SPEC Kit 315: Leave and Professional Development Benefits  · 11
Leave Balances and Cash out
The survey asked how much leave could be accrued
and carried forward, how much could be cashed out
at termination of employment, and what were the
eligibility requirements for cash out. All but six of the
responding institutions (91%) allow some cash out of
accrued vacation/personal leave, but only 17 (28%)
permit cash outs of some amount of sick leave. The
maximum balances, maximum cash out, and eligi-
bility for cash out of vacation/personal leave varied
widely among respondents as seen in the table on page
26. For sick leave, most respondents have no cap on the
maximum balance that can accrue, though the amount
of cash out and eligibility criteria vary considerably.
Interestingly, the respondent’s comments indicate that
some portion of institutions permit librarians to ap-
ply sick leave balance towards qualifying service for
retirement benefits.
Sabbatical and Professional Development Leave
At the majority of responding institutions (52 or 73%)
librarians do not receive scheduled or dedicated re-
search time as part of their regular assignment. At the
19 institutions that give such leave there is significant
variance in the amount of full time equivalency (FTE)
that is scheduled or dedicated to research, but the most
commonly reported amount is 10 percent of FTE.
On the other hand, 62 institutions (87%) reported
that librarians may apply for sabbaticals or profes-
sional development leaves. Respondents described
a wide variety of leave durations. The majority (56%)
use months as the basis of their leave duration; others
are semester based. The most common durations for
sabbaticals or professional development leaves are
depicted in the following table.
Leave Duration Responses
6 months or 12 months 12
1 year 9
1 semester or 2 semesters 6
6 months 4
The majority of respondents (53 or 77%) indicated
that librarians on sabbatical or professional develop-
ment leave continue to receive some level of salary;
45% pay the full salary. Respondent’s comments con-
vey that a wide variety of compensation designs are
employed for sabbatical leaves. The most common
feature is multiple levels of compensation based on
percentages of the librarian’s annual salary and with
longer leave duration coupled with a lower percentage
of salary. The most typical examples are 1 semester or
6 months at full pay, with a reduction to half salary
for leaves with a duration of 12 months.
Other designs include leave with varying per-
centages of compensation based upon the librarian’s
length of service. In one example, after four years of
service a librarian could take a 12 month leave at 60%
of annual salary or 6 months at 75% or 8 months at
75%. After six years of service, a librarian could take
a 12 month leave at 80% of salary or 6 months leave
at 90%.
Leave for Conference Attendance
Only 10% of respondents (7 of 70) reported that li-
brarians are required to use personal, vacation, or
other leave to attend professional conferences that are
primarily for their own personal professional develop-
ment. (For the purposes of this survey, “personal pro-
fessional development travel” does not include travel
where the employee is conducting business on behalf
of the library.) The respondents’ comments indicate
that a significant portion of this leave is from plans
designated for professional development and not vaca-
tion or personal leave plans. Accordingly, institutional
support for librarian attendance is considerable.
Financial Support for Conference
Registration and Travel
Ninety-two percent of the responding institutions
report some financial support for conference registra-
tion and/or travel and accommodations for confer-
ences that librarians attend primarily for their own
personal professional development. While only eight
(11%) pay full registration and full travel expenses, half
of the respondents pay at least part of the registration
and travel costs. Only six respondents (8%) offer no
financial support.
The respondents’ comments show a wide variety
of methods for establishing the amount of funding.
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