This article, which was reported in the national trade journal for ALA members, provided some of the first data about salaries for librarians. The introduction stated that "salary surveys for various related professions" were available but "inclusive, current, detailed, and comparable salary statistics for the profession as a whole are not now available." While hoping to do a nationwide comprehensive survey of all types of libraries, funding prohibited this so that this survey went out only to ALA members employed in libraries as of September 1970. Table 9 shows Salary Distribution by Sex with women responding to this question at a much higher rate than men. While the Task Force on the Status of Women in Librarianship criticized this survey for not being so comprehensive and inclusive as to include all those employed in libraries, whether a member of ALA or not, this report did begin to bring attention to the lack of salary information.
THERE HAS BEEN considerable comment in the past few years-- both printed and very audible comment --on the lack of up-to-date, reliable data concerning salaries and compensations of all kinds within the profession of librarianship. Salary surveys for various related professions are available and recently some surveys have dealt with aspects of salaries for special groups of librarians,[note], [note] but inclusive current, detailed, and comparable salary statistics for the profession as a whole are not now available.
The Library Administration Division requested 1970-1971 ALA budget funds for a comprehensive ongoing salary survey of all types of libraries. The proposed national survey would have provided inclusive and current data about the profession's salary patterns and levels, and would have shown regional relationships and variations. The ALA Executive Board was unable to fund (in 1970-71) as extensive a survey as is needed. The board authorized a briefer salary survey to study the salaries of ALA members employed in libraries or library-related occupations.
A salary survey questionnaire was drawn up by the LAD staff and pretested on groups of librarians in school, public, academic, and special libraries in the Chicago area. A cover letter sent with the questionnaire stressed two points: the inclusion-extension factors, i.e., trustees, retired librarians, students, and commercial representatives were asked not to return the questionnaire. The survey was intended for those ALA personal members working in a library or library-related position. It was necessary also to ask respondents to limit the information given to the form itself. Through the pretest it was seen that librarians nationwide have adapted to unique organizational structures and job combinations. Many librarians also have unique educational profiles. The limited questionnaire, at the risk of excluding some pertinent data, had to be constructed to gather the greatest amount of information from the greatest number of members.
Mailing to all personal members took place in mid-September 1970, with the request that the questionnaire be returned by early October 1970. No postage paid return envelope was included. This violated one of the cardinal rules of mail questionnaire surveying. Economic duress was the factor here, but the overwhelming results received--in spite of this lack of a return envelope --is certainly a testimony to the support of the membership for such an effort of data collection on salaries.
The charts and tables which follow show some statistical relationships of relevant variables which were included in the survey instrument. However, the quality of the response to each question could only be as good as the question itself. Some of the questions were weak or poorly defined. In addition, certain models of wage scaling or job function and organizational or educational patterns were implicit in the questionnaire. In some cases librarians were unable to find in the categories of the questionnaire an adequate reflection of their own situation. The data collected and displayed here reflects the present (October 1970) situation of ALA personal members and reflects
[p. 410]the situation within the categories drawn from the organizational manuals and charts available to the American Library Association.
There is legitimate doubt raised as to the advisability of adopting present organizational categories as a checklist of positions, job functions, and educational levels. In addition, whether members of the American Library Association and their salaries are typical of librarianship as a whole remains to be seen. It is accepted wisdom to suppose that ALA members have higher positions and receive higher salaries than their counterparts who are not ALA members. Only a comparable or much better salary survey of the entire profession could make firm such a supposition.
The principal salary determinants obviously are academic degree, type of employer, and sex. Some salary variations were found within specialty fields. However, the distribution of actual responses to this question provide implicitly some clue to the lack of clarity in phrasing or defining the job functions for the checklist (see Table 5). The financial advantage of longevity is also very apparent in Table 8, and provides a clearer, if abstracted, picture of some existing wage policies.
Specific comments on the salary survey made by the respondents came in letters or in the margins of the questionnaire. Most of the observations were made about the lack of a post-paid envelope, but a number of ALA members queried the purpose of a specific question (most often question 6--highest completed educational level). About sixty-five respondents said their salary was a private matter or that they were unable because of regulations to divulge this information even anonymously. These questionnaires, though returned, were not usable. Some commented that although at liberty to state his salary, the respondent felt that his particular atypical situation (usually a very high salary) would prejudice the survey. Questionnaires from religious respondents who reported their salary as contributed services were analyzed separately. Tables which contain partial information from these special questionnaires are appropriately footnoted.--Barbara Manchak, personnel assistant. Library Administration Division.
STATISTICS ON QUESTIONNAIRE RETURNS
25,993 ALA personal member questionnaires mailed
7,873 commercial representatives, students, trustees, retired librarians (questionnaire not applicable)
12,581 questionnaires returned
12,400 useable returns
i.e., some questionnaires which were returned were not useable. These fell Into two categories:
123 returns were lacking in salary data or were illegible. These were voided.
58 returns were valid but were returned after December 1, 1970.
69.41 returned questionnaires
68.41 useable responses
Salary Distribution by Terms of Employment
|FULL TIME||FULL TIME (12 mo.)||FULL TIME (less than 12 mo.)||PART- TIME|
|Number of Respondents||11,280||7271||3069||560|
|Average Salary (FT)||S11.758||$12,044||$10,750||$5,128|
|5th Percentile||$ 7,000||$ 6,500||$ 7,200|
|25th Percentile||$ 9,000||$ 8,600||$ 9,100|
|PERCENT RESPONSE||Percent Response||91%*||64%**||27%**||4.5%*|
*4.5% of those questioned did not respond to this item.
**8.5% of those questioned did not respond to this item.
Percentile values represent the salary as determined on a scale of one hundred indicating the percent of a distribution that is equal to or below it. The 50th percentile (median) indicates half the salaries are less, half are greater. The 95th percentile indicates that 95 percent of the salaries are below, 5 percent are above. Percentile ranges were preferred to simple high-low reported salaries, since in most cases the extreme high and low were atypical while percentile distribution clarified the picture by presenting a more typical situation.
Salary Distribution by Type of Library (Full Time)
Salary Distribution by Selected Type
of Library (Part Time)
|NUMBER OF RESPONDENTS||PERCENT RESPONSE*||AVERAGE SALARY|
|Library System Headquarters||11||.09%||$5614|
|Jr. College Library||16||.13%||$4688|
* Refers to response to Questions 2 and 3 in the Survey questionnaire.
Salary Distribution by Responsibility
|HEAD||ASST HEAD||DEPT OR UNIT SUPVSR||
|NON- SUPVSR||GEN'L RESPONSIBILITY*|
|Number of Respondents Full Time||2786||869||1873||1528||1669||2389|
|Pexentage of Respondents||22.4%||7%||15.1%||12.3%||13.4%||19.2%|
|Average Full Time Salary||$13,845||$12,475||$11,865||$11,224||$10,735||$10,047|
|Median Full Time Salary||$13,000||$11,600||$11,400||$10,500||$ 9,881||$ 9,718|
|Number of MEN Respondents||1,023||282||442||314||387||271|
|Percentage of MEN Respondents||8.6%||2.3%||3.7%||2.6%||3.2%||2.2%|
|Average MEN'S Salary (FT)||$16,963||$14,900||$13,228||$11,934||$12,382||$12,639|
|Number of WOMEN Respondents||1,752||584||1,424||1,208||1,100||2,108|
|Percentage of WOMEN Respondents||14.8%||4.9%||12%||10.4%||10.2%||17.8%|
|Average WOMEN'S Salary (FT)||$12,019||$11,318||$11,443||$11,031||$10,239||$ 9,713|
*member of a relatively small library staff whose duties are extensive rather than specific.
Salary Distribution by Selected Job Function
|Number of Respondents||159||663||112||209||80||716|
|Average Full Time Salary||$10,010||$10,004||$ 9,491||$13,248||$10,277||$ 9,593|
|Incidence of Paraprofessionals||3||10||5||0||6|
|RESEARCH||SERIALS||SUBJECT SPECLST||TEACHING||TECH SRVCS||OTHER*|
|Number of Respodents||42||97||164||357||119||371|
|Average Full Time Salary||$14,147||$10,384||$10,799||$13,576||$11,623||$11,605|
|Incidence of Paraprofesslonals||2||3||0||1||4||6|
*A number of consultants, group specialists (children's librarians, etc.), and document librarians classed themselves as "other" and specified their work. This must be considered in totals and salary averages given for all of these categories. The list of job functions given in the questionnaire was drawn from available library organizational charts. The fact that these categories were confusing to many respondents seems to indicate a lack of uniformity in job titles which hampers research such as salary surveys.
Only selected job functions are shown in this table rather than all the job functions contained in the questionnaire, since in a number of job categories there was a statistically insignificant number of respondents.
Salary Distribution by Highest Academic Degree
|Ph.D.||Speclst (6th yr)||M. in L.S.||M.A.||M. in L.S. and M.A.||B.L.S. (5th yr||B.A.||Other|
|Number of Respondents||420||166||7306||1500||648||1747||1077||273|
|Average Salary (fulltime)||$18,513||$12,827||$11,553||$12,803||$12,846||$12,358||$ 9,563||$ 7,347|
|Percentiles: 5th||$10,175||$ 7,500||$ 7,500||$ 7,788||$ 8,000||$ 7,650||$ 5,592||$ 4,000|
|25th||$14,088||$10,500||$ 9,072||$ 9,800||$ 9,840||$ 9,934||$ 7,400||$ 5,400|
|50th||$17,750||$12,400||$10,700||$12,000||$12,000||$11,850||$ 9,000||$ 6,800|
|Number of MEN Respondents||298||33||1907||464||273||209||67||11|
|Average (FT) MEN'S Salaries||$19,649||$15,007||$13,403||$14,841||$13,862||$15,933||$11,652||$ 8,700|
|Number of WOMEN Respondents||111||127||4914||928||332||1450||922||233|
|Average (FT) WOMEN'S Salaries||$15,492||$12,260||$10,812||$11,737||$11,983||$11,840||$ 9,404||$ 7,100|
Average Salary by Type of Library and Highest Academic Degree
|Ph.D.||Speclst||M.in L.S.||M.A.||M.in L.S. and M.A.||B.L.S.||B.A.||Other|
|Conmercial Library Service||-||-||$13,312||$13,850||$16,000||$14,066||$11,150||-|
|Library System Hdqts.||$24,130||$13,388||$12,878||$14,978||$14,968||$12,806||$10,758||$10,835|
|Library School||$18,407||$13,718||$12,848||$13,026||$12,571||$11,445||$ 8,430||-|
|Special Library||$16,089||$ 9,000||$11,734||$13,609||$14,105||$13,646||$11,797||$ 7,871|
|State Library||$16,640||$13,014||$12,282||$13,811||$14,084||$14,226||$11,352||$ 7,306|
|Hospital Library||-||-||$10,166||$10,646||$10,942||$11,033||$ 9,189||$ 8,230|
|School Library||$16,204||$11,839||$11,052||$11,579||$12,432||$10,711||$ 8,809||$ 6,401|
|Public Library||$16,090||$12,202||$11,103||$12,474||$12,336||$12,547||$ 9,534||$ 7,255|
|University Library||$19,878||$12,963||$11,746||$13,550||$12,705||$12,601||$10,428||$ 8,265|
|College Library||$16,675||$13,469||$11,016||$12,843||$12,682||$10,752||$ 9,487||-|
|Junior College Library||$18,544||$15,667||$12,013||$11,854||$12,375||$12,422||$ 7,935||$12,815|
|Library Association||$18,197||$13,481||$13,457||$14,674||$14,777||$15,027||$13,279||$ 6,874|
Where no figure appears in the above categories, there was a statistically insignificant number of respondents.
Average (Full Time) Salary Distribution by Years of Experience
Salary Distribution by Sex
|Number of Respondents||2778||9030|
|Average Salary (FT)||$14,471||$10,874|
|5th Percentile||$ 8,250||$ 6,700|
|25th Percentile||$10,500||$ 8,736|
|Average Salary Ph.D.||$19,649||$15,492|
|Two Masters Degrees||$13,862||$11,983|
|M. in L.S.||$13,403||$10,812|
|Below Masters||$ 9,420||$ 7,814|
*4.8% did not respond to this item.
The obvious differences in the earnings of men and women are also found in Table 6. The differential, moreover, is not only found in the early experience years but any narrowing which does take place in the wage gap seems to take place at the starting level.