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Sat, Oct. 18th, 2008, 10:37 pm
dreambar: Library Journal "Placement & Salaries 2008"

Did anyone read the Library Journal's report on "Placement & Salaries" for 2008? Thoughts?

I was disturbed by the gender gap; I'm in library school now and no one has ever mentioned this issue. I was also surprised to find that children's librarians make significantly less than other librarians.

Sun, Oct. 19th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)

I think the salary differences between men and women are because men usually act in supervisory roles more than women do.

Sun, Oct. 19th, 2008 02:48 pm (UTC)

I agree that the gender gap may have something to do with men taking on more supervisory roles, but I'm always somewhat puzzled by this. With a profession made up of 80% women, why aren't we getting equal pay? There are plenty of female managers and directors out there, and they are highly capable. I'm always a little confused by why we pay men more. Where's our library_grrl power in action? I'm kind of saddened that the article says that the gap is widening--I would like to see it getting smaller.

Mon, Oct. 20th, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)

i totally agree with your comment! i wish more people were angry about this, rather than being acceptable.

Mon, Oct. 20th, 2008 01:29 am (UTC)

We don't negotiate our salaries as a group, though, and female librarians are probably as likely as women in any other profession to make mistakes when negotiating. Two of the most commonly mentioned missteps are accepting a new job without negotiating the first salary they offer and asking for raises based on your needs rather than increased job responsibilities and what you've done for the organization.

Tue, Oct. 21st, 2008 12:42 am (UTC)


I remember reading that a lot of the reason women make lower salaries is because women as a whole don't negotiate salaries. They don't want to make waves or anything like that.

My cousin on the other hand negotiated her salary as a genetic counselor, which I thought was cool. She made corrections in her contract and got the hospital to help pay for her moving costs. Sometimes it helps to speak up.

Mon, Oct. 20th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)

With a profession made up of 80% women, why aren't we getting equal pay?

And why aren't more women taking on these supervisory roles? I find it very off-putting that in every library around me the highest positions are filled by men. Considering the disproportionate representation of women to me, it's suspicious.

I graduated library school 5 months ago and am still searching for a position; my boyfriend who is in library school has secured a job which will be held for him until he graduates 7 months from now. Ahem.

Sun, Oct. 19th, 2008 03:10 pm (UTC)

I went to go look at the "where the jobs are" chart.

30% in public libraries....if that's where the jobs are and on average it takes a year to two years to get a full time, librarian job....that freaks me out.

and where are these people making 40k + a year?!

Sun, Oct. 19th, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)

I just calculated and if I stay in my current position I'll make over $40k in 3 years if all merit increases to my salary happen.
It took me a few months to find a full time librarian job. I might not be the norm, but I don't think I'm an exception to anything either. Anyway, have hope!

Sun, Oct. 19th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)

Places with high cost of living. I started at 38k at my old job but it went above 40k with a contract negotiation within a few months. That was right outside Boston MA. Now I'm right outside New York, NY and I'm at 48k. These were fairly entry level librarian positions.

Of course, cost of living makes these numbers a whole lot less impressive.

Sun, Oct. 19th, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)

One of my colleagues got an entry-level job in Los Angeles and started at 60k. But, cost of living is way different than making $30k in the middle of no where.

Mon, Oct. 20th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)

okay, well, i guess i have my career planned out. california, here i come!

Mon, Oct. 20th, 2008 03:50 am (UTC)

Expect to pay 2-4 times as much for housing in the LA area than in the middle of nowhere. I live in the latter now, and our brand new house would easily cost twice as much in the Seattle area (where I used to live) and four times as much in the LA area (where my spouse used to live). Really, the LJ report is stupid if it doesn't present corresponding cost-of-living data to the reported salaries for different areas.

Mon, Oct. 20th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)

With two library schools in the state, competition is really fierce for that handful of 60K/year jobs. And yes, housing and transportation costs here in Los Angeles are out of control.

I've been out of lib school for two years now and have yet to work in a library - I'm working at an internet company instead. Not what I expected to be doing with my MLIS, but good for now.

Mon, Oct. 20th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)

Expect to pay more in taxes for earning a higher salary.

Mon, Oct. 20th, 2008 03:40 pm (UTC)

I started out as an entry level Librarian I (with some library experience, but not enough to qualify for the Librarian II level) at 38k, and within a year was promoted to Librarian II; I now make 43k before taxes.

Sun, Oct. 19th, 2008 05:45 pm (UTC)

Men may have more supervisory jobs for whatever reason, but this survey is of recent graduates not overall in the profession.

I graduated in December of 2006 and just got my first permanent library position on Friday (I've been subbing for about a year). Part of it is I want to work in public libraries and there's just not a lot of money right now.

Sun, Oct. 19th, 2008 06:20 pm (UTC)

I think because there are so few men in the profession, they tend to get snapped up first at the higher-paying entry level jobs. I actually don't think it's (purely) sexist; more like affirmative action that happens to benefit men.

Mon, Oct. 20th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)

hm. i wonder if it's as much affirmative action as it is misogyny.
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Mon, Oct. 20th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)

there's a part in the survey that looks at how long it took recent graduates to get placed. they said five months, which is an increase, but some people have been looking for a year.

Mon, Oct. 20th, 2008 05:03 am (UTC)

It took me just a little over a year. Most of those I went to school with experienced something similar, except those who were in circumstances that allowed them to accept part time/no benefits positions, or low paying positions with nonprofits (we're talking $12 an hour jobs here).

Tue, Dec. 16th, 2008 10:20 pm (UTC)

I had a job offer 2 months after graduation. Average salary,small town.
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