Magazine article Special Libraries

1991 Salary Survey Update

Magazine article Special Libraries

1991 Salary Survey Update

Article excerpt

To aid special librarians in determining competitive salaries, the Special Libraries Association conducts an in-depth salary survey every two years. During the intervening years, between full membership surveys, a random sample of 25% of the membership is polled to collect current salary data. These results provide an overview of special librarians' salaries and a measure of annual increases since the most recent in-depth survey.

During April 1991 survey forms were mailed to a random sample of 2, 783 SLA members and associate members. This sample was divided between 2,524 survey recipients in the United States and 259 recipients in Canada. From this sample 1,332 valid responses were received from U.S. members and 143 from Canadian members. This represents a 53% valid return rate from both the United States and Canada combined. An additional 152 responses were rendered invalid for lack of salary information. Overall this represents a 58.5% response rate.

This response rate is degree high for a mail survey. The level of response has several implications for its results:

1) It indicates a high degree of interest and involvement on the part of SLA members in their organization generally, and in SLA's efforts to obtain their input;

2) It provides a high degree of confidence that the results of the survey will be indicative of the membership group as a whole; and

3) It provides a smaller margin of error in any statistical estimates which may be made of the membership population based on the sample data.

Table 1 reports changes in both mean and median salaries from April 1, 1990 to April 1, 1991 within nine U.S. Census Divisions, the overall United States, and Canada. Mean and median salary figures are included for both 1990 and 1991 along with the percentage change.

Overall U.S. mean salaries broke the $ 40,000 level through increases of 6.76% between April 1, 1990 and April 1, 1991. By contrast for the same periods ending April 1, mean U.S. salaries increased 4.27% for 1990 and 6.1% for 1989. [*]

For Canada mean salaries increased by 7.71% for the year ended April 1, 1991. For similar periods mean Canadian salaries increased by 7.37% for 1990 and 7.2% for 1989. [*]

Both median and mean salaries showed increases for all Census Divisions in the United States. Increases in median salaries ranged from 2.24% in the East South Central to 8.82% in the East North Central. Mean salary increases had a much larger range from 1.67% in New England to 9.44% in the Middle Atlantic.

Table 2 examines median salaries in rank order by Census Division within the United States and for Canada overall. …

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