Volume 4, No. 11 • November 2007


  • Libraries without Librarians

    The Threat of Deprofessionalization

    When I tell people that I earned an MLS so that I could become a librarian, I am invariably met by a blank look and a question: “Why do you need a master’s degree to do that?” I still have trouble addressing this question. How do I sum up what it means to be a professional to someone who has a firm and longstanding impression that just anyone can be a librarian? Worse … Read the rest

  • Nominees Sought for $5,000 Award for Improving Library Workers’ Salaries and Status

    The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) is seeking nominees, both individuals and organizations, that have made a positive change in the salaries or status of librarians and/or support staff. The Award Jury is looking forward to receiving the stories of champions that have had a local, regional or national impact. The winner will receive a $5000 award, thanks to the SirsiDynix Corporation. Each nominee must have three nominations using the electronic application form at www.ala-apa.org/salaries/sirsidynixnominationform.html. The deadline is … Read the rest


  • Loan Forgiveness for Librarians in the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007

    A major victory has been scored on behalf of students and librarians nationwide: H.R. 2669, “The College Cost Reduction Act of 2007” offers loan forgiveness to those who hold public service jobs (including librarians in public libraries and public schools) after 10 years of service.

    The act will also boost scholarships and reduce loan and tuition costs. President George W. Bush signed the bill into law on September 27, 2007, and most of the changes took effect on October 1, … Read the rest

  • This Account’s Long OVERDUE:

    Victoria (Canada) Library Workers Get Loud With Public Campaigns On Pay Equity

    VICTORIA — The message on the picket sign said it all: “Shhh … We’ve been quiet too long. Pay Equity Now!”

    A familiar refrain on picket signs throughout Greater Victoria on September 13, the decade-long fight for pay equity was a top issue as members of CUPE 410 hit the sidewalks this fall in the first-ever strike … Read the rest

  • California School Librarian Testifies on ESEA, NCLB Reauthorization

    WASHINGTON — On September 10, 2007, California school librarian Mary K. Poeck testified on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the importance of having a highly qualified school library media specialist in every school.

    The ESEA, which regulates the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), is being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, and Ms. Poeck’s testimony spoke to the vital role of the school library in education and … Read the rest

  • Libraries Weigh Merger with Borough

    A discussion about combining the city libraries with the borough library system raises serious questions about salaries, benefits and union affiliation for library workers in neighboring cities Wasilla and Palmer, Alaska.

    For years, borough officials and library directors have wrangled over city library funding. In May 2007, Matanuska-Susitna Borough officials unveiled a plan to reduce library funding each year, eliminating it completely by 2011.

    City and borough library met to … Read the rest

  • Pueblo Library Budget Jumps $700,000 for 2008

    Increased Revenue Due to Higher Assessed Valuation in County

    Pueblo City-County Library District trustees approved a $7.65 million 2008 budget Thursday night, and Pueblo Library employees will enjoy a larger staff and increased pay.

    The budget is up nearly $700,000 from this year’s, thanks to an 11.9 percent increase in assessed valuation in the county.

    Most of the increase in revenue will go to cover higher operating expenditures for salaries … Read the rest

  • Privatization Opens Libraries’ Doors Only to Kick Employee Retirement Plans to the Curb

    For-Profit Libraries A Sad Story

    Jackson County (OR) Libraries Put On Profit Basis

    Fifteen libraries of Jackson County, Oregon, shuttered in April due to lack of county funding were reopened with private monies. The libraries are now run by a Maryland corporation rather than local government. But these libraries are now staffed by fewer employees who work fewer hours for fewer benefits.

    Residents in … Read the rest

  • Library Journal Seeks Nominations for 2008 Movers and Shakers

    It’s time once again to make your nominations for Library Journal’s Movers and Shakers issue, www.libraryjournal.com/info/CA606274.html. This supplement to the March 15 issue will profile “50-plus up-and-coming individuals from across the United States and Canada who are innovative, creative, and making a difference” in the profession. If you nominated somebody before November 5, that nomination did not survive a major server glitch. We’re hoping you will renominate that person, either using the online form, printing it out and faxing … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • Oh, the Places You Will Go!

    Educators and librarians often help students learn about places we have never been. The Transatlantic Outreach Program offered by the Goethe Institute is an excellent opportunity for those in our field to experience a different culture firsthand. The program targets K-12 instructors, but academic librarians who influence social studies education curriculum, especially collection development, are also eligible.

    This past July I was fortunate to spend two weeks touring Germany with an outstanding group of educators. We attended … Read the rest


HR Practice

  • Employee Resistance to Change

    An employee who resists change by not participating or making contrary choices can hinder the success of the change as well as employee productivity and morale. For the good of the employees and the organization, managers must learn to facilitate the introduction of changes into the workplace.

    According to Bolognese (2002), we must first define the meaning of resistance in order to understand it better. For the purposes of this article, resistance may … Read the rest


  • ARL Redesigns MLS Graduate Student Résumé Database

    Washington DC — The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has redesigned its MLS Graduate Student Résumé Database, which allows graduate students within six to eight months of completing an MLS program or within six to eight months of completing a post-MLS residency program to post their résumés in one of the most visited online recruitment services in the academic and research library community.

    This unique service enables human resources staff at ARL member libraries and other subscribing institutions to target … Read the rest



  • By the Numbers

    Reprinted with permission from the Management Association of Illinois’s Web site, www.hrsource.org. The article was posted on October 19, 2007.

    A recent workplace Index Survey of formal and informal methods used to disperse company news found that gossip is still alive and well in the workplace.

    700 office workers throughout the United States were surveyed, and results show that 80% believe their organization uses a consistent method of communicating news or announcements. 59% say … Read the rest

Support Staff

  • Librarians and Support Staff Working Together

    Pride and Prejudice or Sense And Sensibility?

    Many years ago, when working for a large architectural engineering firm, I listened to a Computer Aided Design (CAD) designer complain that because he wasn’t an engineer he felt like a second class citizen; he compared his plight to “working at a hospital and not being a doctor.” Little did I know that this man’s dissatisfaction with one company is part of a widespread phenomenon. It can be found anywhere … Read the rest

  • Sage Library Support Staff Travel Grants

    The Travel Grants (six to be awarded) make it possible for library support staff to attend the ALA Annual Conference to be held in the summer of 2008 in Anaheim, Calif. Sage Publications donates six grants of up to $1,000 to cover the expense of attending the conference which includes airfare, three nights lodging and conference registration for each recipient. Library Support Staff who currently are employed in a full time support staff position, have a minimum of three years … Read the rest


  • Workplace Wellness Survey Reveals Correlation Between Work-Life Initiative Availability, Participation

    The second installment of Library Worklife’s discussion of the 2007 Library Workplace Wellness online survey will identify trends by type of library (academic, public, special and “other,” an option provided by the survey to employees who do not work in the other three). The first section, Employer Options, will study the activities or initiatives offered by employers. Using data from the survey we will compare the average number of initiatives offered by each type of library. The … Read the rest

  • Library Workers Urged to Participate in Survey of Workplace Wellness in Libraries

    CHICAGO — The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) is encouraging library employees to participate in its Library Workplace Wellness online survey. The survey provides an important opportunity for library employees to share information about the availability of, and their participation in, work-life options in libraries around the nation. The online survey will be available through December 14, 2007.

    “Like many other professions, we know that library workers experience stressors of doing more with less, increasing expectations from users … Read the rest

HR Law

  • Saving for Retirement

    The Onus Is on the Individual Now More than Ever

    Will you have enough money to retire? Try one of the following online calculators. Each considers your current age, income, investments, Social Security benefits and savings rate plus future rates of return and inflation. Each shows the effect of increasing (or decreasing) your contribution to a 401(k) or other pension plan. For example, the Smart Money calculator shows that a 40-year old employee, earning $55,000 per year … Read the rest

  • Wellness Benefits Overview FAQ

    How Libraries Encourage Healthier Staff

    Q: What are wellness benefits or programs?

    A: Employers are increasingly using a variety of ways to encourage employees to live a healthy lifestyle, and thus increase productivity and longevity on the job. Some examples include:

    • Cash Health Incentive Program (CHIP): A cash incentive program to promote healthy behaviors. The program is based on a point system where employees earn points for participation in different employee wellness programs.
    • Discounted fitness center membership
    Read the rest

LW Tip

  • LW Tip

    An article in Volume 4, Number 10 (October 2007) entitled “Burnout in Academic Libraries” incorrectly attributed authorship. The article was written by Julia Huprich, not James Castiglione. Library Worklife regrets the error.

    Library Worklife welcomes comments and suggestions, or complaints about errors that warrant correction. Messages may be e-mailed to jgrady@ala.org or jbragg@ala.org.… Read the rest