Kentucky Librarian Salary Guide - 2022

Last Reviewed: July 7th, 2022

School Librarians

How are school librarian salaries determined in Kentucky? 

School librarians’ salaries in Kentucky are determined by the same statute and legislation that determines the funding available to schools in Kentucky. The revised statutes that determine a school librarians’ salary can be found here. In Kentucky, there is a minimum payment that has been determined for educational positions. After that, the rates of the salaries are determined by the school funding and the years of experience that the librarian has. 

How can one increase their salary?

Because of the way that the statutes that determine the salaries of school librarians in Kentucky are set, the most certain way of increasing your salary as a school librarian is by staying in the position for many years. Kentucky also has a rank system that is sometimes used to determine the salaries of people working in education, this means that extra certifications and degrees could result in a higher salary. 

Librarians and Media Specialists Salaries in urban areas of Kentucky

Metro Area# EmployedMean Salary
Bowling Green, KY110$53,500
Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, KY60$59,760
Lexington-Fayette, KY250$59,390
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN420$61,030
Owensboro, KY70$57,680
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021

Librarians and Media Specialists Salaries in rural areas of Kentucky

Metro Area# EmployedMean Salary
West Kentucky nonmetropolitan area160$55,600
South Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area200$55,380
Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area220$57,510
East Kentucky nonmetropolitan area190$52,050
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021

Resources within Kentucky providing assistance for better school librarian pay.

Kentucky has an established association known as the Kentucky Association of School Librarians. Within their webpage, you can find information on library advocacy as well as information about the conferences that they are hosting. The best way of advocating for better pay in your school district is by reaching out to them and seeing if other members would be interested in advocating alongside you. The Kentucky Department of Education also has a library media program and is actively trying to better the lives of librarians and educators so directly lobbying there could also prove successful. 

Public Librarians

How are public librarian salaries determined in Kentucky?

Public salaries in Kentucky are determined by state funding and the Kentucky Department of Education. Depending on the size of the library and the position within a library that an individual holds their salary could vary. According to some surveys on librarians’ salaries in Kentucky, it has been determined that salaries within the state tend to be around 51% lower than the national average. This could be caused by budget constraints in the education and library systems. For more information on library funding, you can look at the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives website

How can one increase their salary?

Kentucky will often survey and post lists about the salaries of librarians based on the position that they are in. These reports can be found on the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives website. This information can be used by librarians who are looking to increase their salary by moving up to higher earning or more specialized positions. In Kentucky, one of the surest ways of increasing your salary is by earning higher qualifications and switching to higher-paid positions. 

Resources within Kentucky providing assistance for better public librarian pay.

One of the biggest associations in Kentucky for public school librarians is the Kentucky Public Library Association which is associated with the Kentucky Library Association. These associations are the predominant players in the state that lobby for better public librarian pay. Joining these library associations could be the easiest way to lobby for better salaries for librarians. 

Academic Librarians 

How are academic librarian salaries determined in Kentucky? 

Academic salaries in Kentucky are determined by the academic institution that the library is located in. Depending on the state and private funding available as well as the size of the library the salaries of its librarians might vary. Salaries will also vary based on the position that the librarian has within the library. 

How can one increase their salary?

In academic libraries, the best way to increase your salary is by seeking more highly specialized positions. Most academic libraries will have a need for subject librarians, archivists, and conservationists. All of these positions will offer better pay than a regular front desk position would. A way of getting such positions is through seeking higher specialization through degrees or by carrying out research within your position. Both of these are highly praised in academic settings and can lead to higher salaries and positions.

How can an academic librarian get tenured and how does this affect their lifetime earning potential?

Academic libraries work with rank systems and they often allow librarians to seek tenures positions. For example, in the University of Kentucky, there are strict regulations that dictate the amount of time that a librarian can spend in each position. Moving higher in the ranks and getting a tenured position could mean that the salary earned by the librarian will also increase. Conditions of employment also become more favorable and it is unlikely that a tenured librarian would lose their job. This means that there is further income stability and higher compensation on the occasion that the librarian is fired. 

Resources within Kentucky providing assistance for better academic librarian pay.

In Kentucky to lobby for better academic pay the best organization to join is the Kentucky Library Association. Further information on lobbying can also be found on the Kentucky state website. In academic positions you are also able to lobby within the institution that you are working in for better pay and better conditions. Lobbying efforts should also be directed towards the Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives