Librarian salaries jump 3 percent in 2010

For Immediate Release
Thu, 08/26/2010


Jenifer Grady

Survey reports mean librarian salary $60,734, median $55,883 in 2010

CHICAGO – In the midst of tough economic times, job shortages and cutbacks, a report shows increases in library salaries.

The 2010 edition of the "ALA-APA Salary Survey: Librarian - Public and Academic" revealed average increases across all six position types, ranging from 2 percent for managers of support staff to 13 percent for directors of public and academic libraries.

The survey is based on data from more than 580 library directors and human resources staff members who reported more than 11,000 salaries, giving this year’s survey a remarkable 35 percent response rate. The data is 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. Data can be used by employers to justify budgets, job seekers looking for salary ranges, human resources departments conducting pay equity studies and researchers tracking compensation trends.

In contrast to 2009’s mean and median decrease, analysis of 2010 data for librarians with ALA-accredited master’s degrees showed a 3 percent mean increase from $58,860 in 2009 to $60,734 and a 2 percent median increase from $54,500 in 2009 to $55,883. Salaries ranged from $22,000 (ALA minimum) to $302,500.

ALA-APA recommends a minimum of $42,181 for librarians and $13.52/hour for support staff, based on resolutions passed in 2007 and 2008. Based on the survey results, it appears that most full-time librarians are earning at least that amount. Although the lowest actual salary reported was $22,000, beginning librarians earned an average of $48,317, a 4.6 percent overall increase from 2009, with beginning public librarians averaging $48,749 (5.9 percent over 2009) and academics $47,000 (1.2 percent over 2009).

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 11,554 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.

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. Also to be commended are members of the Association of Research Libraries who participated.

Responding libraries this year received a 50-percent discounted 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, four regions and eight library types. 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 Academicfrom the ALA online store at $81 for ALA members/$90 for non-members, available in softcover bound edition or PDF format. The database is $50 for a 30-day and $150 for an annual subscription. Users may subscribe to the database online or using the form 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.