Librarians' Salaries: Increasing at a Decreasing Rate

By Lynch, Mary Jo | American Libraries, November 1993 | Go to article overview

Librarians' Salaries: Increasing at a Decreasing Rate


Lynch, Mary Jo, American Libraries


This report summarizes findings of the ALA Survey of Librarian Salaries 1993. As in previous years, 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 at Urbana, mailed the survey and processed the returns.

Written by Project Director Mary Jo Lynch, Margaret Myers, and Jeniece Guy, the report is available for $44 from: ALA Customer Service Department, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611 (0-8389-7685-9; ISSN 0747-7201).

Between January 1992 and April 1993, the average salary for librarians increased 1.2%--a lower percentage than the increase for comparable occupations reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in the June 1993 Monthly Labor Review. A table entitled "Employment Cost Index, wages and salaries by occupation and industry group" shows that civilian workers (i.e., private industry, state and local government, but excluding farm, household, and federal government workers), received an average 3.5% increase over the previous year. This is the first time since we began using the Monthly Labor Review figures that the average salary for librarians has not increased at the same or a higher rate as other civilian workers.

This 1.2% average is for all positions except children's and/or young adult services librarian, which had shown an unusual increase from 1991 to 1992. From 1992 to 1993 the average salary for this position decreased 0.5%. A table in the full report shows the percentage change in mean of salaries paid for the last five years. Two of the six positions covered in all five years show a steady decline. For the others, the trend is' clear: Librarian salaries are increasing at a decreasing rate.

The results of the ALA surveys are broken down into geographic regions--North Atlantic, Great Lakes and Plains, Southeast, and West and Southwest. To determine which region has the highest salaries, we analyzed the six positions shown in the table above and the five library size/type categories described below. When the region with the highest mean salary was marked for each position in each size/type, North Atlantic was checked 51.8% of the time, West and Southwest 40.7% of the time and Great Lakes and Plains 7.4% of the time. The Southeast was never highest. This is the first time since our survey began that the West and Southwest region has not had the largest percentage of highest mean salaries. …

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