Two individuals reading outdoors alongside the text "Sustainability Round Table Citation for Wellness in the Workplace Award"

SustainRT Citation for Wellness in the Workplace

2021 Winner: Westerville Public Library

The Westerville Public Library is the winner of the 2021 SustainRT Citation for Wellness in the Workplace in recognition of the great strides the library has made in pay equity for their library workers. In autumn 2020, the library board passed a new pay range scale that resulted in a 34.80% increase for the lowest pay ranges in the organization starting in the new fiscal year. This citation awards their progress towards meeting the needs of staff and promoting wellness through a commitment to pay equity for library workers.  The citation helps promote the work done by leaders and provide examples of what can be done to foster staff wellness. 

The new pay range scale consulted pay ranges in similar local industries and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Living Wage Calculator to ensure that even the lowest pay range in the organization provided a living minimum wage for Franklin County, where the Westerville Public Library is located. This new strategy resulted in pay increases for all library staff—but most importantly, the largest increase went to those library workers in the lowest pay ranges. Across the board, staff received a 3 percent raise, with workers in the lowest pay range receiving a 20.4% increase from the pay range midpoint as well as an annual raise of 3%, resulting in a 34.8% raise overall from 2020.  By raising the wages of their workers across the board, the library has not only demonstrated a commitment to fair pay and pay equity, but shown library workers that their work is valuable. Additionally during the economic downturn brought on by the pandemic, the Westerville Public Library administration was able to maintain staff salaries by reducing general operating funds by 20%, enacting a hiring freeze, and offering voluntary furloughs for employees not ready to return to work. Instead of cutting library worker wages during a time of financial hardship, the Westerville Public Library chose to expand worker wages. 

SustainRT is pleased to recognize the efforts of Westerville Public Library to address staff wellness and pay equity with the 2021 Citation for Wellness in the Workplace. Representatives of the library will receive a plaque from SustainRT in recognition of this achievement at the roundtable’s annual membership meeting during ALA’s Annual Conference.

SustainRT’s Citation for Wellness in the Workplace carries on the work begun by ALA Past-President Loida Garcia-Febo with her Presidential Citation for Wellness in the Workplace and her commitment to the wellness of library workers. Garcia-Febo says, “As a woman with deep interests in mental and physical health, and the well-being of library workers, wellness is of utmost importance to me. Libraries have the power to help transform lives through efforts promoting wellness. I hope this citation motivates libraries everywhere to support the overall well-being of their staff.”

About the Award

In recognition of the fact that library staff are our greatest asset in building and supporting sustainable libraries and communities, the ALA Sustainability Roundtable (SustainRT) is recognizing libraries that go above and beyond in meeting the wellness needs of their staff with the SustainRT Citation for Wellness in the Workplace. All ALA members are invited to nominate any library whose efforts to meet the needs of their staff in the areas of continuing education and creating a positive work environment have advanced sustainability and encouraged wellness. This may include wellness initiatives for unions, gender equity, pay equity, and other activities designed to improve the salaries and status of library professionals. The SustainRT Citation for Wellness in the Workplace was initiated by ALA past Loida Garcia-Ferbo.

Libraries must be nominated by an ALA member. To nominate a library initiative/effort, nominators must complete and submit the online nomination form. Distinct efforts by a library, consortia or organization may be nominated separately in the same year.


The following criteria will be used in the selection process:

  1. The recipient should have designed and implemented an effort to benefit their library staff in the areas of continuing education, wellness, positive work environment, unions, salaries, gender equity, pay equity initiatives, and other activities designed to improve the salaries and status of librarians and other library workers within the last three (3) years.
  2. The effort(s) must have greatly improved existing work conditions for library workers.
  3. The effort(s) must demonstrate a strong likelihood of sustainability and have potential to serve as a model for other libraries.
  4. The effort(s) must be current, that is, it must be in operation during the year that the Citation is awarded.

Nomination Process

ALA members may nominate libraries and organizations using the nomination form. Please fill out the form by March 15, 2021

Citation Awarding Process

Individuals submitting nominations along with the winning library will be notified by April 23, 2021 regarding the decision of the SustainRT Awards Committee. 

An invitation letter to attend the SustainRT Annual Meeting and accept the citation will be issued to the winner. 

Recipients of the SustainRT Citation for Wellness do not receive funds for travel or other financial rewards.

The successful nomination will receive a plaque from the current SustainRT Coordinator during the ALA Annual Conference. The Citation will be announced through ALA and SustainRT communication channels including through an announcement on the SustainRT website and shared with ALA’s Communications and Marketing Office.


Casey Conlin