Library Development · 13
The majority of chief LDO salaries (53%) have
joint funding sources. In almost all of these cases
(92%), central development or the institution’s
foundation is the library’s cost share partner,
with each paying approximately half the salary.
Somewhat surprisingly, only about half of the
jointly funded positions report jointly to the fund-
ing partners. At institutions where there is a sec-
ond library fundraising professional or more, the
library budget covers the salary of 56% of the po-
sitions. Other sources include endowments, gifts,
and state funds.
Although only 14 of 76 chief LDOs (18%) have a
library science degree, the rest have other advanced
degrees ranging from Masters (22) to MBAs (5) to
PhDs (2) to JDs (2). Only ten other fundraising pro-
fessionals are reported to have an MLS or MLIS de-
gree most have at least a bachelor’s and 12 have
various other advanced degrees.
Survey respondents were asked how fundrais-
ing staff divide their time among a variety of ac-
tivities. Not unexpectedly, responses show that,
on average, the chief LDOs spend more than one-
third of their time on major gifts (35.4%). This is
followed by donor relations (18.1%), special events
(14.7%), Friends/board management (12.3%), staff
and office management (11.8%), and annual giving
(11.3%). Additional staff follow a similar pattern,
though as the number of staff increases, so does the
specialization of each staff member.
To assist them in their endeavors, almost one-
half of the chief LDOs have at least one full-time
administrative support staff member who reports
directly to them. Almost an equal number have at
least access to administrative support staff who are
supervised by someone else. Twenty-nine percent
have part-time support staff, and 30% have student
employees. In addition, a few respondents have the
help of graphic designers, writers and other publi-
cations staff, marketing and communications staff,
and grants managers.
Library Development Officer
The majority of library development programs
have had three or more chief LDOs since their in-
ception (46 or 58%). Twelve have had five or more.
This, however, does not imply frequent turnover.
With only a few exceptions, the programs that have
had two or more LDOs began before 2000. Twenty
programs have had only one library development
officer in their history and nine of these are among
the oldest. Tenure in their current position as chief
LDO ranges from three months to 18 years. The av-
erage tenure was surprising: a mean of 4.3 years
and a median of 3 years. The career tenure in any
library development program for these individu-
als is even longer, ranging from three months to 28
years. The mean tenure balloons to 5.5 years (with
a median of 3 years), indicating that chief LDOs are
Prior to assuming their current LDO responsi-
bilities, 26 (33%) were employed in another non-
library fundraising position within the same insti-
tution. Sixteen (21%) were employed in a fundrais-
ing position not in higher education or libraries.
Surprisingly, only four (5%) came from a different
library development program, the same number
that came from a different position within their
institution’s library development program. Sixteen
respondents came to their current position from
such diverse backgrounds as museums, social
work, law, business, and campaign management.
Fewer than half of the chief LDOs (34 or 44%) are
a member of the library director’s executive cabi-
net, but even those who are not may meet with the
director regularly or report to the group at least oc-
casionally. Sixty percent of the LDOs are members
of a department heads’ committee or roundtable.
One of those who isn’t pointed out that she could
be, but “is out seeing potential donors” rather than
attending meetings.
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