14 · ARL Annual Salary Survey 2011–2012
continued to hold steady at 110 in 2011–2012.5
C. Geographic Area
In 2011–2012, the highest average salaries were found in Canada ($89,758) followed by New England ($79,946)
with salaries in the Pacific region ($76,666) coming in third (see Table 25). The Canadian average salary has
not been this high since 2008–2009 when it was $82,295. This sharp increase in Canadian salaries is due to
fluctuations in the currency exchange rate. For the 2011–2012 survey period the Canadian currency exchange rate
is 1.0014. The West South Central region had the lowest average salary: $64,036.
D. Rank Structure
Rank structure provides a useful framework for examining professional salaries in ARL university libraries.
Figure 6, below, displays average salary and years of experience in the most commonly used rank structures.
Readers should be aware that not all individuals have a rank that fits into the rank structure the library utilizes.
Most commonly, directors may have no rank (or a rank outside the structure) and it is common for non-librarians
included in the survey (business officers, personnel staff, computer specialists, liaisons, etc.) to be unranked, as
The pattern of relationships between rank and salary seen in past years continues: with higher rank
associated with higher average years of experience and a correspondingly higher salary. 5,769 of the 8,238
librarians in ARL university member libraries occupy a rank within these three most commonly found ranking
systems, and the largest number of professionals (3,443) occupy a position in a four-step rank structure.
Figure 6: Average Salaries and Average Years of Experience of Library Professionals in Libraries with Three,
Four, and Five Step Rank Structures, FY 2011–2012
Three-Step Four-Step Five-Step
Salary Experience Salary Experience Salary Experience
Librarian 1 62,860 9.8 54,590 7.8 55,484 9.9
Librarian 2 72,918 18.1 60,845 12.4 65,899 13.9
Librarian 3 88,794 25.4 74,625 20.2 72,431 17.8
Librarian 4 91,125 26.7 87,073 23.6
Librarian 5 104,406 29.6
No. of Staff 1,360 3,443 966
Inflation Effect
Tables 2 and 6 reveal changes in beginning professional and median salaries as reported by both university
and nonuniversity research libraries as well as the US Bureau of Labor’s Cost of Living Index (CPI-All Urban
Consumers). Table 3 is similar to Table 2, but reports data only on US libraries. Table 4 shows trend data for
Canadian libraries and compares them to the changes in the Canadian Consumer Price Index (Consumer
In 1995–1996, the largest cohort of libraries was determined based on staff over 124; in 1996–1998, over 120; in 1998-1999, over 115; and since
1999–2000, over 110. See Table 23.
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