Librarians' Salaries: Small Increases like Everyone Else

Article excerpt

This report summarizes findings of the ALA Survey of Librarian Salaries 1992. As before, ALA's Office for Research and Statistics and Office for Library Personnel Resources worked together on this project and the Library Research Center at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign, mailed the survey and processed the returns.

Written by Project Director Mary Jo Lynch, Margaret Myers, and Jeniece Guy, the report is available for $42 from: ALA Customer Service Department, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611 (0-8389-7624-7, ISSN 0747-7201).

Between January 1991 and January 1992, the average salary for librarians increased 3.6%--the same as the increase in comparable occupations, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in the April 1992 Monthly Labor Review. A table entitled "Employment Cost Index, wages and salaries by occupation and industry group" shows that civilian workers consisting of private industry and state and local government, but excluding farm, household, and federal government workers, received an average 3.6% increase in 1991 over the previous year. The average salary for librarians increased at the same rate from January 1991 to January 1992, whereas it had increased at a rate 3.1% higher than other civilian workers from January 1990 to January 1991.

This 3.6% average is for all positions except children's and/or young adult services librarian, which shows an unusual increase this year--11.3%. There are several possible explanations for the unusual salary increase for this position. Shortages of people in the specialty have been noted for several years and low salaries are often cited as a reason. Indeed, this position has been at the lowest rank in all previous versions of this survey.

The mean of salaries paid for director is highest in large public libraries and lowest in four-year colleges. For deputy/associate/ assistant director and department head/ branch head, the mean is highest in university libraries and lowest in four-year colleges. For the other three common positions, the mean is highest in two-year colleges, lowest in medium-sized public libraries for reference/information librarians, and lowest in four-year colleges for collection development librarian/subject bibliographer and for cataloger and/or classifier. For the position found only in public libraries--children's and/or young adult services librarian--the mean of salaries paid is highest in large public libraries. …