Volume 6, No. 9 • September 2009



  • Can You Judge a Book By Its Cover?

    In today’s media rich society, presentation is everything. Unfortunately, many library employees disregard, or ignore, the importance of cultivating a professional appearance. In my experience, many librarians and paraprofessionals dress as though they just walked out of a homeless shelter. Okay, don’t get mad—I know all that hooey about it shouldn’t be about what we look like; it should be about what we do. We are not supposed to judge a book by its cover, one is … Read the rest


  • Library to cut staff and hours

    A 31 percent budget cut led he Public Library of Steubenville and Jefferson County (OH) to lay off three full-time and ten part-time employees.

    Remaining employees will be required to take ten unpaid furlough days in 2010.

    Library Director Alan Hall said he is considering retirement and applying for his Public Employees Retirement System pension and being rehired as library director at a reduced salary.

    The system, in addition to instituting … Read the rest

  • Michigan Governor Agrees To Prioritize Support for Two Programs, Revise State Librarian Position:

    Library advocates still plan rally to fight proposed budget cuts

    In response to protests from Michigan library supporters, Gov. Jennifer Granholm has modified her July 13 Executive Order with a directive ensuring that a State Librarian position remains, even if the job is no longer a political appointment.

    As a result, the Michigan Library Association (MLA) has withdrawn its opposition to the Executive Order and applauded Granholm’s response. Yet the MLA is … Read the rest

  • Library offers wage freeze, other cutbacks:

    Plan would trim about $320,000 from budget

    By instituting a hiring and salary freeze for all library employees, the Peoria Public Library hopes to save a quarter of a million dollars.

    The salary freeze would save the city around $100,000, and the hiring freeze—which would nullify the library’s plans to add three new positions—would save $142,053.

    In an address to the city council, Library Board President Brian Ruddell noted that … Read the rest

  • Library union gets new proposal deadline

    To make up for a projected $1.7 million shortfall in 2010, the Rockford Public Library plans to lay off 30 library employees. But the union members representing 86 library employees have until September 14 to put forward an alternate budget that will save jobs and prevent the loss of library services.

    The shortfall of nearly $2 million dollars is largely the result of the City of Rockford’s decision to suspend … Read the rest

  • Library union says workers will be fired

    Dayton Metro Library employees may well face layoffs and cuts in hours, a result of a half-a-million dollar shortfall due to $4 million in budget cuts and $200,000 in investment losses.

    The library board and the union representing library employees are currently negotiating the proposed budget. In lieu of layoffs, the union has proposed a counter-offer of  a pay freeze and a five-day unpaid furlough. It also called for the … Read the rest

Career Advancement

  • A Gold Mine of Career Opportunities:

    How Academic Librarians Can Dig Deep

    Countless professional development opportunities are available to academic librarians through committee work, classes and other networking events. Hopefully this discussion of the advantages and execution of career development will inspire other academic librarians to mine opportunities presented by their own institutions.

    Committee Work

    Committee work that capitalizes on personal interests can lead to professional networking opportunities. Elinor Folger Foster presents the possibility of a cataloger and a circulation clerk collaborating … Read the rest

  • Applications for the Donald A. B. Lindberg Fellowship due November 15, 2009

    The Medical Library Association (MLA) is now accepting applications for The Donald A. B. Lindberg Research Fellowship. The purpose of this fellowship is to fund research aimed at expanding the research knowledgebase, linking the information services provided by librarians to improved health care and advances in biomedical research. The endowment will provide a $9,945 grant, awarded by MLA through a competitive grant process, to a qualified health sciences librarian, informatician, health professional, researcher, educator, or health administrator.  Research in … Read the rest


  • Podcasts: LibraryBeat Interviews Grady, Strunk on CPLA

    In this LibraryBeat Podcast, Sarah Long, Executive Director of the North Suburban Library System (IL), interviews ALA-APA Director Jenifer Grady about the Certified Public Library Administrator Program (CPLA). Jenifer explains the origins of the program, as well as what it takes to achieve CPLA certification and the broad range of professionals who have taken the classes. She also discusses the next project from ALA-APA—the Library Support Staff Certification Program, which will be launching in January 2010.

    In another LibraryBeat Read the rest

HR Practice

  • The ROI of an ROI:

    The Advantages, and Pitfalls, of Conducting a Return on Investment Assessment (Book Review)

    Determining the economic value delivered by a public library is an extremely difficult, if not impossible task, as demonstrated by Levin, Driscoll & Fleeter’s analysis of the Economic Benefits of Public Libraries. Quantitative challenges lie not only in pricing out what a public library gives away: access to informational and entertainment materials in all formats, to programs and cultural events, to reference services in … Read the rest


  • 2010 E.J. Josey Scholarship Award Theme:

    E. J. Josey, 1924-2009, American Activist and Library Leader

    The Black Caucus of ALA, Inc., generally awards two $2000 scholarships to American or Canadian library and information Science students of African American ancestry enrolled in ALA accredited library Schools. On the occasion of our 40th Anniversary in 2010 we will award four additional Scholarships.

    The awards are given based on an Essay which is judged by a panel of BCALA, Inc. members. A theme is announced and a deadline is … Read the rest

  • Call for Applications for the 2010 OCLC Minority Librarian Fellowship Program

    Application deadline: September 8, 2009

    OCLC has announced the expansion and increased support of the OCLC Minority Librarian Fellowship program designed to provide a unique opportunity for aspiring library professionals from historically under-represented groups.

    OCLC’s Minority Librarian Fellowship offers an opportunity unlike any other. As the world’s leading library cooperative, OCLC offers global exposure through its enterprise-wide product portfolios and operations. OCLC Minority Librarian Fellows will spend time in an assigned host unit, such as Metadata Contract Services or Question … Read the rest


  • ALA-APA Council Passes Resolution on Support for Overtime Pay

    During the ALA 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago, IL, on Monday, July 13, 2009, the ALA-APA Council passed the following resolution, which supports overtime pay protection (APACD #8.4):

    WHEREAS, The American Library Association–Allied Professional Association mission is to support the improvement of the salaries and status of library workers,

    WHEREAS, ALA-APA recognizes that the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) represented an historic effort to lessen unemployment and strengthen living standards for workers in the United States, ranking in … Read the rest

  • Girl Scout “valYOU” Patch Program

    In 2009, WAGE and the Girl Scouts of Maine received a generous grant from the Virginia Hodgkins Somers Foundation, Inc. to develop a patch program for Brownie Girl Scouts to address valuing oneself, understanding the beginning steps of negotiation, understanding the value of money and savings, and goal setting. The valYOU Patch Program, helping girls ages seven to nine get an early start on valuing their worth and learning to negotiate for “win-win” outcomes, has now been piloted in Maine … Read the rest


  • Employment of Librarians—What Can Librarians Do?

    The January issue of Employment and Earnings announced the number of librarians employed in the United States was 197,000 in 2008, down from 215,000 in 2007. 2008 employment of 197,000 was nearly the same as the 195,000 librarians employed in 1995.

    These employment numbers were released before the full impact of the recession. Employment of librarians is closely connected to government expenditures, particularly at the state and local level. As these units of government cope with deficits, … Read the rest

  • New downloadable versions of Librarian Salary Survey data just for public or academic libraries.

    CHICAGO – The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) has just released two new downloadable versions of the 2009 edition of the “ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian – Public and Academic.”  One version contains only public librarian salary data and analysis and the other version is specifically for academic librarians.  The ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian – Public and ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian – Academic are available at the American Library Association (ALA) online store.  For $36.00, library … Read the rest

Support Staff

  • DPE Fact Sheet:

    Three Out of Four Support Staff Now Perform MLS Librarian Duties

    A 2009 fact sheet issued by the Department for Professional Employees, “Library Workers: Facts and Figures,” offers insight on trends affecting library paraprofessionals. The sheet compiles data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and the American Library Association, among others. The report provides a snapshot of factors affecting all library workers, but several statistics are of particular interest to support staff.… Read the rest


  • Librarian’s Brew

    Kendrick photoThat Librarians are socially handicapped individuals—whose lives revolve around dusty books, tweed skirts, orthopedic shoes and their six or seven cats—is a misconception that needs to go the way of the Dodo bird. Reality presents a different portrait of the local neighborhood public librarian. In my experience, the vast majority of librarians are modern, social people who wear many hats in both their professional and personal lives. I’m the Young Adult librarian at a busy suburban library … Read the rest