Librarian Salary Survey reports mean librarian salary $58,860, median $54,500 in 2009

Jenifer Grady




For Immediate Release

July 7, 2009

CHICAGO - Results from the 2009 edition of the “ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian - Public and Academic” are available in two ways – immediately for subscribers to the ALA-APA Library Salary Database and in print from the American Library Association (ALA) online store. Analysis of data from more than 1,179 public and academic libraries showed the mean salary for librarians with ALA-accredited master’s degrees reported decreased less than 1 percent from 2008, down $100 to $58,860. The median ALA MLS salary was $54,500, 2 percent higher than in 2008, and salaries ranged from $22,000 to $256,800. ALA-APA thanks all the library staff who completed the survey on behalf of their institutions and state data coordinators and ALA state chapter Councilors who alerted libraries.

Published by the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) in cooperation with the ALA Office for Research and Statistics, the survey shows aggregated data from more than 17,018 (a 5 percent increase over 2008) individual salaries of ALA MLS librarians. The six librarian positions are directors/deans, associate/assistant directors, department heads, managers of support staff, librarians who do not supervise and beginning librarians.

The 2009 response rate of libraries participating was 33 percent, an improvement of four points over 2008. Almost 3,600 libraries were in the sample asked to respond.  Responding libraries this year received a 30-day subscription to the “Library Salary Database” and a 25-percent discount off the print edition. The “Library Salary Database” includes data from 2006 to the present for more than 60 librarian and non-MLS positions, which can be searched by state, eight library types and four regions. The survey gives national-level mean and quartile data. The printed reports include analysis of salary trends and an extensive appendix of other sources of compensation data within and outside of the library profession.

The “Librarian Salary Survey” continues more than 25 years of collecting and reporting salary data for six positions requiring an ALA-accredited master's degree in library science. The survey was completed with consultation from Denise M. Davis, director of the ALA Office for Research and Statistics and conducted by The Management Association of Illinois.

Libraries may purchase the “ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian - Public and Academic” from the ALA Store at $81 for ALA members/$90 for non-members. Database users may subscribe online at Print purchasers may order through the ALA Store at

The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association: the Organization for the Advancement of Library Employees is a service organization to the American Library Association and has as one of its missions supporting salary improvement initiatives for library workers. Please contact the ALA-APA Office at (800) 545-2433, ext. 2424 or with questions or comments.