Georgia Librarian Salary Guide - 2024

by Staff

Updated: November 4th, 2023

Georgia Librarian Salary Determinations

The average salary for librarians in Georgia is $66,310 (Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021). However, the forces that create your ultimate salary are many. Depending on the type of librarian you wish to be, or currently are, learn about the forces you can affect to earn what you’re worth.

Librarians and Media Specialists Salaries in urban areas of Georgia

Metro Area# EmployedMean Salary
Albany, GA40$61,870
Athens-Clarke County, GA130$63,100
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA1,740$69,820
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC160$59,080
Brunswick, GA30$73,990
Columbus, GA-AL80$58,940
Dalton, GA30$63,060
Gainesville, GA70$58,730
Macon, GA80$56,800
Savannah, GA100$64,820
Valdosta, GA30$60,210
Warner Robins, GA60$67,100
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021

Librarians and Media Specialists Salaries in rural areas of Georgia

Metro Area# EmployedMean Salary
North Georgia nonmetropolitan area110$63,240
Middle Georgia nonmetropolitan area110$56,530
East Georgia nonmetropolitan area80$58,620
South Georgia nonmetropolitan area160$63,680
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021

School Librarians

With state-mandated requirements and incremental pay increases, regional factors may affect pay. Mandates include MS-Library Science advanced degree in Instructional Technology and/or Education, and S5 Media Specialist certification. Preference is given with the addition of T5 or higher in a teaching field or S5 or higher in Instructional Technology.

School Librarians/Media Specialists, as part of the Instructional Technology Department, can–within this framework—boost salaries by adjusting location, education, relevance, and even reputation. 

Advocacy for higher pay is possible when individuals–especially with the strength of others–pursue negotiations for scheduling changes, look to outside funding for school/district books and program assistance,  highlight worth and relevance, and inquire into unionization (although Georgia’s union strength is relatively weak). Though librarians require additional education, teachers require only a Bachelor’s degree. As teachers have some union power, so too should librarians.

Students, schedule informational interviews and heed the advice of professionals. Follow-up with appreciation notes for time/inspiration. District and school leadership appreciate recent graduate’s fresh ideas and if, subsequently, you happen to apply where you interviewed, you’ll likely be remembered. 

Potential professional increases can include researching grant funding, combining efforts for greatest impact by reaching out to other stakeholders/organizations; setting up strong channels of communication for educators and parents to highlight available resources. 

The school librarian–a school’s greatest resource–models strategies and assembles resources, all while targeting/overcoming technical difficulties in digital communication. Nevertheless, the Georgia Media Library Association suggests librarians advocate for short/day-long professional development towards continued learning while negotiating higher pay.

Public Librarians

In Georgia, a public librarian certification is required to hold a public librarian position in the state. However, many of the educational requirements are also criteria that help set you apart from the crowd and also boost pay of public librarians throughout Georgia.

Certifications include:

  • Grade 2 – a paraprofessional certification entailing graduate status of a recognized four-year college
  • Grade 5-B – a Librarian’s Professional Graduate Certificate
  • Grade 5-D – a Librarian’s Professional Graduate Certificate (foreign credentials)
  • Grade 6 – a Librarian’s Advanced Professional Graduate Certificate with an additional sixth year
  • Grade 7 – A Librarian’s Doctoral Certificate

Note that each category references additional criteria with some continuing education requirements, and certification must be approved by the 6-member Georgia State Board for the Certification of Librarians.

Within this public librarian framework, salary and benefits are based on qualifications and experience. A full-time schedule, 40 hours/week (Monday-Friday), may include nights/weekends. Library administration ultimately falls upon the public library’s director whose annual evaluation considers relationships, organizational growth, and administrative and financial management. Georgia’s executive, administrative, and professional librarians earn state-determined salary without overtime, though must be paid any overtime (or given comp. time) worked.

Maintaining high relevance/online presence can work to boost pay, as can negotiating for higher pay/benefits, such as time off or change of schedule. Engaging programming is essential; seek and apply for outside funding that may help cover librarian pay.  Increase pay by taking note of jobs, tasks, and services that can be outsourced and/or funded through grants. Library professionals can negotiate higher pay through learning opportunities, conferences (and connections) that provide greater depth of knowledge and fresh ideas for information technology, community engagement, and other needs from which funding may flow, opportunities to raise your value (i.e., salary) even possibly retaining free guest presenters.

Relationship-building with county administrators while also advocating to recruit more males are promising measures toward higher pay as well. Utilize advocacy  for virtual author receptions/spotlights/raffles and support, strategies that work to strengthen goodwill and your library’s successful future.

Academic Librarians

Academic librarians meet the information needs of staff/faculty, students and others within colleges and universities. Librarians at large schools may serve in particular types of libraries, such as law libraries, and they may be specialists with faculty status in their chosen field, such as research.

Academic librarians consult, analyze, and identify information to meet others’ needs, create and strengthen information literacy skills, use their technical skills to effectively develop required evolving information systems and databases, and much more. Academic librarians hold a BA or BS degree, a (accredited) MLS (Master of Library and Information Science), and may also hold a subject-specific Doctorate degree.  

Because academic librarianship is widely diverse, there are many avenues toward pay increases. In addition to regional transfers, librarians may look to increase their skills, certifications, and experience. College & Research Libraries (2018) notes that womens’ tendency to negotiate occurs far less than men, particularly among non-administrative librarians. Parity improves with experience, however.

Student learning and success is also a determining factor among institutions of higher education that may ultimately affect the academic librarians’ earnings. The American Library Association’s (ALA) in 2012 published a report called Connect, Collaborate, and Communicate: A Report from the Value of Academic Libraries Summits recommended librarians define and promote the importance for standards for evidence of value, create professional development opportunities, expand partnerships for assessment with stakeholders, as well as use ACRL resources rich in library value initiatives. 

The academic librarian possesses functional and domain expertise, and adds personal/professional value through multiple delivery options. Continued assertive advocacy for your services of agility/quality/affordability/convenience is essential. Pursuing opportunities to improve your school may also increase your value within the institution. Connect with communities and stakeholders to strengthen your voice and your shared purposes.