Tag Archives: library job postings

Further Questions: Is salary range included in your job postings?

This week we have a reader inspired question. I asked people who hire librarians:
Do you include a salary range in your job postings?  Why or why not?  Who makes that decision?

At my private academic institution, salary information is considered confidential, which means that we are not allowed (by HR) to post salary information in our job ads. Within those constraints, we try to be as transparent as possible. If candidates inquire about salary, the question is referred to the dean who will share the target range for the position. In addition, when a search is narrowed to finalists, those finalists are notified by the dean of the target salary range, so that if their requirements are beyond what we can pay, time isn’t wasted on a search that is bound to end in disappointment.

– Anonymous


Laurie Phillips We include the minimum salary, not a range.

Generally, the chair of the committee negotiates the salary range with the Dean, based on other salaries in the organization.

We always include the minimum, so nobody is making a decision to do it or not.

– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans


Marge Loch WoutersYes we do.

Nothing is more frustrating to an applicant than taking the time to get credentials and application materials ready only to find that the job does not pay enough to make the move worthwhile.

This is an administrative decision.

– Marge Loch-Wouters, Youth Services Coordinator, La Crosse (WI) Public Library


We do. It’s policy for all state government positions.

– Kristen Northrup, Head, Technical Services & State Document Depository, North Dakota State Library


Terry Ann LawlerYes.

Our salaries are negotiated through the city and with our union with occasional input from outside organizations who study salaries. All of our city salary ranges are publicly available on our city website.

A salary range is non negotiable, but you can start at mid range instead of the beginning if you have more experience than is advertised for the job.

– Terry Lawler, Assistant Manager and Children’s Librarian, Palo Verde Branch, Phoenix Public Library


angelynn kingOnly one of the academic libraries I’ve worked in has posted salary.

Usually HR has a standard policy, and there isn’t anything the advertising department can do.

In a public college, the salary ranges are often a matter of public record, but you have to be a librarian to find them. Oh, wait: we are librarians. Happy hunting!

-Angelynn King, Head Librarian, Delaware Technical Community College, Owens Campus


We have started including a salary range in our postings so applicants can “self-screen” and not apply if their salary requirements are not a match.  We ask an applicant’s salary requirements in the screening questions we send to candidates who we might be  interested in interviewing.  Because there have been times when the gap between what we were offering and what applicants were asking  was substantial we recently moved to including a range.  It also serves as another way to shape applicants’ expectations about the level of the job.  Obviously the education and experience requirements in the job description should convey that, but those responsibilities, if filled at a larger institution than ours, might warrant a much higher pay scale.  So including a salary range gives a more complete picture.

The argument against including a range is that desirable candidates may not apply, whereas if they did and we really wanted them we might go back to our administration and negotiate for an increase and/or some way to enhance the benefits package.

We at the Library make the determination as to whether to include salary in the posting; the salary itself must be approved by our VP.

– Ann Glannon, Associate Director, Wheelock College Library, Boston, MA


Yes a range for salary is always included in the posting. This is pretty basic and we have a salary schedule based on the grade for each position, so there is not much flexibility, except for experience.

– Kaye Grabbe, Director, Lake Forest (Public) Library, Lake Forest, IL.


Jason GrubbWe do not include a salary range in our job postings because a salary range is not available.

There is no flexibility in our Library Board adopted pay scale. Each position has a set grade with steps that only increase with time in the position. In other words, each vacant position begins at an established amount that cannot be negotiated. Thus, there is no reason for us to include a salary range.

This starting salary is included in the job posting.

– Jason Grubb, Director, Sweetwater County Library System


Yes we do.

Our county HR does this across the board. It may be voluntary but it could also be part of the union contract. I’m glad we do it because  that information can inform whether or not a person even wishes to apply for any given position.

– Christy Davis, Library Director, Klamath County Library Service District


Sherle Abramson-BluhmSalary range is usually in the library postings.
I am not sure if this was a University decision or within the Library itself – although most University postings do include the information.
Generally it is the high level positions, where the salary is likely to be a negotiating point, that the information is not indicated.
I think it is only fair to post this information – it is data any applicant should know going in and diminishes the possibility of surprises, misunderstandings or disappointment down the line.
– Sherle Abramson-Bluhm, Head, Print Acquisitions, University of Michigan
Celia RabinowitzI always try to include a minimum starting salary for positions.  My institution does not usually do this for faculty positions but I have not had resistance either from the Human Resources office or from my dean when I include it in a job ad.  I feel more comfortable offering a minimum starting salary than a range.  Ultimately any negotiation involves the Dean of Faculty and establishing the ranges is tricky.  I can say that two of my last three librarian hires involved a negotiation which resulted in a higher starting salary for the candidate who got the position.  I would rather a candidate (and we) think about experience and qualifications when determining a salary rather than where they fall on a predetermined scale.  I am not sure how easy it would be to justify giving someone $48k rather than $49k but I can see offering someone $45k and then negotiating to $48.  I do usually have an upper limit that the Dean and I establish.
– Celia Rabinowitz, Director of the Library, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email me at hiringlibrariansATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading!  If you’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts, there they are all standing in a row, big ones, small ones, some as big as your comment.

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Further Questions: How Are Job Postings Written?

This week I asked people who hire librarians:

How does your institution write job postings?  Do you have any input, or does HR do it?  Do you list salary?  Are you allowed to add things like “strong internal candidate”?  Do you include any language about being an Equal Opportunity Employer, or do you encourage any specific demographic groups to apply?

We do write our job postings for the most part, but HR and Equity and Diversity have to sign off on the language. We fill out a web form that includes the job summary and minimum and preferred qualifications. I do not think our Equity and Diversity office would allow us to state “strong internal candidate” nor would we want to since we want a good applicant pool.

The actual job posting does not say anything about our university being an equal opportunity employer, but this information is on our university HR website and is on the application itself.

I do not know what other hiring managers at my library do but I submit my job postings to the ALA Black Caucus, REFORMA, the ALA GLBT Round Table listservs and similar groups specific to my home state because I personally want to encourage a diverse applicant pool.

– Julie Leuzinger, Department Head, Eagle Commons Library, University of North Texas Libraries

Laurie PhillipsOur search committees write the ads (or edit the ads written by the chair) based on the job description. We have some template language about the university, the library, EEO, and encouraging women and minorities to apply. Otherwise, HR has very little input in faculty searches and processes (although we meet with them about Affirmative Action and legalities of search questions). We include some information about the fact that it is a faculty position (usually appointed at Assistant Professor) and minimum salary. We try to use dynamic language in the job summary to entice the best candidates. We write a little about the job summary, then the required and preferred qualifications. Generally, in order to move on to the second round (phone or Skype interviews), a candidate will need to meet all of the required and one of the preferred qualifications. We also give specific instructions for application. Sometimes we have a short version of the ad (for print purposes, although that’s rare these days) linking to a longer ad on the university’s website.

– Laurie Phillips, Associate Dean for Technical Services, J. Edgar & Louise S. Monroe Library, Loyola University New Orleans

Marleah AugustineWe do not have a separate HR department, so usually the library director writes the job postings (with input from the position’s direct supervisor when necessary). For support staff positions, we do list the hourly wage. For librarian positions, a salary range (with salary to be determined based on experience) is usually listed. We do accept internal candidate applications, although it’s not usually advertised as such. We do include a statement about being an Equal Opportunity Employer that is pretty standard.

– Marleah Augustine, Adult Department Librarian at Hays Public Library

Job posting language is done internally by our HR person, with input from the Dept. Head., and approval of Director. We do list a salary range and benefit info. No language about EOE employment.

– Kaye Grabbe, Director,  Lake Forest (Public) Library,  Lake Forest, IL 

bonnie smithAt the University of Florida we have Position Descriptions (PD) for staff positions and Position Vacancy Announcements (PVA) for faculty positions which follow a slightly different trajectory. In both cases the process of writing the description starts at the departmental level. The HR Office receives a draft and offers suggested and required edits. The PD circulates back and forth several times until everyone feels it fulfills the needs of the department and the Libraries and follows University policies. Faculty searches have a defined Search Committee and the HR Office works with committee members in finalizing the PVA. In both cases the final draft is approved by the Department Chair, Senior Associate Dean and sometimes the Dean, depending on the level of the position.

We list the minimum salary for the rank/position followed by the following “Actual salary will reflect selected professional’s experience and credentials” and do not add any comments regarding candidates whether or not we have a strong internal candidate or not.

We always include the following information “The University of Florida is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages applications from women and minority group members. We are dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic environment; we strongly encourage applications from women, members of underrepresented groups, individuals with disabilities, and veterans.” One of our preferred qualifications is also: “Record of including individuals of diverse backgrounds, experiences, races, ethnicities, genders, and perspectives in research, teaching, service and other work”

– Bonnie Smith, Assistant Program Director for Human Resources, University of Florida, George A. Smathers Libraries

Thank you as always to our contributors for their time and insight.  If you’re someone who hires librarians and are interested in participating in this feature, please email me at hiringlibrariansATgmail.com.

Thank YOU for reading! And it’s one, two, three, What are we commenting for?

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