National Library Workers Day

Following is a press release from the ALA-APA:

Pay equity for library employees,

focus of National Library Workers Day, April 13, 2010

CHICAGO –  On April 13, thousands of communities will celebrate National Library Workers Day (NLWD), a time when library staff, patrons, administrators and Friends groups will recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.  You are invited to name a “Star” library employee for the NLWD website at http://www.ala-apa.org/about/nlwd.html, where everyone can see what makes this person an exceptional library employee.  Anyone working in or for a library can be nominated, and self-nominations are welcome.

The day’s theme “Libraries Work Because We Do!” focuses on how library services depend on the important work done by every library employee.  Library employees help Americans deal with tough economic times.  Patrons are visiting libraries in record numbers, seeking guidance from library employees in using computers and the Internet, accessing financial literacy resources, and searching for jobs.

This year, there is a special emphasis on the need for pay equity for library workers, even in this economy.  There are ideas on building a case in the Better Salaries and Pay Equity Toolkit.  It will be followed a week later by Equal Pay Day on April 20, which was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.  ALA-APA and ALA are also supporting the inclusion of library employees in the Jobs for Main Street Act under discussion by Congress.

Data from the U.S. Census and from Library Journal’s survey of beginning librarians show that female librarian salaries continue to be lower than male library employees.  The wage gap for the nation remains with women earning 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.  Library employees also continue to receive lower salaries in comparison with traditionally male occupations with comparable education requirements and job responsibilities.  In 2008, the ALA-APA passed a resolution endorsing a minimum entry-level salary for professional librarians of $40,000 that is adjusted annually according to the latest cost of living index/CPI data; and a living wage for all library employees of $13 that is adjusted annually in relation to the Federal poverty guidelines.  In the current economy, these figures are $42,181/year for professional librarians, and $13.52/hour for library employees.

Become a fan of National Library Workers Day on Facebook.com and add your library’s celebratory photos and ideas.  You may also purchase NLWD caps, shirts, and other gifts at the NLWD store on Café Press at http://www.cafepress.com/ALA_APA.

For more information about National Library Workers Day, please contact Jenifer Grady at jgrady@ala.org or visit the National Library Workers Day website at http://www.ala-apa.org/about/nlwd.html.

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