What's Here? - Table of Contents
The certification process for school librarians acts like a filter to prevent unqualified individuals from taking jobs that belong to professionals. However, the best way to ensure that professionals want to take these jobs and stay in them is if the working conditions and remuneration are adequate. As a school librarian, you want to ensure that you are being rewarded adequately for your professional services.
The district of each state has varying salary ranges that they work with. These have been drawn up by a committee or board of leaders authorized to do so. They take into consideration certain factors such as experience, qualifications, and nature of the job when deciding what is considered fair pay for school librarians.
|Metro Area||# Employed||Mean Salary|
|Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ||100||$67,830|
|Ocean City, NJ||30||$74,870|
|Vineland-Bridgeton, NJ||40||$66,210||Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021|
More recently most schools in New Jersey have laid off their school librarians due to budget cuts. This increases the chances for school librarians to be overburdened with work and it even makes it harder to pursue professional development. In the school system, professional development is necessary for license renewal and comes in handy for promotions. Promotions are one of the most certain ways to get a raise. Educational institutions can raise the salaries of staff members when their perceived value increases.
The New Jersey Association of School Librarians (NJASL) is made of up school librarians in the state. This group works with the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) and other interest groups to ensure equity for all its members. The major goal of these associations is to improve the quality of library services offered all over the state. They hold conferences and share educational resources with their members to bring them up to speed on their rights and how to improve the delivery of library services in schools.
Public libraries like New Jersey State Library and Montville Township Public Library (MTPL) employ the services of public librarians. As public librarians work with people of different ages and classes, their job can prove to be very demanding. It would be considered normal for the job to be negatively affected if you are not remunerated properly.
Public librarian salaries are usually determined by the respective libraries based on different factors. The governing board or other authorized officials in an appropriate committee will fix suitable wage ranges for all the employees in the library.
Professional development is the surest ticket for pay raises. This is why public librarians are encouraged to take continuing education courses. Once you complete these courses, you can begin to consider becoming a facilitator for these courses. This is bound to elevate your value as perceived by your employers and can lead to a salary increase. Some of the training opportunities available at the New Jersey State Library can be seen here. This is a good place to start looking for career development opportunities.
Public librarians are eligible to be members of NJLA. As a member, you will be able to access resources and partake in conferences and webinars that educate you on current trends in the world of library services. These associations provide advocacy for the welfare of their members; fighting for safe work environments and equity of remuneration. The 2003 intervention by library staff in the MTPL is worthy of note. They were able to negotiate wage increases and reductions in work hours by meeting with the board. Read about it on page 49 here.
Research and academic librarians are the change bringers to the library profession as they introduce new and improved concepts and techniques to make the library services more effective.
Different institutions have their salary structure taking into account every member of staff. These rates are fixed by a board member or by a committee of competent leaders. They consider different factors and the resources available influence their decision severely.
Librarians in the academic space are usually able to increase their pay by climbing the ranks by demonstrating professional growth and excellence. Yearly reviews are conducted to access employee’s progress over the past year. Updated certifications and noteworthy feats and ideas may be rewarded with a promotion, benefits, or a raise. Contact your institution of choice for information about professional growth as it relates to salaries.
Getting tenure is every academic’s dream as it offers them job security with additional benefits. In New Jersey, academic librarians are eligible for tenure after a three-year probationary period. Learn more about the process here.
Academic librarians are also part of NJLA and they can make use of the support that membership affords them to advocate against inequality and unfair working conditions. The resources and conferences made available to you by the association help improve your practice.