LJ's 2008 Placements & Salaries Survey Spurs Discussion of Key Professional Issues

By Rebecca Miller

The LJ's 2008 Placements & Salaries Survey, in the November 1 issue, has already sparked reaction regarding the gender gap, questions about the value of the credential, and anger over the low pay for a variety of positions, especially children's librarians.

One particularly active conversation, in response to Annoyed Librarian’s (AL) post on the survey, ran the gamut of concerns. Readers defended the role of children’s librarians and clarified their purpose to the seemingly stumped AL. They also spent a lot of time questioning the practical value of the MLS requirement, the rigor of the profession itself, and how well society values libraries.

Value of the degree

Some AL readers came out hard against the degree. “The bottom line is that the salary reflects the job and its requirements, not the levels of education librarians have. Which is exactly why the ALA should do away with the MLIS/MLS programs and make them Bachelor programs,” wrote one anonymous commenter. [All spelling is in the original.]


Others supported the degree itself, both in pragmatic tones or in by citing positive experiences in graduate school. Many, however, were skeptical; one commenter suggested all useful skills were learned on the job as a paraprofessional. 

While one new librarian was happy to have a “dream job” right out of school (at $40,000, below the average of $42,361), others lamented that a lack of public regard for libraries resulted in low salaries.

The gender gap
Elsewhere in the blogosphere, readers of Library Grrls! lamented the gender gap. Some posited that men take more supervisory roles, which could explain the inequity, and others argued that the gap persists because women don't fight for equal pay as a group. 

"There are plenty of female managers and directors out there, and they are highly capable. I'm always a little confused by why we pay men more," wrote one commenter. "Where's our library_grrl power in action?”



Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing