The library’s staff is its most valuable resource and should account for the largest portion of the library’s budget. Library staff is key to providing quality library service. Changes in library services and programs have increased the need for continuing education among library staff, volunteers, trustees and Friends. As a result of rapid advances in technology and increased expectations of today’s library users, library personnel need to participate in strategic planning efforts and to continually upgrade their skills.
As in other professions, librarians have recognized that one means of achieving quality is through approved educational programs.
The standard for professional library education is the Master of Library Science (M.L.S or MLIS), a graduate degree in library and information science offered at colleges and universities throughout the United States. The accrediting body for these degree programs is the American Library Association (ALA) which accredits library schools, not individual librarians.
|1. * The library director meets the following criteria: Library directors hired prior to 2001 are grandfathered.
|2. The library director is able to assess needs, set objectives, evaluate and measure the effectiveness of public library programs; select materials, provide guidance in the use of all library resources; work within the political and social structures of the community; communicate and work effectively with board members and staff; make use of current and emerging technologies for information and communication and continually improve their skills and attain new competencies.|
|3. The library’s governing body employs competent, well-trained and adequately compensated (see guidelines in this section) personnel who will ensure technical competence and dynamic leadership.|
|4. The library is staffed by people who are dedicated to service and motivated by a desire to help people regardless of age, race, sex, physical disability, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinion or religious belief. Library staff is eager to give fast, efficient and high-quality service to the community in a friendly manner.|
|5. Library staff helps promote a positive image of the library and publicize its services to the community and to library patrons.|
|6. Library staff is aware of all library policies and service objectives.|
|1. *The library, no matter how small, has a permanent, paid staff person who is responsible for the administration of library services.|
|2. The library provides at least as many staff (excluding maintenance personnel) in Full Time Equivalents (FTE) per 1,000 population as recommended below. FTE is defined as a 40 hour work week.
(Example: A library in a town of 5,000 requires 6 x 5 = 3 FTE]
|3. Libraries with specialized collections and/or services such as system resource libraries or libraries serving populations with unique needs may require additional staff.|
|4. *For safety/security reasons, the library has at least two persons, (one may be a volunteer), scheduled at all times the library is open.|
|5. The library has additional staff or contract services required for the security and maintenance of the library facilities.|
|6. At least one computer technician is on call at all times the library is open (this includes MSLN circuit riders).|
|7. A member of the paid staff serves as volunteer coordinator to organize, implement, and evaluate the volunteer program. The program includes volunteer acknowledgement, evaluations, training, and supervision.|
|1. At least 1% of the personnel budget is allocated to in-service training and continuing education.|
|2. *The library has a written personnel policy which is reviewed annually and is in compliance with local, state and federal employment laws. (see appendix G).|
|3. Salary schedules provide for regular increases at least equal to the consumer price index or follows the salary policies of municipal staff. Provisions are provided for merit increases for superior performance and continuing education recognition.|
|4. The library director serves as the principal channel of communication between staff and the library governing body.|
|5. The library offers health and retirement benefits to eligible employees.|
|6. The library has job descriptions for each position, outlining duties and responsibilities, required education, experience, abilities, and reporting structure.|
|7. Job descriptions are reviewed and revised as necessary on an annual basis.|
|8. Copies of personnel policies and practices are made available to all staff members.|
|9. A written evaluation of each employee’s performance is completed at least once each year. Evaluation criteria are based on the job description and reflect the extent to which an individual has achieved written performance standards, goals and objectives. Evaluations are conducted more frequently during probationary periods. (A sample evaluation form is available in the appendices. See appendix G).|
|10. The library supports the Americans with Disabilities Act in all employment policies and practices including hiring and staff development.|
|11. Qualified volunteers in a planned program supplement, but do not substitute for, paid staff.|
The Maine Library Association supports and works for the achievement of equal salaries and opportunities for employment and promotion for men and women. The Association fully supports the concept of pay equity that aims to bring levels of pay for female-oriented occupations equal to those of male-oriented occupations; MLA therefore supports all legal and legislative efforts to achieve wages for library workers commensurate with wages in other occupations with similar qualifications, training, and responsibilities.
Salaries should be competitive and sufficient to attract and hold qualified personnel at all levels. Salaries for each personnel category should offer a range of promotional steps sufficient to permit advancement within the job classification. The top salary in any category should overlap the beginning salary in the next higher category, in order to give recognition to the value of experience and knowledge gained on the job.
|1. *All Library employees are paid at least minimum wage. See minimum salary guidelines on the next page for more information.|
|2. Salaries account for at least 60% of the library’s operating budget.|
|3. Salary schedules provide for regular salary increases.|
|4. Library staff members have salaries, hours and benefits at least comparable with other community positions requiring similar educational preparation and job assignments such as public school systems or town offices. See minimum salary guidelines on the next page for more information.|
|5. Salary ranges are included in advertisements for open positions.|
|6. The library meets Minimum Salary Guidelines as indicated on the next page.|
Public Library employment environments in Maine vary widely, from very small one-employee libraries to much larger organizations with many departments. While some public libraries are departments of their municipalities, others operate much like a small business under non-profit, tax-exempt designations. Some Maine library workers have collective bargaining arrangements, while others are more individually exposed to a sometimes unappreciative labor market, hence the need for salary guidelines. In such a varied professional landscape, quantifying minimum salary guidelines presents numerous challenges.
The Maine Library Association fully supports the concept of equal pay for equal work. As public libraries are A) a traditionally female profession and B) sometimes a low funding priority in their communities, the following library positions are compared with entry-level salaries for reasonable equivalents in local school systems. School salaries suggested below are as reported by the Maine School Management Association and should be considered carefully in comparison with existing library salary schedules. Adjustment for local factors in the school system is strongly suggested.
Livable Wage in Maine: According to the most recent estimates available from the Maine Center for Economic Policy, in 2006 the state-wide average livable wage for a family of four people with one wage earner was $16.47/hour or $34,257/year. A livable wage for a household with 2 children and 2 wage earners was $12.46/hour(x2), or $51,844. According to MCEP, in 2006 a single person with no dependents should have earned $10.20/hour as a livable wage.
Library governing bodies must also strive to offer equitable benefits packages. Comparison with the local school system is also strongly suggested.
|Position (required degree)||Compared with||Hourly entry level recommended wage||Annual entry level recommended wage|
|Library page||Minimum wage|
|Technician (High School diploma)||Ed Tech I||$10.84||$22,547|
|Technician (Associates degree)||Ed Tech II||$12.01||$24,980|
|Librarian (Bachelor’s)||Teacher with Bachelor’s||$13.98||$29,078|
|Librarian (MLS or equivalent)||Teacher with Master’s||$15.15||$31,512|
|Department Head (MLS or equivalent)||Assistant Principal||$16.51||$34,340|
|Library Director||HS Principal||$21.46||$44,636|
Staff should participate in professional organizations at the local, state, regional and national level. Staff development should include planned educational activities as well as day-to-day communications between supervisors and staff and among staff members themselves. It is the library director’s responsibility to ensure that staff development opportunities are made available to staff on a regular basis.
|1. There is a planned orientation program for all new employees.|
|2. Staff members are encouraged and allowed paid time off to attend workshops, professional meetings, and other continuing education activities both in and out of state at a minimum of three days annually. Staff members are encouraged to visit other libraries, to compare procedures with colleagues or to attend work exchanges (where an employee is paid by their employer to work temporarily at another library to gain practical experience).|
|3. *Funding for training/travel is an established regularly budgeted item in the library’s operating budget.|
|4. In-house staff development opportunities are offered on a regular basis.|
|5. The library pays dues for staff members to join professional associations.|
|6. The library purchases professional library materials such as Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book, VOYA and Publisher’s Weekly for use by library staff, volunteers and trustees.|
|7. Staff receives regular training in customer service.|
- Belcastro, Patricia. Evaluating Library Staff: A Performance Appraisal System. American library Association (ALA), 1998
- Bessler, Joanne. Putting Service into Library Staff Training: A Library Manager’s Training Guide. ALA, 1994
- Bolt, Nancy M. Evaluating the Library Director. ALA, ALTA, 1983
- Curzon, Susan Carol. Managing the Interview: A How-To-Do-It Manual. Neal-Schuman, 1995
- Davis, H. Scott. New Employee Orientation: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. Neal-Schuman, 1994
- Dobb, Linda and Patrick Dick. Human Resource Management in the Small Library. Small Libraries Publication Series #21. ALA, 1992
- Geddes, Andrew and James A. Hess. Securing a New Library Director. ALA, ALTA, 1979
- Giesecke, Joan. Practical Help for New Supervisors. 3rd edition. ALA, 1996
- Goodson, Carol F. The Complete Guide to Performance Standards for Library Personnel. Neal-Schuman, 1997
- Lipow, Anne Grodzing and Deborah Carver. Staff Development: A Practical Guide. 2nd edition. ALA, LAMA, 1992
- Maine Municipal Association. 2005 MMA Salary Survey. MMA, September, 2005
- Maine School Management Association. Administrator Reports (unpublished). Oct 2004
- Maine School Management Association. Hourly Employee reports (unpublished). Oct 2004
- Maine School Management Association. Teacher Reports (unpublished). Oct 2004
- McCurley, Steve and Rick Lynch. Volunteer Management: Mobilizing all the Resources of the Community. Heritage Arts Publishing, 1996
- Miller, Glenn. Customer Service & Innovation in Libraries. Highsmith, 1996
- Personnel Administration in Libraries. Edited by Sheila Creth and Frederick Duda. 2nd edition. Neal-Schuman, 1989
- The Personnel Manual: An Outline for Libraries. Edited by Charles E. Kratz and Valerie A. Platz, 2nd edition. ALA, 1993
- Personnel Policies in Libraries. Edited by Nancy Patton Van Zant. Neal-Schuman, 1980
- Pohlman, Lisa. Getting By: Maine Livable Wages in 2002. Maine Center for Economic Policy, July, 2003
- Pohlman, Lisa. Getting By: Maine Livable Wages in 2004. Maine Center for Economic Policy, October, 2005
- Rubin, Richard. Hiring Library Employees: A How-To-Do-It Manual. Neal-Schuman, 1993
- Rubin, Richard. Human Resource Management in Libraries - Theory and Practice. Neal-Schuman, 1991
- Selecting a Library Director: A Workbook for Members of a Selection Committee. Revised by Jack Cole & Suzanne H. Mahmoodi. Friends of the Library Development and Services Library, St. Paul, Minnesota,1998
- Sheldon, Brooke, E. Personnel Administration in the Small Public Library. Small Libraries Publication Series #5. ALA, LAMA, 1980
- Stueart, Robert D. and Maureen Sullivan. Performance Analysis andAppraisal: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. Neal-Schuman, 1991
- Stueart, Robert D & Barbara B. Moran, Library and Information Center Management, 5th ed., Libraries Unlimited, 1998
- Trotta, Marcia. Successful Staff Development: A How-To-Do-It Manual. Neal-Schuman, 1995
- Walters, Suzanne. Customer Service: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Libraries. Neal-Schuman, 1994
- Weingard, Darlene. Customer Service Excellence: A Concise Guide for Libraries. ALA, 1997