Library Professionals: Facts & Figures

Source: Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE), Fact Sheet, May 2019

Librarians and other library professionals provide essential services for schools, universities, and communities. Americans go to libraries for free, reliable, and well-organized access to books, the Internet, and other sources of information and entertainment; assistance finding work; research and reference assistance; and programs for children, immigrants, seniors and other groups with specific needs, just to name a few.

This fact sheet explores the role of library staff in the workforce, the demographics, educational attainment and wages of librarians, as well as the benefits of union membership for librarians and other issues faced by library staff…..

…..Librarians and library worker union members have leveraged their collective voices to earn fair wages and stronger benefits. Wages and benefits earned by union librarians and library workers are more commensurate with the skilled and professional nature of library work.

In 2018, librarians who were union members earned 38 percent ($284) more per week than their non-union counterparts. While this statistic is also subject to volatility due to the sample size, trends in the data show that it pays to be a union librarian.

– In 2018, union library assistants earned 48 percent higher hourly wages ($18.67) than their non-union counterparts ($12.62).
– Due to the small sample size, 2018 union wage data is not available for library technicians. In 2009, the last year comparative data was available, union library technicians earned 49 percent more than their non-union counterparts.

Union members are more likely than their non-union counterparts to be covered by a retirement plan, health insurance, and paid sick leave. In 2018, 95 percent of union members in the civilian workforce had access to a retirement plan, compared with only 67 percent of non-union workers. Similarly, 95 percent of union members had access to employer provided health insurance, compared to 69 percent of non-union workers in 2017. In 2017, 90 percent of union members in the civilian workforce had access to paid sick leave compared to 71 percent of non-union workers…..