Virginia Librarian Salary Guide - 2024

by Staff

Updated: November 4th, 2023

School Librarians

How are school librarian salaries determined in Virginia?

School librarian salaries in Virginia are determined by the Department of Education of the state. They are often determined in part by the funding available to the school, which is based on the size of the school and the area that it is in, and by the experience and educational level of each given librarian. The Virginia Department of Education has in the past published documents about the salary averages of school employees across the state and across the nation, one such document can be seen here.  

How can one increase their salary?

In most school districts the only certain way for a school librarian to increase their salary is by having more years of experience. In most schools, librarians will witness a gradual increase in their salary the more years that they spent working in that position. The percentage of this increase is also often noted within the initial contract that the librarian signs. In some cases gaining higher certification may result in a higher salary, but that is something determined by each individual school and school district. 

Librarians and Media Specialists Salaries in urban areas of Virginia

Metro Area# EmployedMean Salary
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA120$50,340
Charlottesville, VA240$67,800
Harrisonburg, VA100$57,390
Lynchburg, VA120$49,310
Richmond, VA690$59,750
Roanoke, VA150$68,610
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA40$56,870
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC860$66,160
Winchester, VA-WV60$76,360
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021

Librarians and Media Specialists Salaries in rural areas of Virginia

Metro Area# EmployedMean Salary
Southwest Virginia nonmetropolitan area150$50,820
Southside Virginia nonmetropolitan area130$52,300
Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area50$60,040
Northwest Virginia nonmetropolitan area120$56,680
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021

Government or non-profit resources within Virginia providing assistance for better school librarian pay

For librarians who wish to advocate for better pay for school librarians the best organization join is the Virginia Association of School Librarians. This organization has a specific advocacy page that you can also access for further tools and information for lobbying for better wages. You can also join the Virginia Library Association which is another statewide organization that can assist you in your lobbying efforts. 

Public Librarians

How are public librarian salaries determined in Virginia?

Public librarian salaries are dependent on the position and years of experience that the librarian has in this position. Different libraries may also offer different salaries based on the funding that the state offers them. Usually, state funding is determined through an examination of a number of different factors which can include the area that the library is in, the size of the library and its collection as well as the number of people that it services. 

How can one increase their salary?

Most public libraries offer within them a number of different positions depending on the specialization that the librarian has. There are also executive positions available that usually offer higher pay. In general one of the best ways of increasing your salary as a public librarian is by getting promoted to a higher position or a more specialized position. 

Government or non-profit resources within Virginia providing assistance for better public librarian pay

For public librarians, the best resources available for their advocacy efforts can be found through the Virginia Library Association. This association has different committees, forums, and advocacy tools that could assist you in your lobbying efforts. 

Academic Librarians

How are academic librarian salaries determined in Virginia?

Academic libraries in Virginia are usually funded by both private and public donations and funds, this means that by contrast to public libraries the salaries of librarians are not dictated by the state’s decision but rather by the institution. Normally, a librarian’s salary in this case is based on the number of years that they have been employed as well as the level in the promotion ranks that they hold. Occasionally their educational background may also play a role in determining their salary.

How can one increase their salary?

Academic libraries tend to work with a promotion rank system. This means that every few years each librarian is assessed or can apply for a higher position on the premise that they have been employed in that institution for a number of years. Climbing up the promotional rank is the best way for academic librarians to increase their salaries within their academic institution. 

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

The requirements for tenure vary in each institution. Usually, your institution will have a document that is available on their website that dictates the exact requirements for tenure, these most commonly include a certain rank, number of years in employment, and references from other members of faculty. While tenure does not usually come with a pay rise, it does come with increased job stability. This means that tenured librarians are far less likely to lose their position, and in the odd case that they are fired they receive much higher compensation from the institution that they were employed in. In general, the circumstances for firing are very limited and only include the occasions that a serious incident has taken place. 

Having job security can mean that academic librarians are much more able to determine their lifetime earnings as they will not be affected by periods of job loss or instability. 

Government or non-profit resources within Virginia providing assistance for better academic librarian pay

The two main organizations that academic librarians who wish to lobby on a state level can join are the Virginia Library Association-College and Research Libraries Chapter (VLACRL) and the Virginia Library Association. These organizations will be able to provide you with advocacy tools and support for your lobbying efforts.