Archive for the Library Workforce Category

The median annual wage for librarians in Colorado is $61,560

BSL_location quotient

Image credit: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fivethirtyeight recently crunched the numbers to learn more about librarians, their pay, and where they’re located based on national data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Of course they framed the discussion in terms of the future of libraries—a premise we’d argue with the authors—but we were interested to look at the data from a more objective standpoint: Where are the country’s librarians?

While we can get much of the employment data (and perhaps more reliable data) from library-specific sources, we don’t always get to see compiled data more granular than the state level. And perhaps the most interesting BLS data point is the “location quotient,” which compares the area concentration of an occupation to the national average concentration. In other words, it tells us where there’s a high number of librarians compared to the national librarian picture. (The map above shows location quotient by Metropolitan Statistical Areas, which includes both metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas.)

So who’s on top? Vermont, DC, New Hampshire, Wyoming, and Mississippi all have the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients for librarians. Colorado’s middling location quotient of 0.9 means librarians are less prevalent in the state than the national average.

Zooming in to the metropolitan area gives us a bit more context, with the top 5 areas listed as: Owensboro, KY; Nassau-Suffolk, NY; Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD; New Haven, CT; and, Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, MA-NH. In Colorado, the top metro areas are of course on the Front Range, with Boulder leading the pack.

For nonmetropolitan areas, the top 5 include: North Central and Northwest Massachusetts, Western New Hampshire, Northern Vermont, and Northeastern Wyoming. In Colorado, the top nonmetro area is Greeley.

Read up on library jobs here in Colorado with our workforce-related Fast Fact reports. And if you’re in the job market, check out one of our most popular resources, Library Jobline, where you can set up your own account and get personalized job notifications sent directly to you.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century library.

Top 3 animals and people you can check out at libraries

cooper

Image credit: Harvard Library

Did you know that some libraries loan – or provide access to – animals and people, for the general well-being of their patrons? Students at Harvard, Yale, and Emory can de-stress and momentarily escape the rigors of academic life by checking out a library therapy dog. At Harvard Library, for instance, students can borrow Cooper, a tiny six-year-old Shih Tzu, for 30 minutes at a time. Meanwhile, several public libraries throughout the U.S. and Canada, such as the San Francisco Public Library, have professional social workers and/or outreach workers on staff to provide patrons with information about emergency services (e.g., food, housing), family matters, and immigration. Finally, “human library” programs – offered at places like the Santa Monica Public Library and the Bainbridge Island Public Library – allow patrons to converse, one-on-one, with others who have had unique life experiences. Pioneered in Denmark, human library programs aim to expose patrons to alternative perspectives – thereby increasing their understanding – and produce a sense of common ground. Find out more about these unique programs by following these links:

1.)    Therapy dogs:

Cooper, the Shih Tzu – Harvard Library, Harvard University

Monty, the border terrier mix – Yale University Library, Yale

Multiple therapy dogs – Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University

2.)    Professionals (discussed in Multnomah County Public Library’s report, Homelessness, Human Services, and Libraries):

Social worker – San Francisco Public Library

Outreach/social workers – Edmonton Public Library

Outreach worker – Sacramento Public Library

Public health nurses  – Pima County Public Library

3.)    People to converse with, who have had unique life experiences, via “human library” programs:

Santa Monica Public Library

Bainbridge Island Library

Does your library loan animals and/or humans? Let us know by chatting with us on Twitter.

Note: This post is part of our “Beyond Books” series. From time to time, we’ll be sharing examples of unique lending programs, events, and outreach that libraries are offering.

What should library staff be paid?

What should library staff be paid?

avg_hrly_wage_by_degreeBased on 5 years of job postings on our own Library Jobline, we’ve found that starting wages for library jobs are stagnant overall (see our Fast Facts). But this is only one piece of the pay equity puzzle: The American Library Association–Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) has published an updated Pay Equity Bibliography. The bibliography includes resources on pay equity, certification, faculty status, gender, and worker competencies, as well as salary negotiation, legislation, and various economic factors. Salary data and statistical information is also provided to help library professionals understand what they are worth. From the report: “The emphasis for items included in the bibliography is on practical rather than theoretical materials and on more recent information on pay equity; however, there are items from previous versions of the Pay Equity Bibliography included. This list is by no means exhaustive.”

Learn more about the Colorado library job market, salary trends, and other workforce topics in our Fast Facts reports.

Are you currently in the job market? Be sure to visit Library Jobline, for job posting from Colorado and beyond (like Texas and Qatar). And for even more job hunting strategies, visit our Twitter feed @libraryjobline where we’ll share tips and tricks using #JobTip.

In 2012, academic librarians in the West & Southwest out-earned all-US-region averages in 11 of 17 job categories

In 2012, academic librarians in the West & Southwest out-earned all-US-region averages in 11 of 17 job categories

FF_Academic lib salariesOur newest Fast Facts report analyzes results from the 2012 American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) Salary Survey to better understand how academic librarians’ salaries in the West and Southwest (the region including Colorado) compare to other regions. The survey breaks down salaries by job category and institution type, and it covers positions that require an ALA-accredited MLIS/MLS and offer salaries of more than $22,000.

What did we find? University librarians in the West and Southwest earned higher average salaries in every job position in 2012. Directors and librarians who don’t supervise others earned more in average salary in the West and Southwest across all institution types. But two-year college librarians had challenges: middle management (managers and department heads) and deputy directors in the West and Southwest earned less than the average salaries in all regions.

Read more about the 2012 salary figures in our infographic and Fast Facts report, 2012 Academic Librarian Salaries: The West & Southwest Region Remains Competitive. And compare these figures with 2010 ALA-APA Salary Survey results in Fast Facts No. 297, 2010 Academic Librarian Salaries: West and Southwest Region Offers Competitive Pay.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st century library.

Nearly 50% of library workers say the economic downturn would lead them to retire later and/or stay in their current job

Nearly 50% of library workers say the economic downturn would lead them to retire later and/or stay in their current job

Retirement_school libsImage credit: Library Leadership & Management

A new study published in Library Leadership & Management dives into results from a national survey of current library workers regarding their retirement plans, particularly after the economic downturn. Analysis suggests that while more than one-fourth of respondents ages 50-59 and almost three-fourths of respondents in their 60s and 70s plan to retire in the next 5 years, close to half of all respondents said that the economic downturn would lead them to retire later and/or stay in their current job. For three-fourths of respondents, pay and health benefits were “very important” or “critical” factors in their decisions to keep working. As might be expected, those at school libraries were far more likely to leave the field or retire early than their public and academic library colleagues, perhaps alluding to the vulnerable status of school libraries.

Learn more about the changing library workforce here in Colorado at our webpage devoted to publications, presentations, and research on the topic.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st century library.

In 2011-12, 52% of US public school library staff had a master’s degree in a library-related field

In 2011-12, 52% of US public school library staff had a master’s degree in a library-related field

nces

According to survey results from the 2011-12 National Center for Education Statistics Salary and Staffing Survey, two-thirds of US library media centers in traditional public schools and one-third of public charter schools had at least one paid full-time state-certified library media center specialist. About 20 percent of all public schools with library media centers operated with no full-time or part-time paid, state-certified library media center specialists.

On the surface, these are straightforward facts taken from these survey results. In reality, school librarians and libraries are notoriously difficult to define, count, and report. For example, New York City’s 1,700 public schools now employ 333 certified librarians—however not all of them are working as librarians. It is also worth noting the term “state-certified” is a very specific phrase indicating a staff member who has achieved state certification as a school library media specialist as deemed by the state’s licensure office (see Colorado’s endorsement requirements here). This is not equivalent to the staff member having an MLIS, despite the American Association of School Librarians’ position statement on Preparation of School Librarians that states “the master’s degree is considered the entry-level degree for the profession.” So, while more than 4 out of 5 full-time or part-time paid professional library staff were state-certified according to the NCES survey, only 52 percent had a master’s degree in a library-related major.

These examples call attention to the significance of research definitions and how, as savvy research consumers, we must be aware of context and background when considering results. And don’t get us started on how “library” is defined—we’ll dive into that gem soon, so stay tuned!

Tease out the importance of endorsed school librarians with our impact study summary infographic and webpage detailing the impact these staff members have on student achievement.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st century library.

Nearly 1 in 5 full-time professional positions taken by 2011 LIS graduates were outside the LIS field

Nearly 1 in 5 full-time professional positions taken by 2011 LIS graduates were outside the LIS field

Weekly Number_LJ Placements_chart

Image credit: Library Journal 2012 Placements & Salaries Survey

Library Journal’s annual Placements and Salaries survey provides insight into where new LIS graduates are finding jobs, what they’re being paid, and for what kinds of positions. For the class of 2011, graduates reported a 5 percent increase in average starting salaries, fewer temporary and part-time positions, more “emerging” job titles (like “digital asset manager”), and more jobs outside LIS in fields like software engineering and user interface design. Even better news: the average job-seeking process took just under 5 months for this group of grads, with a job hunt of 3 months mentioned most frequently in the results.

For a closer look at the general LIS job market, check out our Fast Facts report on LRS’ own Library Jobline and trends spotted during 2012. If you’re in the hunt for a new position, sign up for custom job notifications by RSS and e-mail through our free job posting service or follow us on our jobs-devoted Twitter feed @libraryjobline.

Note: This post is part of our series, “The Weekly Number.” In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st century library.

New Fast Facts: More Opportunities, Lower Pay: 2012 Insights from Library Jobline

Our new Fast Facts uses data from Library Jobline to evaluate Colorado’s library job climate. In 2012, almost 400 library jobs were posted to Library Jobline, thus marking the third year in a row in which there was an increase in the number of jobs posted. Although there appear to be more opportunities for library-related employment, the starting wages for library jobs posted to Library Jobline have changed little since 2008. Fortunately for job seekers, there was also little change regarding the number of postings that specified requirements or preferences for certain types of experience (e.g., library experience, supervisory experience) or skills (e.g., Spanish fluency).

~Rebecca

Colorado’s Public Computer Centers: Bridging the Great Digital Divide

In September 2010, the Colorado State Library (CSL) secured a Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) grant through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This grant funded 50 grantees to build or enhance Public Computer Centers (PCCs) in 88 high-need urban and rural communities in Colorado with high poverty rates, ethnic diversity, low broadband penetration, and/or limited access to public computers. Our new Fast Facts series provides highlights of the CSL BTOP project’s first year, including:

Visit CSL’s BTOP website to learn more about the project.

 

 

Off to a Good Start: A Look at First-Quarter 2012 Statistics from LibraryJobline.org

A recent LRS Fast Facts used statistics from LibraryJobline.org, an online service for job seekers and employers hosted by LRS, to assess the state of Colorado’s library job market in 2011 as compared to previous years. The report showed that after bottoming out in 2009, Colorado has seen a slow but steady increase in the number of library jobs posted per year. Additionally, interest in those positions, as evidenced by the number of views per job, has dropped off. While starting salaries have increased slightly for positions that did not explicitly require an MLIS, the starting salary for positions which did mandate an MLIS were stagnant.

Data from LibraryJobline.org from the first quarter of 2012 suggests good news for those seeking library jobs in Colorado. On average, there have been 33 new jobs posted per month, as compared to 26 jobs per month in 2011—an increase of 27 percent. In contrast to the first quarter of 2011 alone, in which an average of 27 jobs per month were posted, 22 percent more jobs were posted in the first quarter of 2012 (Chart 1).

New jobs posted from January to April of 2012 were viewed an average of 761 times each, a decrease from 1,951 views per posting in all of 2011. This decrease could signify a less competitive job market, although it could be attributed to other reasons, such as the rise in the number of Library Jobline users who receive news about available positions via email, RSS feed, or Twitter.

These “Hot Jobs” were viewed more than any others in the first quarter of 2012:

Librarian, High Plains Library District, Erie Community Library

  • 1855 views
  • $20/hour
  • 30 hours/week

 Senior Librarian, The Denver Public Library, Hampden Branch Library

  • 1828 views
  • $22.05/hour
  • 40 hours/week

 Library Assistant (Substitute), City and County of Broomfield, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library

  • 1734 views
  • $15/hour
  • On call

Only 22 percent of first-quarter 2012 LibraryJobline.org postings required an MLS or MLIS degree, as compared with 33 percent in all of 2011. Nineteen percent would give preference to candidates with an MLS or MLIS, and 59 percent of all first quarter 2012 postings did not specify any such preference or requirement (Chart 2).

Of 147 jobs that were open (not posted) in the first quarter of 2012, 17 (12%) did not list starting salaries. With those exceptions, the average starting salary for positions that did not require or prefer an MLIS was $19 per hour, or $2 more than the average starting salary for similar positions in 2011. The starting salary for positions that preferred an MLS/MLIS dipped by $2 however, from $21 to $19 per hour. Starting salaries for positions that required an MLS/MLIS rose slightly, from an average of $24 per hour to $24.25.

Data from the first quarter of 2012 does not conclusively show changes, either for the better or worse, to the library job market in Colorado. However, this information does help job seekers and employers to stay abreast of library hiring trends.

~Chelsea

Are you an employer or job seeker? Set up a customized account at LibraryJobline.org, and follow Library Jobline on Twitter: @LibraryJobline.

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