ATLA 2015 Salary and Benefits Survey Report Now Available

Submitted by Adam Paradis and Judy Schroeter

The ATLA 2015 Salary and Benefits Survey is an update of the survey conducted in 2009, with the goal of providing members current information about the salaries of library personnel with different job functions such as Administration, Circulation/Access Services, and Technical Services in peer institutions. There were 112 respondents to the survey, most of which were library directors, who represented a broad cross-section of ATLA Institutional and Affiliate members in all four regions of the U.S. and Canada (although this geographic area was underrepresented in the sample) and a mix of institution types and sizes.

In addition to the results of the member survey, this report includes an environmental scan of broader employment compensation in libraries using available information from sources such as Library Journal, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the AFL-CIO. This scan provides information on the salaries and benefits of staff employed in libraries as well as additional details on the impact of race, ethnicity and gender on compensation.

Using advanced statistical significance testing techniques, comparative analyses were performed that identified a number of notable differences in professional librarian average salary levels based on librarian job function and specific attributes of the institution. Those factors found to be predictive of significantly higher professional librarian salaries include:

  • The Administration and Systems job functions, with the highest average librarian salaries of any other function area.
  • Library budget in the highest range ($700,000+), with significantly lower salaries in the budget ranges below $700,000. The largest differences are shown for the Administration, Circulation/Access Services and Electronic Resources/Digital Content development function categories.
  • Graduate institution-affiliated divinity schools and Master’s or PhD granting institutions compared to smaller institution types with an especial impact on Systems area professional librarian salaries.
  • The Western region of the U.S., where professional librarian salaries are higher than in at least one other region for five of the eight specified job function categories.

Notably, comparison of the survey findings with the previous survey found no significant differences for either professional librarian or paraprofessional salaries in any of the job function categories – essentially flat growth in salary and wage rates between 2009 and the current period.

Other significant conclusions include:

  • Over 50% of respondents’ professional librarian staff has additional responsibilities outside the library including academic classroom teaching, student assessment, and academic student advising.
  • 19% of library directors have responsibility for developing and managing technology resources such as IT infrastructure, learning management systems, or educational technology resources.
  • The student worker average hourly rate ranged from $9.20 to $9.42 per hour for institutions of all types and sizes.

Findings of note with regard to respondent institutions’ benefits offerings include:

  • A significantly higher percentage of institutions offer PPO plans for health insurance than in 2009 (71% vs. 58%).
  • Widespread offering of flexible spending accounts, offered by 65% of respondent institutions.
  • Significant growth in the percentage of institutions offering defined contribution or related types of retirement savings plans than in 2009, such as 401(k)’s (42% vs. 22%) and 403(b) tax sheltered annuities (51% vs. 39%).

Download the complete report for further analysis as well as numerous charts and graphs.

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