What's Here? - Table of Contents
Last Reviewed: September 6th, 2023
School librarian salaries in Mississippi are determined by state legislation. While teachers in the state have been fighting for better pay and the legislation used to determine their salaries is publicized each year, that does not appear to be the case for librarians, who are not mentioned within the bill. Still, librarians are an integral part of the educational system and their salaries are determined by the school allocated library budget. There is also a rubric made available by the Mississippi Department of education that explores the requirement for personnel in a school library which can be found here.
In Mississippi, school librarian salaries appear to vary a lot based on whether the librarian is working in a primary or secondary school. While in primary schools, entry-level librarians start from a salary of $39K and can move up to $66K after they have gathered over 8 years of experience, secondary school entry-level salaries start from $72K. This information is based on the survey data available on librarian salaries in the state, but the huge gap between the two amounts makes it apparent that gaining certification and becoming a librarian in a secondary school is one of the best ways to increase one’s salary in the state.
|Metro Area||# Employed||Mean Salary|
|Jackson, MS||300||$43,690||Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021|
|Metro Area||# Employed||Mean Salary|
|Northeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area||290||$40,790|
|Northwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area||190||$39,730|
|Southeast Mississippi nonmetropolitan area||190||$43,880|
|Southwest Mississippi nonmetropolitan area||130||$49,820||Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021|
There are two associations for school librarians in the state of Mississippi, but the extent to which they lobby for better salaries is unclear as neither of them explicitly has a resource guide for lobbying. The first organization is the Mississippi Association of School Librarians and the second one is the Mississippi Library Association. As the latter is a chapter of the American Association of Librarians it is likely that for lobbying they are using the ALA resources available.
Mississippi libraries tend to receive a large amount of state aid to support their work. That amount is mainly allocated to paying librarians’ salaries. The size of the library and the needs that it has based on its size are determined by the Mississippi Department of education and they are huge determinants of the amount of funding that a certain library is going to receive. This also affects the library’s requirements in terms of staffing and determines whether a full-time or part-time librarian is necessary.
Mississippi public libraries tend to have low entry-level positions, especially for those who have less certification when entering the job market. Many of the higher-level positions require individuals to hold a master’s degree or extra certification. Years spent on the job can also help in increasing the salary that the individual receives. Therefore, experience and extra certifications are the easiest ways of increasing one’s salary in Mississippi. Mississippi also has many different librarian opportunities, so switching libraries might also be a way of increasing one’s salary.
Resources within Mississippi providing assistance for better public librarian pay.
For lobbying for better work conditions and salaries in the state, the best place to refer to is the database that is available on the Mississippi Library Association of speakers and lobbyists for public libraries. Through this list, you can come in contact with lobbyists in your area that work on increasing public library salaries.
Mississippi librarian salaries are determined by the years and educational level of the person in an academic position. As academic positions are usually determined privately by the institution, salaries for these positions do not tend to be determined by the state department.
Most academic libraries in the state work with a rank system. The higher your level of specialization and the longer that you have spent in a position the more likely it is that your salary will increase. In larger academic libraries being in more specialized positions could also provide higher compensation for the librarian.
Tenure procedures vary in each university. Depending on the institution that you are employed at the levels of research and years going up the ranks required for tenured positions might vary. Usually, each institution will make available a document outlining the procedure to gain tenure, ie. The Mississippi state university procedures can be found here. The biggest benefit of tenure is that it means job stability. Tenured professors know that they have a position for a long time and that even on the odd occasion that they get fired they are able to get much higher levels of compensation. At the same time, in many institutions, tenured librarians are required to carry out a lot of extra research and work to be tenured faculty members.
For lobbying for better salaries the Mississippi Library association offers a full list of lobbyists that belong to the Association of College and Research Libraries. This association is there to serve both library users and librarians and can provide valuable information for those who wish to lobby for better salaries in the state.