Last Reviewed: December 16th, 2022
A school librarian’s salary in West Virginia is normally dictated by the state funding that the school that the library is located in will receive. This funding is often based on a number of factors including the size of the school, the number of students, and the area that it is located in. Apart from the school’s funding, the librarian’s salary is also determined by their educational background and their years of experience in the position and in the field.
The best way for a school librarian to increase their salary is by spending more years in their given position. Normally, school librarians that spend a number of years in one position will benefit from a gradual increase in their salary as the years go by. Depending on your school and your school district you can also examine the possibility of increasing your salary by gaining extra certifications. However, in most school’s extra certification is not always rewarded with an increase in one’s salary.
|Metro Area||# Employed||Mean Salary|
|Wheeling, WV-OH||40||$42,460||Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics -|
|Metro Area||# Employed||Mean Salary|
|Northern West Virginia nonmetropolitan area||130||$40,340||Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics - 2021|
West Virginia appears to be one of the states with the least associations and organizations for librarians to join. Currently, the main association is the West Virginia Library Association which hosts events and conferences and also has a number of advocacy tools available for its members. In your lobbying efforts, you can also contact the Department of Arts, Culture, and History or the Library Commission, both of these are mentioned on the state’s website as key agencies in the field of education and library work.
Public library funding in West Virginia is entirely determined by the state, this means that the librarian’s wage is also greatly affected by the library’s funding. Apart from the funding of the library, a public librarian’s salary is also affected by the number of years that they have been employed by the institution and by their education level. The position that they hold within the public library can also be a huge determining factor in what their salary will be.
Normally public libraries will have many different positions available; this means that there will be positions that have a higher salary than others. Normally, more specialized positions tend to have higher salaries than front-desk positions would. Therefore, a great way of increasing your salary as a public librarian is by getting a more specialized position. Another option would be getting a promotion to a higher level or executive position.
Currently, West Virginia does not appear to have many organized efforts and organizations advocating for better librarian pay. On the West Virginia State website, the Department of Arts, Culture, and History and the Library Commission are both mentioned as key agents for the library work done in the state. Alternatively, you can also join the West Virginia Library Association which is the main organization that advocated for a better environment for librarians.
Academic librarians have their salaries determined by the institution in which they are employed, usually, that means that depending on the university’s private and public funding they can allocate less or more funding towards the library. Another determining factor for their salary is the position that they hold and the years that they have worked in that institution. Most universities work with a ranking system which means that the longer that one has been employed in an institution the higher their rank will be. Usually, climbing up the rank system also comes with an increase in one’s salary.
The best way to increase your salary in an academic institution is to become more specialized. Many academic institutions expect their librarians to carry out research work and to become specialists in one field. This specialization could lead to better pay as positions such as archivists or Special Collection librarians often offer higher salaries to the librarians that hold them. Therefore, in an academic setting gaining more expertise and higher specialization can lead to an increase in salary. Promotion through the ranks can also be a great way of increasing your salary. Each institution follows a different rank system and as such, depending on your institution you will be able to get a promotion after you fulfill different requirements.
Tenure, usually implies that the position that is held by the librarian is theirs until they retire. Normally, librarians are able to get tenured once they fulfill certain requirements which are set by the institution that they are working in, one of them is usually being in the highest possible rank in the library that they are working in. While getting tenure does not necessarily mean getting a pay rise, having the certainty and stability of income that comes with tenure can make it much easier for librarians to budget and maximize their lifetime earnings.
Most academic librarians in West Virginia that advocate for better pay does so within their institution. They currently don’t appear to have created a dedicated association that is lobbying for better pay across the state. If you would like to lobby for better pay for academic librarians on a state level you can do so by joining the West Virginia Library Association which is the main organization lobbying for librarians in the state.