"The average starting salary in the nation just barely hit $40,000 this year, according to Fiels. In San Antonio, the entry-level salary is $28,752.
Librarians are being lured to corporate jobs where they can make double their salary, Fiels said.
'It's a tough, competitive market out there,' Fiels said. 'But I think people who come in to librarianship do it because they want to make the world a better place. So money isn't always an issue.'"Welcome to the ALA rationalization for why people go into librarianship. It's not for money. It's not to have a career. It's not even just to have a job. No, it's because they want to make the world a better place! It's because they want to change the world for the better, one library card at a time!
I can't decide if he really believes this stuff, or if he's just trying to excuse the ALA's poor record of doing anything to help raise librarian salaries by saying we're all just doing charity work anyway. Low education standards and duplicitous library school recruitment strategies certainly help keep librarian salaries down, and now we find out that we're not really interested in money anyway. Fortunately we're on the side of the angels.
This statement just confirms what I've said before, that the ALA has very little interest in librarians. The primary professional organization of American librarians does almost nothing to help librarians. Sure, if your major concern as a librarian is certain federal legislation, then they're happy to waste your money fighting losing battles. But if you are at all concerned about the pay and status of librarians, then you'll have to look elsewhere, because the ALA doesn't care about you. They only care about your dues. This statement by the ALA executive director acknowledges what a good person you are and says you don't want any money anyway.
Fortunately, you became a librarian because you want to change the world, not because you want to pay the rent. I'm surprised that Fiels didn't quote from the Sermon on the Mount.
"Librarians aren't concerned about salaries. Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, yet your heavenly Father feeds them!"
Changing the world! We're certainly full of ourselves. Are we changing the world for the better by videogaming? If I want to change the world, I'm certainly not going to do it through my library. Here's my message to all the folks who are attracted to librarianship because they want to change the world and they don't care whether they're paid to do it: Go Away! You're not going to change the world! Don't be so pathetic! And stop lowering the standards for the rest of us!
Librarianship isn't a charitable activity. It's a job, it's a career, it's a service. If you want to be charitable, go volunteer at a soup kitchen. Go feed and clothe the poor. Go teach illiterates to read. But don't think librarianship is some holy, charitable mission, because it's not.