For immediate release | August 21, 2012

Survey results indicate salaries for librarians in 2012 flat – and in some cases lower

CHICAGO — According to results of the newly-released 2012 ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian – Public and Academic, with a less than 1 percent increase, salaries for librarians are basically flat. Survey responses from public and academic libraries in all 50 states and the District of Columbia indicate that salaries range from a low of $22,000 in public libraries to a high of more than $258,000, with the highest salary earners being library directors in university libraries.

The Salary Survey shows aggregated data from 11,315 individual salaries of librarians with an ALA-accredited Master’s degree from 618 libraries by region and state. Data is shown for public libraries serving populations under 10,000 to more than 500,000, as well as for academic libraries at community colleges, four-year colleges and university libraries, including Association of Research Libraries.

The information included in the Survey is useful for academic and public library directors and human resources staff for hiring and promotions considerations. It is also valuable for librarians seeking employment or considering moving to various locations across the country. The survey report summarizes salaries paid to staff in six position categories: directors/deans, associate/assistant directors, department heads, managers of support staff, librarians who do not supervise and beginning librarians.

Access to data is available through subscriptions to the online ALA-APA Library Salary Database and costs $50 for 30-day access or $150 ($250 for non-ALA members) for access for one year. The data is also in a print publication available from the American Library Association’s store for $90.

ALA-APA is a nonprofit professional organization established “to promote the mutual professional interests of librarians and other library workers.” One of its major areas of focus is direct support of comparable worth and pay equity initiatives and activities designed to improve the salaries and status of librarians and other library workers.

For more information, contact the ALA-APA Director, Lorelle Swader, at (800) 545-2433, ext. 4278 or via email at


Lorelle R. Swader


Office for Human Resource Development & Recruitment (HRDR)