What's Here? - Table of Contents
Last Reviewed: September 6th, 2023
School Library funds in Kansas are determined by the local councils that determine local school and library’s budget. Depending on the size of the library and the school, as well as the number of students that a school is servicing, the budget allocated to the school library and the school librarians’ salaries might be different. In Kansas especially, budget constraints have led to many schools not having a large allocated budget for the library and as such, many schools have found themselves without school librarians that have been educated specifically to handle the duties of a librarian.
The main way in which a librarian’s salary in Kansas can increase is really through spending years in one institution. Budget constraints have stopped schools from having more highly specialized positions that librarians can get for better pay. As of right now, there is also no indication that having more certifications will enable you to access an increased salary within the state.
|Metro Area||# Employed||Mean Salary|
|Wichita, KS||240||$59,140||Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021|
|Metro Area||# Employed||Mean Salary|
|Kansas nonmetropolitan area||430||$47,810||Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021|
While Kansas does not appear to have a high state budget allocation for funds, it does appear that the state has many foundations and associations that are either advocating for better pay for school librarians or are providing grants and funds. Depending on your area in Kansas you can find a list of organizations that could assist you in lobbying for better pay by clicking here. There is also the Greater Kansas City Association of School Librarians that are able to assist you with any lobbying efforts.
Public libraries are normally state-funded in Kansas and as such their budget is allocated by the state. However, within the state, there is financial aid available to state librarians that allow libraries to increase their funds and therefore, increase the salary of public librarians. State Aid funding as determined by the Kansas Legislature to the State Library of Kansas is meant to supplement the budget of local libraries. For public libraries to qualify for state aid they need to complete the KS Public Library Survey/State Report as well as fulfill a list of requirements which can be found here.
Compensation for a librarian in the state seems to increase gradually as the years in employment increase. Working in some of the bigger state libraries or having higher positions within them would be one of the possible ways of increasing a librarian’s salary. However, due to the budget constraints in the state, it appears that upward movement in the workplace is not always available for librarians in public libraries.
Other than the State aid which is a huge resource that is available to public school libraries that seek to increase their budget, there is also the Kansas Library Association for those librarians who are seeking to lobby for better library pay in the state. There are also many organizations affiliated with the Kansas State Library that can assist you in your lobbying efforts for better pay.
Academic Librarian salaries are usually higher than the librarian salaries available to the public or school librarians. This is because most academic libraries are funded through private funds and public funds that are available at their academic institution. Therefore, most academic librarians get to enjoy a higher salary and compensation than their school and public librarian counterparts.
Most academic libraries offer more specialized positions that tend to offer higher earnings for their librarians. Academic librarians specialized in a specific field, subject area, or conservation work can seek higher-paid positions within their libraries. Many academic libraries also value research output, so for librarians who seek higher pay, increasing their research output or gaining more specialized qualifications can allow them to earn better pay.
In some academic institutions in Kansas, the possibility of earning a tenured position is available. Depending on the institution that you are working at the procedures and requirements might vary. For example, the procedures to get tenure at the University of Kansas are outlined in a two-page document which can be found here. In contrast, the Kansas state university procedure for tenure, as described in their policies, is far more extensive and requires further applications. In any case, achieving tenure in academic institutions means that you are far less likely to lose your position as a librarian. It also means that in the case of the individual being fired they will be eligible for much higher compensation. It is unclear whether in the state of Kansas tenure comes with an increase in the salary provided.
Academic librarians can either lobby for better pay within their own institution or they can use the resources available from the Kansas Library Association College and University Libraries Section of the Kansas Library Association. The association can grant awards and grants to members and it also holds conferences that can be used to determine what actions need to be taken to increase the working conditions for academic librarians.