but-two congresses; workshops—including my very own; IMLS leadership grants; strategic plans of associations; consortia and institutions; symposiums; dissertations; and buckets of opinion. Will there be a consensus? Is it possible to achieve a real direction for the near … Read the rest


  • Compensation Strategies Used in Public and Academic Libraries

    A Report from the 2005 Survey of Librarian Salaries

    It is important for librarians to know how their salaries are determined. It may be one question that can be asked by new librarians, either during the interview or after an offer is made: “How is the library funded and how are salaries and other compensation determined?” How much do current employees understand about the compensation plan? Is there a plan?

    Each year, the Survey of Librarian Salaries includes one or … Read the rest

Support Staff

  • Journal Yourself to Success!

    Editor’s Note: We thank Catherine Hakala-Ausperk, Deputy Director of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, our first Volunteer Editor, for finding excellent writers. Interested in becoming a volunteer editor? Contact jgrady@ala.org.

    Professional development has a place for every employee at any level in any organization. Keeping your own professional development going is so important in today’s job market, where expected skills, knowledge and abilities can change so quickly. And, whether you are a new grad in … Read the rest


  • Rejuvenating your Computing Experience

    Let’s face it: being on a computer everyday isn’t always a pleasant experience. Although useful, computers can be a source of mental and physical drain. As we perform through our workdays, we interact with the same digital tasks, applications, documents, websites and user interfaces, creating an atmosphere plagued by repetitiveness. If we combine this with poor physical posture and lighting conditions, the computing experience can be downright torture for our minds and bodies. The good news is … Read the rest

HR Law

  • Plain Talk about the Medicare Part D Deadline

    In the news: understanding the new Medicare prescription drug benefit

    Trying to help aging parents or others figure out the new Medicare prescription drug benefit before the May 15 deadline to sign up? The Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 made prescription drug coverage available to senior citizens and other Medicare recipients effective January 1, 2006, but it did not make it easy. Confusion abounds in part because there is no single Medicare prescription drug plan. Instead, seniors … Read the rest