Librarians Are on the Top Shelf of the Highly-Paid League

Daily Mail (London), May 5, 2009 | Go to article overview

Librarians Are on the Top Shelf of the Highly-Paid League


Byline: Catherine Fegan

UNIVERSITY librarians' wages speak volumes about the feather-bedded public sector in Ireland, according to a study of equivalent pay levels across Europe.

While it may have been thought they eked out a living among the dusty shelves of academia, in reality librarians here are among the top earners, enjoying up to E158,000 a year.

Trinity College Dublin is paying E85,000 to E110,000 a year for a top librarian while UCD and NUI Maynooth offer packages for senior staff that range from E114,000 to E146,000.

But the best place for budding bookworms is NUI in Galway, where the pay scale is E123,000 to E158,000.

In stark contrast, across the water UK-recommended pay guidelines for a head of library service in an academic institution start at [pounds sterling]42,000 (E47,780.) And in the States, the current salary for a University of California librarian is $46,184, (E34,745) or $54,000 (E40,628) at California State University.

To be fair, there is much more to an academic librarian's job than putting books back on shelves.

Typically, they will manage, organise, evaluate and disseminate information and will often be responsible for a specific area of an academic subject.

And not only do they provide support to students, researchers and lecturing staff, they spend a considerable amount of time working with electronic resources.

They are also increasingly involved with database management and web-page development.

They also teach techniques of information retrieval skills to students and staff. But these latest figures prove that the huge remuneration packages available to certain public-sector workers know no bounds.

Over the weekend, our sister paper, the Irish Mail on Sunday, told how some public-sector fat cats rake in salaries that are up to twice as much as those of most of their European counterparts.

A comparison of public-sector wages across seven other EU countries highlighted astonishing differences between the wages received in Ireland and the other states, regardless of population and the size of the economy.

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