Payday | LJ Salary Survey 2014

Source: Laura Girmscheid and Meredith Schwartz, Library journal, Vol. 139 no. 12, 2014

For many, salary discussion is the last taboo. But without knowing how their peers are compensated, it can be hard for librarians to make their case for better pay—and hard for library leaders to make the case to funders that higher salaries are necessary to attract and retain the best candidates. Even in public institutions, where salaries are often a matter of public record, figuring out who in another institution is the right apples-to-apples comparison for benchmarking can be a challenge.

There is some information already out there. The American Library Association (ALA) did a salary survey in 2008; its Allied Professional Association provides a database through 2011; and the U.S. Department of Labor shares some data but doesn’t get very granular in terms of specialty or title. There are cross-field crowdsourced sites like Payscale (the source of the numbers underlying Forbes’s controversial contention that the MLIS is the country’s worst graduate degree). LJ has, for years, conducted its annual Placements & Salaries survey (see “The Emerging Databrarian,” LJ 10/15/13, p. 26–33), which focuses on recent Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS and equivalent degree) graduates, to dig into what beginning librarians earn in their first positions and what trends those salaries reveal about the field as a whole. Now, with the help of more than 3,200 public, academic, school, special, government, and consortium librarians from all 50 states, we take a deeper look at the range of the field’s salary potential.

It’s not possible to provide an exact match to the unique set of circumstances each librarian brings to the negotiating table—the educational qualifications, the job responsibilities, the years of service, the size of the system, and the regional context all combine in too many different ways.

Nonetheless, LJ’s inaugural salary survey for U.S. ­librarians and paralibrarians will help readers get closer to understanding how their salary compares with those of their peers….

Informal Accountability in Multisector Service Delivery Collaborations

Source: Barbara Romzek, Kelly LeRoux, Jocelyn Johnston, Robin J. Kempf and Jaclyn Schede Piatak,Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Vol. 24 no. 4, October 2014
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Multiagency collaboration is widely used in contemporary service delivery systems. This article explores the interpersonal interactions within collaborative systems, among subsystems, and among organizations. Our focus is on illuminating the informal mechanisms that facilitate collaboration, joint production, coordination and integration of service delivery, and sustained effort. Such interactions generate unofficial expectations, discretionary behaviors, and provider “communities” that can ameliorate or exacerbate problems of interorganizational networks where collaboration is appropriate or desirable. We use a multiple case–study approach to explore the dynamics of informal accountability among individuals working within county-based children’s service systems in three states. We find informal interpersonal dynamics nested in combinations of vertical and horizontal ties with mixed administrative authority arrangements derived from both formal and informal accountability relationships. These data reveal shared norms, facilitative behaviors, informal rewards and sanctions, and challenges that create the dynamics of informal accountability. Informal accountability is shaped by the prevalence of relationship building and champion behavior as facilitative behaviors, discernible tension between the operation of formal and informal accountability systems, a gap between the rhetoric of collaboration and the reality of collaborative service provision, differences in informal accountability dynamics across hierarchical levels within service delivery systems, and the critical roles of street-level caseworkers in informal accountability.

Forced Labor in the Production of Electronic Goods in Malaysia: A Comprehensive Study of Scope and Characteristics

Source: Verité, September 2014

From the press release:
Verité, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that people around the world work under safe, fair, and legal conditions, today announced the findings of a first-of-its-kind study on forced labor in the Malaysian electronics industry. The study found that thirty-two percent of foreign migrant workers surveyed, nearly one in three, were working in conditions of forced labor. Verité interviewed more than 500 male and female workers across all major producing regions, electronics products, and foreign worker nationalities. Malaysian nationals were also surveyed. The results of these extensive interviews indicate that forced labor is present in the Malaysian electronics industry in more than just isolated cases, and that the problem is indeed widespread. This could mean that many electronics products reaching American consumers are produced using forced labor.
Executive Summary

Home Health Agency Work Environments and Hospitalizations

Source: Olga Jarrín, Linda Flynn, Eileen T. Lake, Linda H. Aiken, Medical Care, Vol. 52 no. 10, October 2014
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: An important goal of home health care is to assist patients to remain in community living arrangements. Yet home care often fails to prevent hospitalizations and to facilitate discharges to community living, thus putting patients at risk of additional health challenges and increasing care costs.

Objectives: To determine the relationship between home health agency work environments and agency-level rates of acute hospitalization and discharges to community living.

Results: Home health agencies with good work environments had lower rates of acute hospitalizations and higher rates of patient discharges to community living arrangements compared with home health agencies with poor work environments.

Conclusion: Improved work environments in home health agencies hold promise for optimizing patient outcomes and reducing use of expensive hospital and institutional care.

Should Student Employment Be Subsidized? Conditional Counterfactuals and the Outcomes of Work-Study Participation

Source: Judith Scott-Clayton and Veronica Minaya, Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment (CAPSEE), CAPSEE Working Paper, September 2014

From the abstract:
Student employment subsidies are one of the largest types of federal employment subsidies, and one of the oldest forms of student aid. Yet it is unclear whether they help or harm students’ long term outcomes. We present a framework that decomposes overall effects into a weighted average of effects for marginal and inframarginal workers. We then use an application of propensity scores, which we call conditional-counterfactual matching, in which we estimate the overall impact, and the impact under two distinct counterfactuals: working at an unsubsidized job, or not working at all. Finally, we estimate the effects of the largest student employment subsidy program—Federal Work-Study (FWS)—for a broad range of participants and outcomes. Our results suggest that about half of FWS participants are inframarginal workers, for whom FWS reduces hours worked and improves academic outcomes, but has little impact on future employment. For students who would not have worked otherwise, the pattern of effects reverses. With the exception of first-year GPA, we find scant evidence of negative effects of FWS for any outcome or subgroup. However, positive effects are largest for lower-income and lower-SAT subgroups, suggesting there may be gains to improved targeting of funds.
Download the appendices: Appendices A and B
CAPSEE project: Project 8: Federal Work-Study

Three Years Later, What Has Come of Occupy Wall Street?

Source: John Wellington Ennis, Huffington Post blog, September 17, 2014

….When beholding such a zero-sum option, it might seem clear why the only option left would be to get everyone you know to go out to the streets and bring this messed up paradox to the attention of everybody. Which is why, for whatever Occupy Wall Street is remembered for at its height, it should be considered an intervention for the country — a staged disruption by those who care, trying to alert an ailing entity to the damage it is inflicting. In this case, that entity with the destructive addictions is our modern political process, where who has the most money makes the rules, at the cost of all else — if it’s a Texas fertilizer plant exploding near a school, a chemical company polluting drinking water for all of West Virginia, or gun manufacturers decrying regulations despite massacred children.

With that is mind, assessing the impact of Occupy Wall Street might be best done by considering the goals of those who camped out in Zuccotti Park. For one, this was a protest, not a political party, so comparisons to the Tea Party are like apples and oranges. While the Tea Party turned outrage at the government into electoral gains (with a lot of help and money from the Kochs), Occupy Wall Street was at the opposite end of the spectrum – the end of the spectrum that views officeholders as courtesans for the corporate class. Asking Occupy activists why they didn’t just start a political party and run for office is like asking an atheist why they didn’t just pray harder.

Another essential in gauging the importance of Occupy Wall Street is recognizing that the Occupy movement did not simply fizzle out or lose steam. The fact is, Occupy encampments were broken up in a coordinated effort led by the Department of Homeland Security working with local police departments. …

…But I think more than anything, the point of Occupy was using your voice to speak out and finding out that you are not alone, there are many who feel the same way, and you are energized by this shared recognition. And once that common reality and strength is realized, you can go back to sleeping in bed and still live in accordance to your own mission. …

Prisoners in 2013

Source: E. Ann Carson, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ 247282, September 16, 2014

From the abstract:
Presents final counts of prisoners under the jurisdiction of state and federal correctional authorities on December 31, 2013, collected by the National Prisoner Statistics Program. This report includes the number of prison admissions, releases, noncitizen inmates, and inmates age 17 or younger in the custody of state or federal prisons. It also presents prison capacity for each state and the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the offense and demographic characteristics of yearend federal and state prison populations. The report examines capacity and enhanced sentencing data from California state prisons between 2010 and 2013 to chart the progress of the state’s Public Safety Realignment policy.

∙ U.S. state and federal correctional facilities held an estimated 1,574,700 prisoners on December 31, 2013, an increase of 4,300 prisoners from yearend 2012.
∙ The 3-year decline in the prison population stopped in 2013 due to an increase of 6,300 inmates (0.5%) in the state prison population.
∙ The federal prison population decreased in size for the first time since 1980, with 1,900 fewer prisoners in 2013 than in 2012.
∙ The number of prisoners sentenced to more than a year in state or federal prison increased by 5,400 persons from yearend 2012 to yearend 2013.
∙ The number of persons admitted to state or federal prison during 2013 increased by 4%, from 608,400 in 2012 to 631,200 in 2013.

Press Release
ASCII file (80K)
Comma-delimited format (CSV) (Zip format 54K)

Does the NFL Need a Billion Dollar Subsidy Annually from Taxpayers?

Source: Richard Phillips, Citizens for Tax Justice, Tax Justice blog, February 6, 2014

Over the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, the National Football League (NFL) has found itself increasingly under scrutiny for its extraordinary extraction of lavish tax breaks and subsidies from state and local governments throughout the country. In fact, one recent study estimated that the National Football League (NFL) receives as much as $1 billion in subsidies annually.

While state and local governments find themselves still struggling with austerity budgets, the NFL had revenues of $9 billion during 2013 and analysts expect its revenue to only rise in the years to come. In addition, the NFL’s overall profitability is rising and its operating margin is “head and shoulders above other sports.”

Given their lack of funds and the league’s high profits, why do state and local lawmakers feel the need to give extravagant subsidies to NFL teams? One of the main reasons is that NFL teams have frequently threatened to leave a given city if they do not receive the subsidies they want, typically for constructing or maintaining a stadium, and many lawmakers fear that voters will blame them for “losing” the team if they do ultimately move.

Two More Ways Not to Think About Privacy and the Fourth Amendment

Source: David Alan Sklansky, Stanford Public Law Working Paper, August 1, 2014

From the abstract:
This brief essay challenges two increasingly common ideas about privacy and the Fourth Amendment. The first is that any protections needed against government infringements of privacy in the Information Age are best developed outside of the courts and outside of constitutional law. The second is that the various puzzles encountered when thinking about privacy and the Fourth Amendment can be solved or circumvented through some kind of invocation of the past: either a focus on the text of the Fourth Amendment, or the study of its history, or an effort to preserve the amount privacy that used to exist, either when the Fourth Amendment was adopted or at some later point.