ALA Library Support Staff Interests Round Table Issues Survey

The survey below was distributed to as many library support staff as possible from December 17, 1996 through June 9, 1997. The final results (PDF file) show that 2,078 responses were received and tallied. We thank all of the library support staff who participated!

The ALA SSIRT is conducting a brief survey to determine the predominant issues facing the library support staff community. The results will be used to help facilitate short and long-term ALA SSIRT strategic planning. You do NOT have to be a member of ALA or SSIRT in order to complete this survey. Library support staff input is sought and appreciated. The survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

Personal/Library Data

1. What is your exact job title:

2. In what functional area(s) are you employed: (Check all that apply)

a. Acquisitions
b. Circulation
c. Cataloging/Processing
d. Reference
e. Interlibrary Loan
f. Serials
g. Other (specify)

3. How long have you worked in the library field?
(round up to the next nearest year) years

4. What type of library do you work in?

a. College/University Library (Privately Funded)
b. College/University Library (Publicly Funded)
c. Elementary/High School Library
d. Public Library
e. Special Library (Privately Funded) (specify)
f. Special Library (Publicly Funded) (specify)
g. Other (specify)

5. What is the total population served by your library?

a. Fewer than 5,000
b. 5,000-9,999
c. 10,000-24,999
d. 25,000-49,999
e. 50,000-99,999
f. 100,000-249,999
g. 250,000-499,999
h. 500,000-999,999
i. More than 1,000,000

6a. Estimate how many FTE staff are there in your library:

6b. Please estimate what percent are support staff? %

7. What is the highest degree you have earned?

a. High School Diploma
b. Associate's Degree 
c. Bachelor's Degree
d. Master's Degree-MLS
e. Master's Degree-Other
f. Ph.D. 

8. Do you supervise the work of others?

a. Yes
b. No

9. Are you: (check all that apply)

a. Union
b. Non-union
c. Civil Service (please specify city, county, state, federal, etc.)
d. Non-Civil Service

10. What state (if U.S.) or country (if other than U.S.) are you from?

11. If you belong to a library organization(s), please list:

12. What salary range most closely matches your 1996 annual salary? (***OPTIONAL***)

a. $10,000-$14,999
b. $15,000-$19,999
c. $20,000-$24,999
d. $25,000-$29,999
e. $30,000-$34,999
f. OVER $35,000
g. LESS THAN $10,000

Library Support Staff Issues

1. Below is a list of issues that have been previously identified as concerns facing the library support staff community. Please rank what FIVE issues should receive the highest priority from ALA SSIRT in their upcoming strategic planning.
(1=highest, 2=next highest, etc.)

a. Access to continuing education and training opportunities
b. Lack of support ($$, release time) from library for continuing education and training opportunities
c. Apathy of support staff (not wanting to get involved)
d. Lack of a Paraprofessional Certification Program
e. Career ladders (few opportunities for advancement)
f. No agreement on appropriate terminology
g. Compensation not appropriate to level of education, experience and responsibilities
h. Lack of recognition for contributions to libraries and librarianship
i. Blurring of support staff and librarian roles
j. Limited access to participate in decisions that affect their job
k. Outsourcing
l. No basic general education requirement for support staff positions
m. Lack of support staff representation on decision-making committees at library
n. Lack of benefits (not wages)
o. Keeping up with technological changes
p. Responsibility for library operations but no authority to shape those operations
q. Morale
r. OTHER (please specify)
s. OTHER (please specify)

(OPTIONAL) 2. Do you have any suggestions on how ALA SSIRT can address the issues you have identified?