Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Celebrating National Library Workers Day -- and Equal Pay Day

By Kathie Felix

The National Library Week (April 10 – 16) celebration continues on Tuesday, April 12, with the observance of National Library Workers Day (NLWD).

The day was created to help library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers.

The January 25, 2003 resolution establishing National Library Workers Day said:

“That in order to recognize the hard work, dedication, and expertise of library support staff and librarians that the Tuesday of National Library Week be designated National Library Workers Day; and, that on that day, interested library workers, library groups, and libraries should advocate for better compensation for all library workers and, if the day coincides with National Pay Equity Day, these individuals, groups, and libraries should recognize both days together.”

This year, both National Library Workers Day and Equal Pay Day will be observed on April 12.

The date for Equal Pay Day was chosen by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) to symbolize how long into 2011 it takes on average for women to earn the same pay as men did in 2010. The NCPE reports that the U.S. Census showed the gender gap relatively unchanged, with women earning 77 cents for every dollar a man earned in 2009.

According to the American Library Association (ALA), library workers’ salaries on average are improving. The 2010 edition of the American Library Association – Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) Salary Survey reports average increases across all six library position types, ranging from two percent for managers of support staff to 13 percent for directors of public and academic libraries.

Even so, a recent ALA statement pointed out that, “However in these tough times there is a need for special emphasis on the pay equity for library workers.”

For ideas on ways to advocate for pay equity, go to the NCPE website and see the ALA-APA Better Salaries and Pay Equity Toolkit.

Keep in mind that many individuals will be wearing red today to symbolize that women and minorities are "in the red" with their pay.

A variety of National Library Workers Day celebrations are taking place across the country today. The ALA-APA is hosting a contest designed to showcase the states that are celebrating their library workers publicly on National Library Workers Day. To find a complete list of these NLWD stars, check out the Library Star map on the ALA-APA website. Make sure your state is represented. Last week, 13 states had no nominations submitted for the Library Star project.

ALA-APA will accept Library Star nominations through the end of the day on Tuesday, April 12. The nominations will be posted online by Friday, April 15.

The National Library Workers Day website offers ideas about ways to celebrate the holiday. In addition, the NLWD Facebook page provides the opportunity to share information about National Library Workers Day celebrations.

Here at Sisters in Crime, we love library workers – and the libraries that employ them.

What are you doing on National Library Workers Day?


Barbara said...

Working - in a library! :)

Thanks for the great blog post, Kathie.

Sandra Parshall said...

I couldn't live without libraries! It saddens and angers me to see the ongoing broad cuts in library budgets because I realize that libraries are a necessity, not a luxury. We should all support our local libraries and the people who staff them and protest any further budget cuts.

Michele Drier said...

I'm at my local library branch at least once a week It's incredibly valuable to me and my granddaughter. As to "Equal Pay Day"...I've been fighting for this for more than three decades. It makes my head and heart ache to know that we're still so shorted.