Libraries are facing serious human resources issues as the need to hire professionals with
advanced technological skills and the demand for these skills pushes salaries up while libraries
seem unable to adjust their salary structures beyond accounting for inflation. As people are hired
with higher beginning salaries, the inability to adjust the overall salary structure to achieve some
equity for the experienced staff members is another factor that contributes to slow salary growth.
This, combined with other evidence from the ARL Statistics, shows libraries’ proportion of
materials and operating expenditures increasing faster than salaries, providing a future picture of
libraries with fewer staff members, who are in turn being paid salaries that are fighting to keep
up with inflation.
Readers are reminded that these data reflect only salaries, and that there are other
compensation issues, which may have influenced the pattern of salaries in various institutions.
In addition, a highly standardized structure for capturing data has been used, which may portray
results in a way that cannot be fully representative of a local situation.
Association of Research Libraries
May 1, 2006