Volume 5, No. 8 • August 2008


  • The Blind Leading the Dyslexic

    [Editor’s note:  Cindy’s is the first of a 3-part series featuring members of the American Library Association’s Association for Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA) who are sensitive to the special access needs that can impact work in libraries.  For information about being a member of and/or providing service to populations with special needs, see the ASCLA website and ASCLA Tipsheets on accessibility issues.]

    My name is Cindy Nugent and I am dyslexic. Surprisingly to me, I … Read the rest


  • Allen Library Plans On More Self-Checkouts

    According to Library Director Jeff Krull, Indiana’s new property tax caps will force the Allen County Public Library to cut costs wherever possible, especially in personnel, who make up a large chunk of the library’s $17.1 million budget.

    On June 26, 2008, the Library Board of Trustees discussed a plan to automate its checkout services in 2009 to save money as the library faces a budget deficit in 2010. … Read the rest

  • Library backers planning fundraising drive

    For the last month, the Fitchburg (MA) Public Library has struggled to keep up with the workload brought on by a steep reduction in work hours and staff. The reduced hours and layoffs sprung from a 68 percent budget cut authorized by Fitchburg mayor Lisa A. Wong.

    In answer to Fitchburg’s $5 million budget deficit this year, Wong put forth a budget that cut library spending by $800,000, or … Read the rest

  • Library to add weekend hours starting Sept. 1

    The St. Joseph County Public Library (IN) is reducing its purchases, hours and staffing in order to cut operating expenses by 6 percent in 2008 and 12 percent for 2009. In addition to laying off employees, the library is asking workers to voluntarily reduce their work hours to help the budget.

    The cuts reflect the recent passage of Indiana’s property tax reform; the library expects to lose nearly a million … Read the rest

  • Milwaukee Public Budget Hearing:

    Nurses, librarians make plea, City workers argue against suggested job, service cuts

    In a July 29 meeting, librarians pleaded with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett not to cut their services and their jobs in next year’s city budget. A current proposal would close four neighborhood libraries.

    At the meeting, librarian Daniel Lee argued that libraries are as crucial as other publicly-funded services. Said Lee, “You would never talk about shutting one-third … Read the rest

  • Budget cuts forcing service cuts, closures

    WASHINGTON – Visits to libraries are up across the nation. So is
    circulation. But budget pressures are forcing many libraries to scale back hours or close.

    A study by Florida State University’s GeoLib research program finds that library funding and survival depend on community backing.

    According to the study, 134 libraries closed between 1999 and 2003. Though the libraries closed for a variety of reasons, GeoLib director Christie Koontz observed … Read the rest

  • Libraries In D.C. Plan Cuts In Hours; Budget Shortfall Would Also Close Kiosks

    As a result of $2 million in staff reductions in the 2009 budget, the D.C. public library system is planning a severe cutback in hours.

    However, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty is fighting to keep the libraries open. Says Carrie Brooks, Fenty’s spokeswoman, “The Mayor doesn’t believe that libraries should be forced to reduce hours, and the administration is committed to finding the money to resolve budget issues.”

    Over the last year the … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • “Toot Your Horn: How Librarians Can Increase Their Impact And Expand Their Sphere Of Influence”

    Annual Conference Program Highlights

    Library Employee, Promote Thyself

    Too often, library workers who are passionate advocates for libraries are unwilling or unable to advocate for themselves. At ALA-APA’s Annual Conference 2008 program “Toot Your Horn: How Librarians Can Increase Their Impact And Expand Their Sphere Of Influence,” keynote speaker Donna Cardillo advised library employees to take action to improve their image and the image of librarianship. Cardillo urged beginning horn-tooters to cultivate … Read the rest

  • ALSC to offer four online continuing education courses

    CHICAGO—The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), is offering four online continuing education courses this fall including: “Reading Instruction and Children’s Books” (Katherine Todd); “The Tech Savvy Booktalker” (Nancy J. Keane); “The Technology Enhanced Library Professional” (Sara Fisher); and “Sharing Poetry with Children” (Sylvia M. Vardell).
    The courses, selected by the ALSC Education Committee, are the first of their kind for ALSC and will begin Oct. 6, running through Nov. 14. … Read the rest


  • Becoming a Better Public Library Manager: Certification Works!

    Annual Conference Program Highlights

    [Editor’s note: For more about the Certified Public Library Administrator Program, see the article entitled “In Their
    Read the rest

HR Practice

  • Good Work + Bad Attitude = Bad News

    Managers face a variety of employee challenges every day. Many challenges are easily defined: it is often simple to identify low-performing employees, burned-out employees, new employees who need extensive orientation and existing employees who need training or retraining. It may be more difficult to address the challenge of the employee who does good work with a bad attitude. An attitude of rudeness, malice or disrespect can be one of the most insidious threats to … Read the rest


  • Spectrum Scholarship winners announced

    CHICAGO – The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Diversity has chosen its 2008 Spectrum Scholars.

    The Spectrum Scholarship Program aims at recruiting applicants and awarding scholarships to American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander students for graduate programs in library and information studies.

    Its mission is to improve service at the local level through the development of a representative workforce that reflects the communities served by all libraries in the new millennium. Since 1997, … Read the rest


  • Paycheck Fairness Act Passed by House of Representatives

    The House passed the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1338) on July 31, 247 to 178, with 14 Republicans voting for the bill. We owe particular gratitude to Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who has sponsored the bill for 11 years and has been unwavering and untiring in her support of it. Please also thank your representatives for their support of the bill.

    The National Committee on Pay Equity sent a letter to the House Education and Labor Committee before … Read the rest

  • Networking Breakfast Honoring Brian Keith And Camilla B. Reid And Featuring A Chat By Roy Stone And A Poem By Jim Wilson

    Annual Conference Program Highlights

    The fourth annual Networking Breakfast was held on Sunday, June 29, 2008, celebrating the work of Brian Keith, Library Human Resources Officer at the University of Florida Smathers Libraries, and Camilla B. Reid, Associate Director of the Augusta State University Reese Library, the two winners of the SirsiDynix‑ALA‑APA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Promoting Salaries and Status for Library Workers. In addition to a delicious breakfast, sponsored by SirsiDynix and AFSCME Local 1930, the New York … Read the rest


  • Librarian Salary Survey Reports Mean Librarian Salary Up 2 Percent to $58,960 in 2008

    CHICAGO – Results from the 2008 edition of the ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian – Public and Academic are available in two ways – immediately for subscribers to the ALA-APA Library Salary Database and in print from the American Library Association (ALA) online store. Analysis of data from more than 1,010 public and academic libraries showed the mean salary for librarians with ALA-accredited Master’s Degrees reported increased 2 percent from 2007, up $1,151 to $57,809. The median ALA MLS salary … Read the rest

  • There Is a Union Difference in Library Salaries

    The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) and the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) collaborated on The Union Difference for Library Workers, which found that salaries in unionized public and academic libraries were higher than those in non-union libraries for staff in positions that do not require an ALA-accredited Master’s Degree in Library Science. Data from the 2006 ALA-APA Salary Survey: Non-MLS – Public and Academic revealed that average salaries were higher for many of the 62 positions, … Read the rest

Support Staff

  • AC08 LSSCP Meeting Addresses Competencies, Division Approval, Field Testing

    Annual Conference Program Highlights

    On June 26, 2008, the Library Support Staff Advisory Committee gathered to discuss progress on the Library Support Staff Certification Program (LSSCP).

    Throughout the day-long meeting, held at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference, the Advisory Committee heard reports on topics including the development of program competencies, a schedule for presenting these competencies to the ALA Divisions and the relationship between LSSCP and Library Technical Assistant Programs.

    LSSCP is in development, but current plans … Read the rest


  • Absenteeism, Morale and Work/Life Balance: How Are You Doing?

    Numerous studies have linked absenteeism to low employee or low workplace morale. Absenteeism presents a challenge for a supervisor when the non-attendence is either excessive, i.e., all leave benefits have been exhausted, or when the rate or pattern of unscheduled absences generates the perception that an employee’s work attendance is unreliable. Unscheduled absences are those which are unplanned or last-minute, and therefore not usually approved in advance, e.g., unforeseen illness of self or family members, … Read the rest

HR Law

  • Lobbying for Operational Expenses

    Annual Conference Program Highlights

    On Sunday, June 29, more than 60 people gathered to hear Emily tell them how they could advocate for more operational funding—you know, funding for the mundane issues like salaries and electricity. It is probably not news to you that advocacy is advocacy—similar rules apply whether you’re trying to get a law passed or convince your constituents of the importance of teen programming. Emily repeatedthat the keys Read the rest