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TL v56n4 Appendix to Tennessee Library Support Staff want Equitable Compensation
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Tennessee Libraries

Volume 56 Number 4



Tennessee Library Support Staff Want Equitable

 Compensation, Career Ladders, and Continuing Education:

TLA Survey Results

Chris Durman

Music Librarian for Public Services,
University of Tennessee Libraries


This is only the appendix. For the full article, click here.


Appendix A:

 The Tennessee Library Association Paraprofessional Roundtable (TLA-PPRT) is conducting a survey to identify issues of concern to the support staff in Tennessee. You do not need to be a member in order to participate in this survey. Please take a few minutes to complete the following survey.

1. What type of library do you work in?

____College/University Library (Privately Funded) ___College/University Library (Publicly Funded)

____Elementary/High School Library ___Public Library

____Other (specify) ____________________________ ___Hospital/Medical Center Library

2. How long have you worked in the library field? ___________

3. What is your exact job title? ______________________________________________

4. What are your principle job duties (check all that apply) : ___ Acquisitions ___ Cataloging/Processing ___ Reference

___ Interlibrary Loan ___ Circulation ___ Serials ___ Technology/Webmaster ___ Internet Searching ___

Other (please specify) _____________________________________

5. In addition to your regular duties are you cross trained? ___ Yes ___ No

a. If yes in what area (check all that apply): ___ Acquisitions ___ Cataloging/Processing ___ Circulation

___ Interlibrary Loan ___ Reference ___ Serials ___ Technology/Webmaster ___ Internet Searching

Other (please specify) ___________________________

6. How long have you been in this position?

___ Less than one year ___ 1-2 years ___ 3-5 years ___ 5 + years / How many? ___ years

7. What is the highest level of education you have achieved?

____High school graduate ____Some college ____ Associate’s Degree ____Bachelor’s Degree

____Some graduate school ____Master’s Degree-MLS ____Master’s Degree-Other ____Ph.D.

8. Are you currently attending school? ____ Yes ____ No If yes, what program _______________________

9. Are you: (check all that apply) ___Union ___Non-union ___City ___ State ___County ___ Federal

___ Other (please specify) _____________________________________

10. Do you supervise the work of others? ___Yes ___No If yes, how many? ______

11. Since you started working in your current position, have your responsibilities

___ Increased ___ Decreased ___ Remained about the same

12. If your responsibilities have increased which activity are you doing more of? (check all that apply)

___ Acquisitions ___ Cataloging/Processing ___ Circulation ___ Clerical ___ Interlibrary Loan

___ Reference ___ Serials ___ Technology/Webmaster ___ Internet Searching ___

Other responsibilities (please specify) _____________________________

13. What is the total population served by your library?

¬¬____ Fewer than 5,000 ____ 5,000-9,999 ____ 10,000-24,999 ____ 25,000-49,999 ____ 50,000-99,999

____ 100,000-249,999 ____ 250,000-499,999 ____ 500,000-999,999 ___ 1,000,000 or more

14. Approximately how many employees work are at your library: Full time: Professionals _____; Support Staff ____

Part time: Professionals _____; Support Staff _____

15. Is there room for advancement in your position?

____ Very likely ____Somewhat likely ____Somewhat unlikely ____ Very unlikely

16. How likely is your library to hire from within when filling higher paying staff positions?

____ Very likely ____Somewhat likely ____Somewhat unlikely ____ Very unlikely

17. How often does your library offer opportunities such as in-house training workshops for support staff to learn new skills? ____ Very frequently ____Somewhat frequently ____Somewhat infrequently ____ Very infrequently

18. Do you feel that you are being compensated fairly for the skills and knowledge you possess?

____ Very well ____ Fairly well ____ Not very well ___ Poorly

19. Does your library have a continuing education program for library assistants? ____ Yes ____ No

a. (If yes) What percentage of the tuition does the library pay for library assistants?

____ 100% ____ 75-99% ____ 50-74% ____ Under 50% ____ Unsure

20. What salary range most closely matches your annual salary? (***OPTIONAL***)

____ under $10,000 ____ $10,000-15,000 ____ $15,001-20,000 ____ $20,001-25,000

____ $25,000-30,000 ____ $30,001-35,000 ____ $35,000-50,000 ____ over $50,000

21. Below is a list of issues that have been previously identified as concerns facing the library support

staff community. Please rank what FIVE issues should receive the highest priority from TLA-PPRT in their upcoming strategic planning. (1=highest, 2=next highest, etc.)

____ a. Access to continuing education and training opportunities

____ b. Lack of support ($$, release time) from library for continuing education and training opportunities

____ c. Apathy of support staff (not wanting to get involved)

____ d. Lack of a Paraprofessional Certification Program

____ e. Career ladders (few opportunities for advancement)

____ f. No agreement on appropriate terminology

____ g. Compensation not appropriate to level of education, experience and responsibilities

____ h. Lack of recognition for contributions to libraries and librarianship

____ i. Undefined roles of support staff or librarians

____ j. Limited access to participate in decisions that affect their job

____ k. Outsourcing

____ l. No basic general education requirement for support staff positions

____ m. Lack of support staff representation on decision-making committees at library

____ n. Lack of benefits (not wages)

____ o. Keeping up with technological changes

____ p. Responsibility for library operations but no authority to shape those operations

____ q. Morale

____ r. OTHER (please specify) ______________________________________________

If not listed above, which issues would you like the TLA PPRT to address? __________________________________________________________________________________


22. What would you do to change/improve the working environment for Library Support Staff?

23. Do you belong to a library organization(s), please list: _________________________________

24. Are you a member of the Tennessee Library Association? ____ Yes ____ No If not, why?

25. Other comments? (Please feel free to continue on back)

Name _________________________________________________(Optional)

Library ________________________________________________ (Optional)


This survey has been created using elements of: the ALA-LSSIRT Survey of 1997, a survey conducted by Sheryl Gerdwagen’s Berkeley College Library Staff, and questions proposed by members of TLA-PPRT.

Return no later than May 15, 2004 to:

Chris Durman, University of Tennessee Libraries

1015 Volunteer Blvd., Knoxville, TN 37996

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