Volume 5, No. 7 • July 2008


  • A Journey in Itself: My Career Path in Unions and Librarianship

    At one point in my life, I believe that I was truly the “hardest working woman in librarianship” as I was holding down four library jobs at the same time. I was working full-time in my current position as Librarian for the National Labor College, Monday nights at the library of the Maple Springs Baptist Bible College & Seminary, Tuesday nights at the Center to Protect Workers Rights Library, and Sunday afternoons as a Sunday Substitute Librarian … Read the rest


  • Libraries team up for weight-loss challenge

    Library employees in Whitehall and South Park, PA, will compete to lose weight and adopt a healthier lifestyle. The contest, called “The Biggest Loser,” began on Memorial Day and will end on Labor Day.

    The contest was the idea of Susan Mahoney, Whitehall library’s program director, and Donna Neiport, South Park library’s adult services coordinator.

    Teams will divide into two categories. Walkers in the 10,000 Steps Team will use pedometers … Read the rest

  • Library Funding Before Board

    The city of Eunice is expected to increase the amount of financial support it provides to the Opelousas-Eunice Public Library System. If the budget is approved, the library board plans to use the surplus to adjust the salaries of library workers.

    This increase follows Opelousas’ $29,000 expense to bring all salaries to minimum wage. The library also received a $11,000 increase under former Mayor Anna Simmons’ administration.

    Each city is responsible for maintaining … Read the rest

  • County Library May Reduce Staff Because Of Budget Woes

    The Hennepin County Library plans to cut about 50 positions from its staff of more than 700 in order to swallow higher-than-expected costs that it disclosed this week.

    According to preliminary data given to the Library Board this week, budget staffers have identified 46 to 51 positions that could be cut in 2009. Because some employees work part time, those possible cuts could affect more than that number of people.… Read the rest

  • Library Closings Opposed; Group Plans ‘Read-In’ Today and Hartford Public Library Cuts Looming;

    The System’s Board Plans To Close Two Branches, Lay Off 40 To Make Ends Meet

    A neighborhood group staged a June 30 “read-in” at the Hartford (CT) Public Library to protest a proposal to close two branches and lay off 40 library employees.

    Library Board President Geraldine Sullivan said that the Blue Hills and Mark Twain … Read the rest

  • Spokane Moms Campaign Grass-Roots Success Story; South Hill Women Raise Awareness, Help To Restore Library Funding

    Thanks largely to the lobbying efforts of three women who have become heroes among librarians nationwide, Spokane Public Schools is restoring some of the funding cut from elementary libraries last year.

    The school district last year cut $350,000 in library money, part of $10.8 million in budget cuts. That meant 10 librarians were reduced to part-time hours.

    In response to the cuts, Spokane mothers Lisa Layera Brunkan, Denette Hill and … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • Learning to be Resilient at Work

    Whether they face departmental reorganizations, technological upgrades, library renovations or budget cuts, library workers must adjust to change. Over the years I have noted common characteristics among co-workers who not only recover easily from change but in fact thrive on it. I was happy to see those same characteristics cited in social psychology literature as factors that can help employees become more resilient.

    The three traits that this literature most often associates with resilience are commitment, a … Read the rest


  • Certified Public Library Administrator Program Approves Seven New Candidates

    CHICAGO – The Certified Public Library Administrator Program (CPLA) Certification Review Committee (CRC) committee approved seven new candidates at the 2008 American Library Association Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA. The Certification Review Committee (CPLA CRC) was pleased to announce that the program now has 106 candidates and seven graduates.

    The Certified Public Library Administrator program is a voluntary post-MLS certification program for public librarians with three years or more of supervisory experience and ALA-accredited master’s degrees in library and information … Read the rest

HR Practice

  • Joining a Union

    Working within a union can be a very effective strategy to achieve pay equity and better salaries. The Bureau of National Affairs notes that union librarians made an average of 44 percent more than nonunion librarians in 2005. The 2006 ALA-APA Salary Survey: Non-MLS – Public and Academic showed similar results. Union library assistants made 41 percent more than non-union assistants. Thirty-one percent of librarians and 15 percent of library technicians were covered by a collective … Read the rest

  • ALA Council Adopts Resolution Supporting Working Women as Caregivers

    On January 16, 2008, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, ALA Council adopted ALA CD#41, Resolution in Support of Women as Caregivers in the Workforce, which read: “That the American Library Association recognizes the responsibility of libraries to help all employees that are family caregivers; and that the American Library Association will form a task force to study and recommend to the Council of the American Library Association specific programs that libraries can use to support their employees … Read the rest


  • HR-ology: Reasonable Recruiting Area

    Reprinted with permission from the Management Association of Illinois’s Web site, www.hrsource.org. The article was posted on July 1, 2008.

    Reasonable recruiting area is a term used in written affirmative action programs (AAPs), which are required of federal contractors and subcontractors with 50 or more employees and $50,000 or more in contracts.

    Part of an AAP involves using data from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine the number of … Read the rest


  • Living Wage Resolution Passed by ALA-APA Council

    The ALA-APA Council passed a living wage resolution for library employees at the American Library Association meeting in Anaheim, California.  On Monday, June 30, the ALA-APA Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers, represented by incoming chair Patty Anderson, brought forward a resolution supporting the annual updating of the $40,000 minimum salary for librarians and recommending a salary of $13 an hour for library workers, also to be updated annually.

    The $40,000 minimum is to be updated … Read the rest


  • MLS May Provide Edge in Non-MLS Library Positions; Early Career Specialization May Enhance Later Earnings


    The salary survey questionnaire developed by the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association: the Organization for Advancement of Library Employees (ALA-APA) was in its second year of data collection in 2007. The survey should assist current and prospective library employees in determining pay scale by geographic region as well as by departments and specializations within public and academic libraries. The survey included six jobs which bear the title of librarian but whose positions are not designated … Read the rest

Support Staff

  • COLT invites ALA-APA Director to Keynote at Annual Conference

    The Council on Library Technicians (COLT) 41st annual conference was held in Anaheim, CA, on June 26-27, 2008. The theme was “Library Support Staff: The Face of the Library.” COLT members were treated to a varied and full two-day event that began with a conversation with Jenifer Grady, ALA-APA Director. Her theme was a series of questions asking about what it means to be the face of the library and whether that face remains the same for all those who … Read the rest


  • Innovations in Employee Productivity Aids: Perks from the Private Sector May Apply to Libraries

    Several years ago, the U.S. Congress created a tax credit for businesses that incorporated an on-site day care. The purpose of this tax credit was to encourage employers to provide their employees who had young children with quality, affordable day care close to their children. One goal of the legislation was to improve day care with its extended benefits for the welfare of young children and their improved educational outlook. However, another benefit realized by … Read the rest