Online Discussion Forum January 2007

The Online Discussion Forum topic for January covered getting hired or rejected.
The discussion questions were:

  • What is good advice for negotiating salaries and benefits?
  • What are some barriers/limitations you have encountered when negotiating salaries and benefits?
  • Have you been successful in getting tuition assistance, conference funding, or flexible leave time when an increase in salary was not possible?
  • What are some strategies for coping with rejection after a job interview?

The discussion centered on gaining experience and having the confidence to negotiate a higher salary or benefits. 

Joan Petit added, “As new librarians, we often sell ourselves short: we are grateful for any job offer that we don’t advocate for ourselves when it comes to salaries and benefits.  A huge barrier is our own lack of experience and confidence.”

Katie Dunneback pointed out, “…if the job has a specific salary range for hiring, it is because they really cannot help go to a higher amount.”

For dealing with rejection, discussion participants stressed not taking it personally.  Some strategies that were suggested for dealing with rejection were:

  • Reassess cover letter and resume (Jacalyn Spoon)
  • Listen to the grapevine ( Jacalyn Spoon); speak with folks on the search committee after the interview (Aaron Dobbs)
  • Consider if the position was the right “fit” for you (Fiona Bradley)
  • Broaden your search to include more than one type of library (Terry Buckner)

Lenis McBride summed up the discussion by adding, “Also…try not to take it too personally since today’s interviewer is tomorrow’s colleague.”

Articles and web sites mentioned during the discussion:

Dalby, Alyson.  “Negotiating Salary Packages.” July 2005


Kolb, Deborah M. and Ann C. Schaffer.  “Negotiating What You’re Worth.” Library Journal. 15 October 2001.

Topper, Elisa F.  “Working Knowledge: Salary Negotiation 101. (Professional Development).” American Libraries 35.2.  February 2004. p.58(1)

Marsh, Mari. “Negotiation.” The Librarian’s Career Guidebook, edited by Priscilla K. Shontz, p.197-202.  Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press, 2004.
“Mari has worked in personnel in large ARL libraries for many years, and her chapter is full of terrific, practical, step-by-step advice on how to negotiate, including what’s reasonable to ask for, what you can negotiate and what you probably can’t, and how to work out the best deal for yourself.  I can’t recommend this short, highly readable chapter enough – I learned so much from reading it.” (Rich Murray)

Many workers to consider new jobs for 2007 (Lena Sweeten)--> Back to Online Discussion Forum main page