What's Here? - Table of Contents
Last Reviewed: September 6th, 2023
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.
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.
|Metro Area||# Employed||Mean Salary|
|Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC||860||$66,160|
|Winchester, VA-WV||60||$76,360||Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021|
|Metro Area||# Employed||Mean Salary|
|Southwest Virginia nonmetropolitan area||150||$50,820|
|Southside Virginia nonmetropolitan area||130||$52,300|
|Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area||50||$60,040|
|Northwest Virginia nonmetropolitan area||120||$56,680||Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021|
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.