Volume 5, No. 1 • January 2008

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  • What’s Mine is Mine, What’s Yours is Mine

    Employees often cultivate singular relationships with their work computers. In most cases they spend more hours interacting with this machine than any living being. Furthermore, their computer literally connects them to the rest of the world, allowing them access to an unprecedented amount of information on a daily basis. This attachment to leads to strange rituals in which the employee attempts to personalize the computer with certain screen savers or background images. In fact, it … Read the rest


  • National Archives Budget Increased for FY08

    Of the federal funds awarded to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) on December 26, $800,000 is earmarked to hire staff archivists to replace those who have left the agency in the past few years.

    The award of $411.1 million dollars marks an increase 20.5 percent over the Fiscal Year
    2007 level of $341.1 million. The funding was made possible by the $555 billion Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2007, which funds the parts … Read the rest

  • In Parents’ Book, Librarian Cuts Go Too Far

    In December, parents concerned about staff cuts and deprofessionalization in Washington State’s school libraries hand-delivered 2,500 signatures to a state government committee examining Washington’s school-funding system. The state-wide campaign hopes to restore jobs to school library workers.

    In general, the group wants the education code to designate school librarians an essential part of every child’s basic education. Local school districts, then, would have fewer options when it came to making … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • Moving Up, Over or Out—How to Decide What’s Right for You

    Whether you are a seasoned professional or new to the library vocation, librarian or support staff, there is a good chance that you will have more than one job in your career. Too often we manage our careers from the backseat; if we do a good job, won’t the big boss surely notice us and promote us?

    But the days of backseat driving in library and information science are over. Instead of waiting for your library to … Read the rest

  • The Promised Land

    Like many librarians-in-training, I began library school confident that my hard work would lead to a land of boundless opportunity. I was sure that just as I waited to begin my profession, that profession was waiting for me.

    Yet many of us have found that our “promised land” of steady work, a living wage and personal fulfillment does not live up to the milk and honey guaranteed by our teachers. Many newly-minted MLS graduates are disillusioned by … Read the rest

HR Practice

  • Be a Leader in the New Year: Have the Courage to Fire Non-Performers

    The New Year motivates us to clean house. But what if housekeeping means firing an employee? You don’t want to be the bad guy. You don’t want a confrontation or an ugly scene. And you certainly don’t want to invite a lawsuit.

    Yet firing an employee who isn’t working out can be an act of courage, especially if you’ve already worked with the employee to try to fix the problem.1 And the cost of keeping him … Read the rest


  • Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship: Leaders Wanted!

    Interested in a dynamic career in library and information science (LIS) education, research, or executive level administration?

    The Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship program is currently accepting applications for students beginning doctoral studies in the Fall of 2008.  The deadline to apply is January 18, 2008. More information and application materials can be found at www.ala.org/spectrumphd.

    About The Program

    The University of Pittsburgh and the American Library Association were pleased to announce in 2006 the creation of the Spectrum Doctoral Fellowship … Read the rest


  • SLA Announces Survey Results Showing Salary Increases Outpacing Inflation

    2007 Study Includes U.K. and European Data for the First Time

    On December 4, 2007, the Special Libraries Association (SLA) today announced the results of its annual salary survey. For the first time, the SLA Salary Survey and Workplace Study contains salary information and other data from respondents in Europe, including the U.K.

    According to the 2007 survey results, the average salary increases for SLA members in the U.S and Canada have outpaced inflation yet again. Based on salaries as … Read the rest


  • Library Staff Salaries 2007: Librarian Salaries Increase 2.8 Percent; Some Non-MLS Salaries in the Six-Figures

    By Jenifer Grady, Denise Davis and Jamie Bragg

    Results of the 2007 ALA-APA Salary Surveys offer hope for advocates of higher salaries for library workers. According to the surveys, the mean salary of librarians rose faster than some estimates of inflation. Six-figure salaries were reported for several non-MLS positions. This update will report highlights from two surveys: ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian—Public and Academic (Librarian Salary Survey) and ALA-APA Salary Survey: Non-MLS—Public and Academic (Non-MLS Salary Survey).… Read the rest

Support Staff

  • New Library Support Staff Certification Project (LSSCP) Website Announced

    The Library Support Staff Certification Program (LSSCP), a project to develop a national voluntary certification program for support staff in public and academic libraries, has a new website, http://www.ala-apa.org/lssc. The site houses informational documents, minutes from discussions by its Advisory Council and contact information for library associations and groups wanting to host conference or meeting presentations about the project.

    The American Library Association, in partnership with the Western Council of State Libraries, was awarded $407,111 by the Institute of … Read the rest


  • ALA-APA Workplace Wellness Survey Attracts 2,524 Responses

    Library Worklife is delighted to summarize the results of the 2007 Library Workplace Wellness online survey. The ALA-APA survey, available on SurveyMonkey from October 23, 2007 to January 2, 2008, received an overwhelming 2,524 responses. As striking as the number of respondents is the vast range of experiences and attitudes shared in the responses. We received comments from workers in public, academic, school and special libraries; from administration and support staff; from urban system headquarters and from branches in rural … Read the rest

HR Law


    Have you or someone you know heard the words, “It’s not working and we’re letting you go?” Have you wondered what an employer had to think about and/or do before making this announcement? An employer must consider the following legal ramifications and documentation issues before discharging an employee.

    Most U.S. employees are governed by the termination, or employment-at-will, doctrine. Under this doctrine, an employer may fire an employee with or without cause, and an employee … Read the rest

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