Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mean Librarian Salaries

According to the AL Direct, "Mean librarian salaries [are] up 2% in 2008." Supposedly the mean librarian salary is now $57,809. Those mean librarians should try to be a little nicer, like I am, because you attract higher salaries with honey than with vinegar.

70 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am too nice a librarian to make over $40K.

Anonymous said...

ba dum ding!

Dances With Books said...

Where the hell are those librarians who earn 50K+? Are we talking administrators? Because we in the trenches sure as heck ain't getting anything close to that.

Anonymous said...

I once heard Stephen Abrams (of SirsiDynix, a library software vendor) claim that he knew hundreds of librarians earning over $100,000. Does librarian mean "has MLIS" or what though?

Anonymous said...

Well, gosh, after 36 years as a librarian I'm finally making a little over $60K. Whoopy! I guess a masters degree, decades of increasing experience, supervision skills, professional publications, professional service, and working my tail off is finally paying....small time. My punk kid just graduated college and is making over $40K with the industrial technology degree (engineering lite). A lot I have to show for my masters degree and experience.

Minks said...

I used to make over $110K a year! I also used to work about 80 hours a week. Sooo.. technically,, per hour,,, I am making more now per hour at 40 hours per week. Barely.

Leslie said...

Got pink-slipped from the corporate world four years ago. Sure, $82,000 was nice but I hated my job and, therefore, my life. I earn less than half that, but guess what? I really don't give a damn! One doesn't always need as much $$$ as one thinks.

Anonymous said...

Our "in the trenches" librarian salary range is $50K-$95K. Most are at the ceiling as it doesn't take that long to get there. The administrators make more.

Anonymous said...

Administrators can make 4 -5 times as much.

They are as evil as corporations.

DirectorWho said...

I MAY make over $40K if our raises pass the County Commission next FY. But right now, I guess I'm not Mean, because I don't make anywhere NEAR that mean ol' salary.

"The Director"

Anonymous said...

So long as male librarian's mean salary is greater than female librarian's, things will be ok.

Elisa said...

Depends on the area where you live. Some libraries can pay more than others

Anonymous said...

With my raise this year I am earning $214.00 more than someone could earn who started in my position right now. I hardly know how to spend my windfall. Oh yeah, food.

Anonymous said...

Is this from the same source as the stories about a "Librarian Shortage"?????

Anonymous said...

Check the city libraries out here in the West- Dances with books for your 50k+. I did see an ad yesterday for a librarian position in some town in Illinois that started at 12 dollars an hour! Masters degree only gets you that? Wow!
I'll take my bachelors and 13+ years of library experience and my 58-65k Lib. Asst. job TYVM.

Leslie you are so right about the $$$, but if I worked my a$$ off to get a masters in library science (not like a non-profit sector degree, where I wouldn't expect the cash to flow), I would want to be remunerated appropriately.

Anonymous said...

Is this what AL has become? A three-sentence free for all? Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Any bets as to whether this one hits a hundred comments, assuming another couple of weeks before the next top post?

Anonymous said...

well, if you work for the government $60 average sounds about right...

Anonymous said...

So what if AL posts short entries or posts nothing for a while. She's got a life. Good for her.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "Mean Librarians" Google "The Library Diaries" for more on the below story. Hey, AL, get over your hangover and make some of your clever comments.
---------------------

Ludington, Michigan

Library worker fired from library job for writing a book.

After working for fifteen years at a public library in the rural midwest, I wrote a fictionalized account of a woman's experiences working in a public library. My director found the book offensive, probably because it doesn't show the director in the book in such a bright light, but ostensibly I was fired because my little 150 page book might make, "some of our patrons uncomfortable" or "some patrons may not come to the library anymore because of my book." Nevermind the fact that the particular patrons he is referring to would come to the library even if it were burning down to access their porn, terrorist groups, pedophile, or alien sightings sites.

Whats going on when a director of a library not only fires a good employee for writing a book, but also seems to care more about the perverts and pedophiles than the employee or children who are in danger because of the resident pedophiles and sex offenders.

Also--Whats going on in this world? I have not been able to find one lawyer to make a First Amendment (Freedom of Speech, Press) case or even a whistleblower case.

Is this Russia, China or America???

Meanwhile, I am on my way to bankruptcy and the pedophiles roam free!

Anonymous said...

Here's a review. Wonder if AL would grace us with her review of same.

---------------
The Library Diaries reads like Seinfeld meets Lou Dobbs meets Glenn Beck. Issues that most of us are afraid to talk about, issues we have had to veil through humor, are talked about candidly by the author, who has seen the terrible consequences of us not talking about these issues. Open this book and you'll meet the naked patron, the greedy, unenlightened patrons, destination hell, the masturbator, horny old men, Mr. Three Hats, and a menagerie of other characters you never dreamt were housed at your public library.

Anonymous said...

From the LUDINGTON DAILY NEWS,Ludington, MI. Let's see ALA earn a white feather for moral cowardice here.
-----------------
Ex-library employee awaits appeals decision
Lisa Enos - Staff Photographer

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sometimes a pen name isn’t cover enough, Sally Stern-Hamilton has learned.
The publication of her controversial book, “The Library Diaries,” written under the pen name Ann Miketa, resulted in her termination as a Mason County District Library employee after 15 years on the job. She is appealing that firing.

Written in the first person and set in what she calls a fictitious Lake Michigan town of Denialville, “The Libraries Dairies” is a series of vignettes about mostly unsavory characters encountered daily at the library.

The Ludington Library is not the purported setting, however a small picture of the Ludington Library is on the cover. “After working at a public library in a small, rural Midwestern town (which I will refer to as Denialville, Michigan, throughout this book) for fifteen years, I have encountered strains and variations of crazy I didn’t know existed in such significant portions of our population,” “Ann Miketa” wrote in the book’s introduction.

Stern-Hamilton was notified of her termination in a formal letter from District Library Director Robert Dickson July 25. In that letter Dickson refers to a prior letter of “Suspension Pending Investigation” that he wrote to Stern-Hamilton July 15 in which he stated:

“The cover of your book includes a picture of the Ludington Library. Each chapter is devoted to a specific library patron or patrons. Your book portrays these people in a very unflattering manner. You describe individual patrons as mentally ill, mentally incompetent, unintelligent, and unattractive. You label several as ‘perverts.’ While you stop short of naming the individuals you targeted in your book, your detailed descriptions of their unique characteristics and mannerisms make them easily identifiable in our small community.”


The Library Diaries

Despite the picture in the cover collage, Stern-Hamilton is adamant that “The Library Diaries” — though it draws on her personal experiences as a library employee — is fiction.

“Most writers, anyone who writes something, some of it’s going to come from, be rooted in, your personal experience. I don’t think I could have come up with (the characters) on my own. They’re bizarre, idiosyncratic, so they are based on some real experiences, but of course there are embellishments,” said Stern-Hamilton.

She said she chose to use a picture of the Ludington Library because, “It’s a great picture. It looks just like a library. It epitomizes the American idea of a library. It’s a Carnegie library,” said Stern-Hamilton referring to more than 2,500 libraries built worldwide with money donated by businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie between 1883 and 1929.

Stern-Hamilton said she is unaware how Dickson came to learn about the 150-page book, which took three years to write. She said she decided to write “The Library Diaries” because, “I’m concerned about what goes on in public libraries everywhere.” She said she is particularly concerned that known sex offenders are given library privileges which allow them access to computers where they routinely view pornography— sometimes in close proximity to children.

“I don’t think they should be allowed in (the library) — these sexual predators,” said Stern-Hamilton, who claims that she had no intention of “pursue this as a commercial endeavor in Ludington.”

“Out of a town of 8,000, not many people were meant to know about the book. Publish America, my publisher, asked for addresses of people, and sent out announcements to people giving them a chance to purchase it. Publish America is a grassroots organization, and willing to publish people who are unknown, without charging the person thousands of dollars some self publishers charge.”

Publish America uses a business model known as publishing on demand which keeps costs to a minimum since books are only printed when ordered.

However, people in Ludington did learn of the book.

“I went for a hearing where I was able to respond to the letter of suspension that Bob sent me. I went to that meeting and spoke my piece and got a termination letter two days letter. I haven’t heard from any of my co-workers since.”

“The absolute irony is that the public library is a pillar of free speech, and leads me to wonder why the administration is so upset. It’s fiction,” she said. “If It hadn’t gone in the paper only a handful of people announcements were sent to in this area would have known about the book.”

Stern-Hamilton had contacted the Daily News asking for a review of the book, but before that happened, Dickson contacted the paper to report she had been suspended.

In his July 15 e-mail to Managing Editor Steve Begnoche, Dickson wrote, “As she is actively promoting the book I’m assuming that she has or will be contacting the Daily News to request help in promoting this book. The book is now in the hands of our attorney and we have undertaken steps to see what action we might take, including suspension and/or termination of her employment. While we recognize the difficulty for a library to undertake these actions against an employee who writes a book — the content of the book is such that we feel we have no option.”
The purpose of the e-mail, he said, was to request the library “be given an opportunity to provide a different picture, a more balanced view of ‘life in the library,’ than is offered in this book.”

That story ran July 18.

In the past week Dickson twice said he did not wish to comment at this time.

A call to the library board’s president went unreturned.

“In some ways I feel like my privacy was invaded since, after all, I did use a pen name,” Stern-Hamilton said of the brouhaha. “This is not Russia, this is not China. Apparently we’re not as protected as I thought.”

The surname Miketa is Stern-Hamilton’s maiden name, which may sound familiar to some because her father, Andrew Miketa, according to Stern-Hamilton, was a first string center with the Detroit Lions circa 1952. But Stern-Hamilton does not consider herself a Michigan native, as she spent most of her formative years in Chapel Hill, N.C., where she grew up and subsequently went on to study art history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She met her husband, Keith Hamilton — a Ludington area native— in North Carolina and moved to Ludington with him.

“My pen name, Ann Miketa, was chosen because my acquaintances on the East and West coasts would recognize the name Miketa,” she said. “Now that the cat’s out of the bag, the book’s available at Book Mark, Blu Moon and Maude’s Gallery.”

Stern-Hamilton has submitted a letter of appeal. According to grievance provisions contained within the Personnel Policies of the District Library, the library director and board have 10 days to review that letter.


lenos@ludingtondailynews.com

Anonymous said...

With my raise this year I am earning $214.00 more than someone could earn who started in my position right now.

After three years and three raises, I'm earning about $5K less than someone would earn starting in my position right now.

Anonymous said...

My 2% raise was wiped out by a 10% increase in health care premiums. This keeps going, pretty soon I will be paying to go to work.

Anonymous said...

I just used my big mean pay check to order a copy of "The Library Diaries" from Amazon. Then I'm going put it in our collection and interlibrary loan it with impunity!
But I think we all should show our support and buy a copy.

Anonymous said...

$57,809 is not the mean salary in our profession. It may be the mean in special or academic libraries, but certainly NOT in publics. My guess is that the mean in publics is $30,000 or so.

Anonymous said...

Maybe public libraries can have a Guitar Hero/DDR fundraiser to get more money to pay the gamemasters, oops, librarians.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, a joke from the AL that was big in my eighth grade algebra class.

Who says things are going down hill here.

hippieman said...

Better to be a public librarian. The corporatists won't give you good benefits, and then they'll lay you off to boot. At least, if you work at a public library you might be able to get health insurance and a pension. You know, so you don't have to work until you're 90. Oops, but isn't that socialism? How horrific!

Anonymous said...

What public library do you work at that gives you health insurance and a pension.

My public library pays no benefits. It was my director's way of being able to be the savior at the budget meetings. I will be working to 90+

hippieman said...

Well, I said you "might" be able to get benefits. Of course, the corporatists are busy corporatizing public libraries as we speak. So, it's harder to get benefits these days. That's why we need unions as leverage. Of course, unions aren't pristine, but they're appreciably better than letting the "wonders of the market" take over.

hippieman said...

One other point, and this is completely off topic...

Ever notice how the people who complain loudest about unions and safety nets, etc are the folks who have pensions and benefits and are usually set for life????

You know them as right wing politicians.

I'm Kat! said...

I am beginning to think that the powers that be do not take into account anyone in a library role but with any title less then "Librarian." So all the Part timers and others Don't count.

And neither do the other 50% of the MLS degrees available in our towns but not able to land a librarians job.

I also saw that while one government agency [center for housing] states the average wage for librarians in my city is around 46,000 in my city, another organization, a jobs organization, shows an average of 22,500-30,000 in this same area. And I think they might take into account the parttimers and anybody working in the library in a librarian role.

Now which one are you going to believe? The people reviewing the "librarians" or the People Hiring the Librarians?

Something Fishy is going on...

Anonymous said...

Ever notice how people who slide through life hoping for handouts are jealous of successful people who know how to get things done?

**sigh**

hippieman said...

"Slide through life"

"Handouts"

Sounds like George Bush.

Anonymous said...

According to the announcement that the AL is refeering to, "The median ALA MLS salary was $53,251, and salaries ranged from $22,000 to $331,200."

Obviously, the salaries at the high end tended to raise the average. I didn't see the entire report so don't know the breakdown -- also, somebody asked who the people being surveyed were. This is what it says: "The six librarian positions are directors/dean, associate/assistant director, department head, manager of support staff, librarians who do not supervise and beginning librarians."

Anonymous said...

Wow, $50K, what a princely sum. What the heck would I do with the extra 20+K.. oh yeah, buy clothes that aren't from thrift stores; buy food that isn't rice or canned veggies; actually take a vacation; actually SAVE some money.

And I'm putting The Library Diaries on my next book purchase list, too. I am quite sure that some of the people she describes are actually perverts or mentally deficient, but we're so PC we're not supposed to actually SAY so.

Denialville? We all live there.

AL said...

"Gosh, a joke from the AL that was big in my eighth grade algebra class.

Who says things are going down hill here."

There were jokes about mean librarians in your eighth grade algebra class?

Anonymous said...

AL, eighth grade is where most jokes about mean librarians originated. (Maybe not only in algebra classes, though.)

By the way, about the Library Diaries, there seems to be a great argument developing on Amazon about the book. Read the reviews and comments. Many of the posters identify themselves as librarians.

Library Beast said...

On Library Diaries (which I will buy to be a sport and because I think it sounds interesting)-- this is an ongoing problem for writers, just on a more public scale. You use your brother for the basis of your villian and bam! all of a sudden your brother and your parents aren't talking to you--just because your character picks his nose in precisely the same fashion as your brother. But that's just the recommended way to build characters--to start with what you know and exaggerate. But it is very dangerous because suddenly your family/ community members start recognizing themselves in these horrible people. Poor Stern-Hamilton. But, hmmm. I'd like to write a book like that.

Anonymous said...

re: "The median ALA MLS salary was $53,251, and salaries ranged from $22,000 to $331,200." Obviously, the salaries at the high end tended to raise the average.<,

Uh, didn't take a research class to get your MLS? Or perhaps you don't have an MLS?

In any case, you might want to review the difference between average and median, just in case you might need to take the GRE's one day.

Anonymous said...

re: There were jokes about mean librarians in your eighth grade algebra class?<<

Uh, the part about mean. An essential part of every 8th grade pre-algebra class, since the early sixties at least. Or did you skip all the math classes too?

Are you sure you're really AL? Or have the martinis finally done their job?

Anonymous said...

Hey AL, this sounds like something you ought to get a copy of; "dirty old men" and "perverts"? It certainly sounds in the spirit of this blog. This could be an underground cult hit! This looks like the kind of book that you won't find reviewed in CHOICE. How about your erudite thoughts? I wonder if the "perverts" do anything with cake pans?

---------------------
A REVIEW by someone else;
Apparently this writer just lost her job at the library, and it is directly connected to this book. The director claimed the book was "attacking patrons," and while Miketa does use denigrating terms like "dirty old men" and "perverts", that is really because of her frustration with the library administration itself, which won't handle the problems the staff complains about. Is your library a haven for n'er do wells and poorly cared for mentally ill people? It just may be. Miketa is trying to take this entire problem onto her own shoulders, so she gets a little shrill at times. But it is a very interesting and informative read! Buy this book.

AL said...

"Are you sure you're really AL? Or have the martinis finally done their job?"

Are you sure you're really anonymous?

Crusty said...

If ya wanna make the big bucks, it ain't gonna be in the library world. Low pay is just historically and systemically ingrained, and I just don't see that that will ever change. I went into this with my eyes wide open to this fact, so I don't really complain about it now. And prior to going for my MLS, I checked into the going compensation rates / employment prospects in the areas where I wanted to work, so I wasn't "bamboozled" by ALA and other propaganda that it's so popular to complain about. It's the nature of the beast...deal with it or change professions.

The fact that I am monetarily the poorest of my crowd is offset by the fact that I enjoy getting up to go to work in the morning (for the most part!) and that I have the time and energy to pursue a fulfilling personal life (which many corporate drones putting in 80 hour weeks do not, despite all the green in their wallet.) Ugh, I'm turning all sanctimonious, so I'll stop now!

Anonymous said...

I make $56k gross per year in southern California. Sure that may seem high to you, but my cost of living is higher! I'd rather have a better wage to cost of living ratio than some meaningless higher number. (Where I live, higher numbers are scary.) That would be a more interesting figure for librarians--what do we make in relation to our cost of living?

Anonymous said...

I have been working 10 yrs and I just finally broke the $45k mark. You would think a medical librarian might make more. I am here to tell you that's not the case.
Add to the fact that I have to pay for parking approx. $400/year and health care costs have gone up more than my 2-3% raise, I am probably taking home less money than I did 10 yrs ago.

Anonymous said...

How much was the security guard paid to not stop another rape of another child in another public library bathroom? http://www.twincities.com/ci_10206557

Anonymous said...

I wish i'd posted a comment when I first read this Post. I love cheesy 'mean' jokes! I can't believe there are people complaining - go be snippy somewhere else. AL, it made me chuckle (ok, snigger) so don't worry about the grouchy people who deem themselves to be above puns based on statistical terms :)
"higher salaries with honey than with vinegar" - gold!

soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

actually I think they are part of the ideology, but certainly not part of the practice.

Anonymous said...

The Brooklyn Book Talk Blog
http://brooklynbooktalk.blogspot.com/

is having discussion about why certain books are not purchased for libraries and why collection development people "ban" them. Library Diaries seems to fall in this category.

Dances With Books said...

I would note that libraries out West have to pay 50K, but it is not because they pay more. It's the cost of living. When you do the comparisons and run the math for different areas, that 50K really is about the same as 36 or so out in the Midwest for instance. It is not an improvement.

And to the other anon., 50K not necessarily the mean in academic, unless, I guess you work in some Research 1 very well heeled institution. If you work in smaller places like I do, you can forget it. I am not complaining mind you (though like everyone, I could use extra money), but I really want to know where 50K librarians actually exist where the 50K actually goes some distance. As for Abrams remark, could he get us a list with some of those "hundreds of librarians" making over 100K who are NOT vendors?

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about the mean pay.

It isn't like we are professionals or anything.

Why, pretty much anyone can call them selves a librarian if they want.

Anonymous said...

Talk about mean librarians, the AL posted so quickly again, we are going to have to work to get this to a hundred posts.

Maybe we could dis corporate amerika again.

Anonymous said...

but I really want to know where 50K librarians actually exist where the 50K actually goes some distance.

I have an answer for you: Some flagship and regional state universities in the Midwest pay very well (45-50k entry-level salaries) and the cost of living is either the same or only slightly higher than locales in the South. I am not an administrator and do not supervise. My salary is in the 55-60k range. In the South, I only earned 42k and was a department head.

Anonymous said...

Just remember that mean salaries are commensurate with experience.

Anonymous said...

What is the mean female librarians salary in Saudi Arabia?

j- said...

anon:
*Whats going on when a director of a library not only fires a good employee for writing a book, but also seems to care more about the perverts and pedophiles than the employee or children who are in danger because of the resident pedophiles and sex offenders. *

What do you mean "what's going on?"--that's business as usual in public librarianship!

Hippieman:
*Better to be a public librarian. The corporatists won't give you good benefits, and then they'll lay you off to boot. At least, if you work at a public library you might be able to get health insurance and a pension. You know, so you don't have to work until you're 90.*

You'll need that health insurance if you touch a public keyboard at a public library--that is, if they can ever find a cure for that stuff. Meantime, you WILL be working until you're 90 to pay for all the social benefits the government wants to dole out to those who don't want to work.

Nice to see it didn't take you more than 6 posts to mention George Bush, though. I thought the latest e-mail from Howard Dean instructed all of your sorts to start replacing that phrase with John McCain?

hippieman said...

Do you pay for your health insurance? The right wing wants you pay for it out of your own pocket through "private accounts." And if you do have one of these private accounts, more than likely your HMO has some kind of hidden poison pill which will negate your policy, make it useless....err like a "preexisting condition" or something like that.

Nom du Jour said...

Universal health care is not the answer. Bringing down the cost of health care is. Individuals should be in charge of their own health decisions and be able to afford what they need. But, if they want to go to Dunkin Doughnuts and have a dozen for breakfast with a dozen to go for lunch, and no anorexic doctor tell them no. That should be their choice.

hippieman said...

In effect, I got my health insurance, so screw you! Go shop for yours.

I love America!

hippieman said...

Forgot to mention...

If you make barely enough to support your three kids, you've got to "shop" for your bare bones policy by setting aside money each month. What's the median USA income--around 30K??? A bare bones policy is prolly like 500-800 dollars. And where is this money supposed to come from?

Dear lord...true insanity.

Anonymous said...

You are so right hippieman. amerika is the worst possible country to live in in this world. That is why we have to build fences around our borders to keep people from escaping. No one is willing to risk their life to come to our crappy country.

I am leaving on friday, care to join me?

j- said...

Hippieman:

*If you make barely enough to support your three kids, you've got to "shop" for your bare bones policy by setting aside money each month.*

Perhaps "you" should have done that math before "you" so recklessly reproduced.

Nom:
*Universal health care is not the answer. Bringing down the cost of health care is. Individuals should be in charge of their own health decisions and be able to afford what they need. But, if they want to go to Dunkin Doughnuts and have a dozen for breakfast with a dozen to go for lunch, and no anorexic doctor tell them no. *

I'm having a difficult time deciphering that last bit, but in general you seem to say "No one involved in the healthcare industry should make as much money as they do and their patients should be able to thoroughly wreck their health through bad choices that are subsidized by the rest of us". Is that correct?

All of this smacks me of simple garden-variety socialist class-envy. Many seem to be bemoaning the fact, in a passive-aggressive way, that they've made the wrong career choice and since going back to medical school and spending 150K would take too long and be too difficult, they just want to change the rules half-way through the game.

Anonymous said...

**sigh**

at this rate, we will never get this to a hundred comments.

I guess 2.0rians are not up to the challenge.

Anonymous said...

Always going off to the bright and shiny new thread.

No gumption to work an old thread.

Go on, go and beat that new horse.

I am going to stay here and beat this dead one.

Anonymous said...

bill gates walks into a bar. what's the mean salary of everyone in the bar?

Anonymous said...

I was an Army librarian (Civil Service) for 33 years. When I retired in 1999, I was making a little bit over 50,000. I have to work part time in a public library to make ends met. I quickly learned that M.L.S. degrees mean nothing in a Public Library if you are a part time Reference Librarian. After 9 years I barely make 20,000.

TK Marnell said...

Soren Faust...

They put people to death in Spain?

Really, putting people to death is as far from socialist ideology as you can get. Socialism is limited government with increased public goods (in the ecological sense of the term), not extending the government's powers to control everybody's opinions. People's popular conception of it just warped into the 1984 version when the people who tried to implement socialism screwed up.

A true socialist government will never exist, because people are cheaters and take and take without giving back. But we tend to call "socialist" what is really failed socialism, and then blame the ideology for the horrible things people committed in the warped name of it. Kind of like blaming certain religions when people start killing each other, when the religion explicitly condemns murder.

Anonymous said...

Librarain III Department Manager with a Public Library. I have had the position since 1999 and worked for the same system since 1988 as a Librarian Assitant then went for my MLIS and promoted. Supposedly I'm 3rd in charge of a 5 branch system. My pay, $46,000 and no raises this year.