Volume 4, No. 12 • December 2007


  • Invaluable Service, Equitable Pay: New York Times Librarian of the Year Award Winner Carol Finch

    Carol Finch is the Children and Teen Services Coordinator for the Burton Barr Public Library in Phoenix, AZ, and she was named one of the New York Times Librarians of the Year for 2006. She has been involved with her library’s “Teen Central” project, which created dedicated teen space and programs, and a variety of reading programs, including helping her library serve as an “Every Child Ready to Read” test site.

    LW: What motivated you to become Read the rest

  • The Politics of Politics

    I was having lunch the other day with an administrator at our university. I have worked with this gentleman for a number of years and like him both personally and professionally. In the midst of everyday lunchtime chatting, he suddenly asked, “So who do you think will be our next President?” And I thought, “Oh boy. It’s starting.” Another election year is upon us, and soon my colleagues throughout the academy will have another excuse to talk … Read the rest


  • ‘Tis The Season to Be Working

    Survey Shows Many Employees Aren’t Taking Extra Days Off during the Holidays

    (Editor’s Note: The holidays are particularly stressful, but library workers experience stressors year-round: doing more with less, increasing expectations from users and information overload. Does your employer offer work-life possibilities like alternative work schedules, wellness classes, health screenings and onsite childcare? The 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 … Read the rest

  • New library brings fiscal tradeoffs

    With many cuts already made, will taxes rise or services drop?

    Construction problems have left the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library millions in debt, and the library board looks to payroll to cut costs, limiting employee raises and benefits to keep its tax rate from increasing.

    But one money-saving measure has proved particularly controversial: the library has been replacing higher-paid librarians with hourly paid clerks.

    Library Board President Louis Mahern supports … Read the rest

  • Statewide Petition Launched In Support Of School Libraries And Information Technology

    Supporters Travel to Olympia to Hand-Deliver Petition to the Joint Task Force on Basic Education Finance

    Spokane, Washington, November 19, 2007: A statewide petition to provide Washington citizens a forum to voice their support of school library programs launched on November 15. The authors of the petition, who are in the process of forming a statewide coalition to advocate for school libraries and information technology, will submit petition signatures and comments at Monday’s meeting of the bipartisan Joint Task Force … Read the rest

  • Vote Adds To Library’s Staff

    The Ashland Public Library (MA) will hire a part-time staff member after residents last week voted to spend $15,000 to fund the position. The appropriation, taken from the town’s free-cash account, was approved at the request of library trustees during Special Town Meeting on Nov. 14. Trustees said the library is severely understaffed, to the point that one absent staff member can mean the children’s room has to be closed.… Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • A Book by Its Cover

    In screening applicants for a job, one can never read too much about what to look for in an applicant’s cover letter and application packet. I have included information on this human resource issue for both applicants and managers in articles in some form or another these past years, but a recent wave of retirements as well as new positions prompted me to revisit my list of “what I must see” and what “I would … Read the rest

HR Practice


  • Mentoring in Libraries

    New staff members can greatly benefit from mentoring programs in libraries. Both formal and informal mentoring can lead to increased job satisfaction and employee retention; satisfied, trained employees provide better service to library customers. It makes sense for library management encourage formal and informal mentoring among its staff.

    Galbraith acknowledges that “there is no widely accepted definition of mentoring” (2003) but that there are many different views about what it incorporates. Hilbun and … Read the rest


  • WAGE’s $TART $MART Workshops Teach Students Salary Negotiation

    In late November, Women Are Getting Even (WAGE) completed its fall 2007 pilot of $TART $MART Campus Workshops to teach college women how to benchmark the salaries of the jobs they want when they graduate and how to negotiate for that salary. In all, nine colleges and universities participated involving over 300 women and 3 men of varying ethnic origins and income.

    On every campus, evaluations submitted by participants gave this pilot rave reviews on format, content, pace and quality … Read the rest


  • Librarian Salaries 2006

    Beginning Librarian Salaries Improve

    A summary of the findings of the 2007 ALA-APA Salary Surveys will be published in our January 2008 issue of Library Worklife. To provide context for that data, this month we will examine trends seen in 2006.

    In 2006 the ALA Librarian Salary Survey had a new title, a new name and good news for beginning librarians. In both public and academic libraries, beginning salaries had average salary growth from … Read the rest

Support Staff

  • Supporting Change in Libraries

    Today’s libraries – large and small, public and academic – are forced to reevaluate their tools and services to remain culturally relevant. The alternative, we are told, is extinction.

    What force compels such reevaluation? Technology has forever changed the way we process and disseminate information. But at the heart of the need for change are the needs of our users and the cultures of our organizations. No one knows this better than the frontline staff – the … Read the rest


  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

    Hazard for Library Workers

    Are you at risk for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? One in ten adults suffer from irreversible nerve damage caused by CTS. And library and information science professionals regularly engage in repetitive hand motions (typing, shelving, filing) that make them particularly susceptible to this condition. Nine years ago I developed CTS due to long hours of typing in a library.

    Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a medical condition in which the median nerve is compressed at Read the rest

HR Law

  • Who and What is the FMCS?

    Reprinted with permission from the Management Association of Illinois’s Web site, www.hrsource.org. The article was posted on November 15, 2007.

    For years, employers have relied on the experience, professionalism and neutrality of the mediators at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) when involved inchallenging union contact negotiations. We invited Mr. Tom Jeffery, a mediator at FMCS’s local office in Hinsdale, to Read the rest