Volume 4, No. 1 • January 2007


  • Ignored Too Long

    The Benefits of Managing a Library with a Union, Part II

    (This article is adapted from the program sponsored by American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) at the American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans on June 25, 2006. This article does not explicitly speak for the author’s employers, employees or coworkers.)

    At an institution with 230 full-time and 120–140 adjunct unionized faculty, and 110 unionized support staff, library faculty … Read the rest


  • The Changing Role of Librarians;As New Technologies Revolutionize Job, Low Pay Could Hinder Growth

    Though librarians continue to staff reference desks and collect library fines, their role is expanding to embrace Internet access, search engines, and other new technologies.

    And seismic shifts in job descriptions are matched by the changing landscape of today’s libraries. Many public libraries feature cafes, shops, and multi-purpose community rooms that can accommodate business meetings as easily as it can screen sporting events.

    But the opportunity to reinvent … Read the rest

  • Library System Caught in Budget Squeeze

    Original article by Mary Lane Gallagher, The Bellingham Herald (WA), December 21, 2006

    The Whatcom County Library System’s 2007 budget leaves them with a deficit of half a million dollars. Though savings will cover this year’s shortage, officials worry they may need to reduce future spending.

    The system is based in Bellingham, Washington, and nine branches and a bookmobile serve the surrounding communities. The deficit results from increased spending, including the first budget increase for materials in years. But director … Read the rest

  • Piermont Library Budget Passed

    Original article by Gerald McKinstry, The Journal News (Westchester County, NY), December 3, 2006

    Rising insurance, retirement and maintenance costs in the Piermont Library will require the average property owner to pay about $11 more for library services. The proposed 2007-2008 budget calls for a 9.9% tax increase.

    A great part of the expense stems from initial operating costs at the new Dennis P. McHugh Piermont Public Library, which is expected to open this year. The expenses were higher than … Read the rest

  • Keeping Libraries Open Is Worth a Risk; Don’t Permanently Shutter Three Crime-Fighting Assets

    Originally published in the Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), December 14, 2006

    Three libraries in the Minnesota Library System are offered a one-time budget increase to enable them to keep their doors open, but the sum may not be sufficient to maintain either library workers or library hours.

    Though many council members expressed concern that permanent funding for these three libraries would drain the budgets of other important interests like public safety, the Library Board never asked the City Council to … Read the rest

  • ALA [and ALA-APA] President Leslie Burger Visits the University at Buffalo

    By Jennifer E. Graham, http://jennimi.wordpress.com/tag/library, November 11, 2006

    On November 10, ALA President Leslie Burger addressed students at the University of Buffalo (NY). Burger presented her presidential initiative, “Be a Transformative Librarian,” stressing the library’s role as community center. She also discussed emerging trends in technology and information science.

    In a question-and-answer session after her speech, Burger discussed her plans for meeting with University of Buffalo Provost Tripathi and Interim Dean Lucinda Finley. She said she would advocate for … Read the rest

  • Detroit’s Teachers Union Ousts Leader

    Original article by Stan Donaldson and John Masson, December 3, 2006

    The Detroit Federation of Teachers, whose membership includes school media specialists, voted out incumbent president Jenna Garrison in favor of her Vice-President, Virginia Cantrell.

    Garrison served as president for the last six years. Many believe the turnover reflects disappointment with the results of last fall’s strike. Garrison ended the strike when she signed a controversial teaching contract. The three-year contract requires teachers to pay higher health insurance premiums while … Read the rest

  • Pelosi to Fast‑Track Minimum Wage Bill

    Original article by Jeannine Aversa, Associated Press Economics Writer, December 4, 2006

    Nancy Pelosi, incoming House Speaker, plans to fast-track efforts to raise the federal minimum wage. She hopes to introduce legislation to the House floor this month.

    Pelosi has set the federal wage as a top priority for the 110th Congress, which convenes January 4. The new legislation will probably request a phased-in increase in the current federal minimum wage of $5.15/hour to $7.25/hour.

    Brendan Daly, Pelosi’s spokesman, … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • Where in the World Will Librarianship Take You?

    Now that the New Year is upon us what was your New Year’s resolution? Was it to get better organized, lose weight, stop smoking, or spend more time with family and friends? How many of you listed a resolution that was about your job or career?

    Having just returned from attending my third visit to the Guadalajara Book Fair, my thoughts are focused on what an impact participating in an international activity can have on you … Read the rest

  • No One Ever Told Me My Job Would Include…

    In my career as a library professional I’ve often found myself working outside my job description. In 2002 I accepted a position at Tennessee State University (Nashville, TN) as a User Services Librarian. My job description billed me as a reference librarian. Though I had a degree from Computer Tech’s (Fairmont, WV) PC/LAN program, my job description did not include any computer network responsibilities. But today’s libraries live and breathe technology, … Read the rest

HR Practice

  • The Basics of Tattoos in the Workplace

    Reprinted with permission from the Management Association of Illinois’s Web site, www.hrsource.org.  The article was posted on January 2, 2007.

    Employees with tattoos are becoming more prevalent, and they are not only younger employees. In fact, tattoos are becoming in vogue for all generations. Must employers permit employees to display visible tattoos?

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires an employer to accommodate an employee’s bona fide … Read the rest


  • Library Salary Survey(s) Coming Soon!

    Library Directors and Human Resources Managers—check your mail around the beginning of February.  The letter from ALA-APA announcing Web-based data collection for the annual salary survey of librarians and Non-MLS staff positions will be sent to 1,982 public libraries and 1,497 academic libraries of all sizes.  This year, for your convenience, the two salary surveys will be combined into one, covering both MLS and Non-MLS titles.  There are slight revisions to the job titles and descriptions, also in response to … Read the rest


HR Law

  • Paid Sick Leave on Agenda for New Democratic Majority

    Do you go to work when you are sick, committing “presenteeism” because you fear being accused of absenteeism?  Do you send your kids to school when they’re sick because you can’t stay home with them?  Do you fear that your neighbors do the same, and their kids infect your kids?  According to a women’s group that pushed Congress to pass the Family and Medical Leave Act in 1993, 86 million U.S. workers have no paid sick leave … Read the rest