Library Job and Pay Trends Highlighted in LJ's2008 Placements & Salary Survey

By Rebecca Miller

Insights into librarianship's persistent gender gap are just the tip of the findings in LJ's annual Placements & Salaries Survey by Stephanie Maatta. It examines how each graduating class lands in the library and information science marketplace, with an eye toward identifying job trends and shifts in pay. Overall, the class of 2007 saw starting salaries 3.1% higher than the previous year's graduates, hitting an average of $42,361. 

The highs for the 2007 graduates include leaps for minority grads in the Southeast, stronger growth than average for academics in the Northeast, and extraordinary salaries garnered by University of Michigan graduates and those in the private sector. The lows include more temp positions, a longer job search, and a dip in positions for children's librarians in public libraries. 

Average Men and Women's Library SalariesMaatta explores the gender gap in detail, tapping the factors that enable men to earn more in a field dominated by women and pointing out the exceptions, such as government libraries, where women out earn men by 22%.

For the first time, we compare the so-called I-schools (information schools) to the so-called L-schools (llibrary schools), finding that a healthy majority of grads in both consider their roles to be "library" ones, though those who identify their jobs as "information" earned almost 20% more in average starting salaries. Among the I-school's, the University of Michigan placed graduates the most successfully, in terms of salary, winning an average salary of $55,869. A look at the top ten schools by average salary their graduates earn, however, shows that there is a good mix of both L and I on the uppper end of the payroll.

Read on to see all of this and more, including a look at where the jobs are, a minority report, and a chance to meet LJ's grad of the year, Dalena Hunter.

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