It is no secret that most library personnel are not blessed with high salaries or decent hourly wage. I was reminded of this when I saw a picture of a drive through book drop off on the exterior wall of a library in Roswell New Mexico.
This is no ordinary book return where the books just are clunkily dropped off and manually processed one by one to an employee who could be doing something more productive like watching out for people who do strange things in the peace and quiet of this public place.
It actually scans each book you are returning and notes if late fees are applicable while printing a receipt ticket. Whatever the cost for this device, it will most certainly eventually be offset by the cost of paying an underpaid employee to do the monotonous task. I don’t know how library staff will handle cases where device does not scan books properly which happens sometimes on check out scanning devices inside library.
Read the work of the blogger annoyed librarian with respect to pay equity and income inequality.
Also, low pay is not a problem limited to small city library staff. Chicago has its share of disgruntled employees as well. Igor Studenkov, a Bugle Staff reporter writes about the Park Ridge Public Library Budget and low wages in relation to limited funding.
Controversy was created when the library board decided not to give library staff pay raises. The highly publicized departure of children’s department manager Kelly Durov a few months earlier also made some trustees question whether any employees were underpaid. Eventually, the committee signed off on every piece of the proposed budget except salaries, deciding to hold off approval until entire group could assemble. It should be noted that Library Director Janet Van De Carr supports raises indicating it will also be an effective recruiting tool.
Trustee Charlene Foss-Eggemann said she wanted to make sure that the planning aspect is lucidly enumerated on the record so no money will leak through the cracks. Having stressed that point, underemployment is a nagging concern while waiting on the results of various reports.