AALL 1997 Salary Survey Findings

PrintEmail

The primary purpose of the 1997 Biennial Salary Survey was to track the salary of library professionals across types of libraries, position titles and geographic regions. The data collected also provides other important observations regarding the current law library community and emerging trends. The information included here focuses on that data.

RESPONSE RATE

1A. Surveys were mailed to all law libraries with AALL members on staff in three broad categories. Surveys were sent to 920 Private Libraries, 271 Government Libraries and 193 of the larger Academic Libraries. (Private Libraries include law firms as well as corporate legal departments. Government Libraries include state, court and county libraries.)

1B. The 55% response rate for the 1997 Salary Survey was excellent and very similar to the rate of response for the 1995 survey (56%).

1C. As with the previous survey, the response rate was highest among Academic Libraries.

1D. As with the 1995 Salary Survey, the results of this survey can be generalized to all AALL libraries; however, results may not be representative of all legal libraries.


Table 1

1997 Response Rate

1995 Response Rate

Academic Libraries

67%

75%

Government Libraries

54%

62%

Private Libraries

53%

51%

Total

55%

56%

HARD COPY AND ELECTRONIC SPENDING

2. While Academic and Government libraries show a modest increase in their average information budgets compared to the 1995 survey findings, Private Firm/Corporate Libraries report a more sizable increase of over 20%.


Table 2

Comparison of Average 1997 and 1995 Budgets

Type of Library

Average 1997 Information Budget

Average 1995 Information Budget

$ Difference

% Difference

Academic

$780,100

$759,100

+$21,000

+2.8%

Government

$317,700

$308,100

+$9,600

+3.1%

Private

$644,900

$535,200

+$109,700

+20.5%

3. On average, Academic Libraries have the highest annual information budget at over $780,000 followed by Private Libraries at close to $655,000. Government Libraries have the smallest average budget at $317,000 for hard copy and electronic information.


Table 3

Average 1997 Information Budget Per Library

Type of Library

Hard Copy Information

Electronic Information

Total Budget

Academic

$677,700

$102,400

$780,100

Government

$269,600

$48,100

$317,700

Private

$268,500

$376,400

$644,900

4A. While Academic and Government libraries spend the majority of their information budget on hard copy information, Private Firm/Corporate Libraries allocate more than half of their information budget to electronic information.

4B. This pattern of spending is similar to that reported in the 1995 study.


Table 4

Percentage of Total Information Budget

 

1997 Findings

1995 Findings

 

Hard Copy Information

Electronic Information

Hard Copy Information

Electronic Information

Academic

87%

13%

86%

14%

Government

85%

15%

76%

24%

Private

41%

58%

46%

54%

5. The current total of 1384 libraries with AALL members on staff have budgeted an estimated $830 million on hard copy and electronic information.


Table 5

AALL LIBRARIES 1997 ESTIMATED INFORMATION BUDGETS

Type of Library

Number of AALL Libraries

Average Total Information Budget Per Library

Total AALL member Libraries Information Budget

Academic

193

$780,100

$150,559,000

Government

271

$317,700

$86,097,000

Private

920

$644,900

$593,308,000

Total

1384

 

$829,964,000

6A. The 1995 total spending for all AALL member libraries of $848 million is slightly

higher than the 1997 findings.

6.B. There was a 15% decrease in the number of member libraries from 1995 to 1997.

This decrease from 1637 libraries in 1995 to 1384 in 1997 accounts for the decline in the total information spending among AALL libraries. (As noted in Table 2 average spending per library is higher in 1997 than in 1995.)


Table 6

AALL LIBRARIES 1995 ESTIMATED INFORMATION BUDGETS

Type of Library

Number of AALL Libraries

Average Total Information Budget Per Library

Total AALL member Libraries Information Budget

Academic

187

$759,100

$141,952,000

Government

302

$308,100

$ 93,046,000

Private

1145

$535,200

$612,804,000

Total

1637

 

$847,802,000

7. Combining the slight increase in average spending per library with the reduced number of AALL libraries, the total 1997 spending among AALL member libraries declined only 2% from the 1995 total.


Table 7

COMPARISON OF 1997 and 1995 AALL LIBRARY INFORMATION BUDGETS

Type of Library

Total 1997 Budget

Total 1995 Budget

$

Difference

% Difference

Academic

$150,559,000

$141,952,000

$ 8,607,000

+6.1%

Government

$86,097,000

$ 93,046,000

-$ 6,949,000

-7.5%

Private

$593,308,000

$612,804,000

-$19,496,000

-3.2%

Total

$829,964,000

$847,802,000

-$17,838,000

-2.1%

PROFESSIONAL AND PARAPROFESSIONAL STAFFING

8. The 1997 Salary Survey gathered information on a total of over 4500 staff members in Academic, Government and Private libraries.


Table 8

1997 Library Staffing for AALL Libraries

 

Professionals

Para Professionals

Library Clerks & Computer Tech

Total

All Libraries

2487

1196

847

4530

Academic

1023

583

330

1936

Government

472

244

170

886

Private

992

369

347

1708

9. Although not statistically significant, there was a slight decline in the average number of professionals per library in Academic and Private Libraries, compared to the 1995 survey.


Table 9

1997 Survey Finding

1995 Survey Finding

 

Average Number Per Library (FTE)

Average Number Per Library (FTE)

 

Professionals

Para Professionals

Professionals

Para Professionals

All Libraries

2.99

2.37

3.55

2.35

Academic

7.47

7.55

8.0

6.9

Government

2.9

2.07

2.35

1.43

Private

1.81

1.08

2.85

1.54

10. Across the three types of libraries surveyed, Academic Libraries have the greatest number overall.


Table 10

AVERAGE # OF STAFF MEMBERS (FTE)

1997 SURVEY

 

Academic Library

Government

Library

Private Library

Professional

7.47

2.90

1.81

Paraprofessional

7.55

2.07

1.08

Students/Clerks

6.54

1.14

.73

Total Staff

21.56

6.11

3.62

11A. Even though the smallest percentage of surveyed libraries were Academic Libraries, the largest percentage of employees in the survey work at Academic Libraries. While Academic Libraries represent only 17% of the reporting libraries, close to half (43%) of library professionals are employed in Academic Libraries.

11B. As noted above (Table 8), the staff of Academic Libraries are significantly larger than those of Government and Private Libraries. Forty-three percent (43%) of all employees (professional, paraprofessional, clerks and computer technicians) and 42% of all professionals work in Academic Libraries.


Table 11

Academic Libraries

Government

Libraries

Private Libraries

Percent of Libraries Surveyed

17%

19%

63%

Percent of Employees

43%

20%

38%

Percent of Professional Employees

42%

19%

41%

12. Although not statistically significant, the 1997 survey shows a slight decline in the number of professionals per library (see Table 8) as well as the ratio of professionals to paraprofessionals. This may indicate a trend of staff reductions that should be closely monitored in the future.


Table 12

1997 Survey Finding

1995 Survey Finding

 

Ratio of Professionals to Para Professionals (FTE)

Ratio of Professionals to Para Professionals (FTE)

All Libraries

1.26 to 1

1.51 to 1

Academic

.99 to 1

1.16 to 1

Government

1.4 to 1

1.64 to 1

Private

1.68 to 1

1.85 to 1

EXPERIENCE

13A. Legal library staffs seem quite stable. On average library staff members have been at their current position from six to eight years.

13B. Both surveys show staff members at Academic and Government Libraries have been at their current position longer than those at Private Libraries.


Table 13

Average Years at Current Position

Type of Library

1997 Findings

1995 Findings

Academic

7.6

6.5

Government

7.9

7.1

Private

6.0

5.4

14A. As in 1995, on average, professional staff members in the �97 study have been at their current position slightly longer than paraprofessionals.

14B. Eighty four percent of professional staff members and 81% of paraprofessionals have two or more years experience at their current position.


Table 14

AVERAGE YEARS AT CURRENT POSITION

Position

1997 Findings

1995 Findings

Professional

7.7

7.1

Para Professional

6.9

6.0

Other Responsibilities

15A. The majority of library staff members do not have responsibilities outside the library. However, among the three types of libraries, staff members at Academic Libraries are more likely to have some other responsibilities than Government or Private Library staff members. Close to half (45%) of Academic Library staff members have some responsibility outside the library.

15B. Twenty percent of Private Library staff members have responsibility for two or more functions outside the library.


Table 15

NUMBER OF RESPONSIBILITIES OUTSIDE THE LIBRARY

(1997)

 

Academic

Government

Private

One

38%

13%

18%

Two

7%

4%

11%

Three

N/A

<1%

4%

Four

N/A

0

2%

Five

N/A

N/A

<1%

Six

N/A

N/A

3%

Seven

N/A

N/A

<1%

Total with some outside responsibility

45%

17%

37%

NOTE: Academic Libraries were asked about 2 other responsibilities, Government Libraries were asked about 4 and Private Libraries were asked about 7

16A. Academic Libraries with their larger staffs seem to necessitate greater management responsibilities. Ninety-three (93%) of respondents from Academic Libraries supervise 10 or more staff members. Only 17% of respondents from Court Libraries and 6% of respondents from Private Libraries supervise a staff of 10 or more.

16B. While 15% of survey respondents overall have some responsibility for IS functions outside of the library, respondents from Academic Libraries are more likely to have IS responsibilities.


Table 16

SUMMARY OF ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

(1997 FINDINGS)

Type of Library

IS

(Outside Library)

Records Management

Docket

Conflict Management (Outside Library)

Marketing (Outside Library)

Supervise Paralegals (Outside Library)

Other Responsibilities

Academic

38%

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

13%

Government

8%

4%

N/A

N/A

N/A

2%

12%

Private

11%

18%

11%

13%

10%

7%

12%

17. The number of staff members with responsibilities outside the library in 1997 closely mirrors findings in the 1995 survey.


Table 17

SUMMARY OF ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES

(1995 FINDINGS)

Type of Library

IS

(Outside Library)

Records Management

Docket

Conflict Management (Outside Library)

Marketing (Outside Library)

Supervise Paralegals (Outside Library)

Other Responsibilities

Academic

33%

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

16%

Government

8%

9%

N/A

N/A

N/A

2%

12%

Private

10%

18%

9%

13%

10%

7%

11%

ACADEMIC LAW LIBRARY MAKE UP>

18A. Academic Libraries serve an average of 610 students and 35 faculty members.

18B. The ratio of library professionals in 1997 is very similar to the findings in the 1995 study.


Table 18

SUMMARY OF ACADEMIC LIBRARY STAFFING

 

1997 FINDINGS

1995 FINDINGS

Average Number of Students

610

660

Average Number of Faculty

35

35

Ratio of Library Professionals to Students

1 to 81.7

1 to 82.5

Ratio of Library Professionals to Faculty

1 to 4.7

1 to 4.4

Ratio of Library Staff to Faculty

1 to 1.6

1 to 1.6

Ratio of Library Staff to Students

1 to 28.3

1 to 29.3

18C. More than one quarter (28%) of professionals at Academic Libraries are on a tenure track

18D. More than three out of four (78%) of directors at Academic Libraries are on a tenure track.

18E. More than one third (38%) of professionals at Academic Libraries teach courses.

PRIVATE LAW LIBRARY MAKE UP

19A. As noted earlier (Table 10), Private Law Libraries tend to have much smaller staffs than other libraries. As a result of the small staff, each private library professional supports 53 attorneys, on average.

19B. Compared to 1995, in 1997 Private Firm/Corporate Libraries have, on average, smaller staffs supporting more attorneys.


Table 19

SUMMARY OF PRIVATE/CORPORATE LIBRARY STAFFING

 

1997 FINDINGS

1995 FINDINGS

Average Number of Attorneys per firm

95

88

Average number of Library Professionals per Firm

1.8

2.9

Average Number of Paraprofessionals per Firm

1.1

1.5

Average number of clerks and Students

.7

.9

Average Staff Size

3.6

5.3

Ratio of Library Professionals to Attorneys

1 to 52.7

1 to 30.3

Ratio of Library Staff to Attorneys

1 to 26.4

1 to 16.6

20A. As noted earlier (Table 15), over one third of Private Library staff members have responsibilities outside of the library. The table below shows Directors, One Person Library, Associate/Chief Librarian and Department Heads or Computer/Automation Librarian are the most likely to have outside responsibilities.

20B. The asterisk in the table indicates that staff members at that position with responsibilities outside the library receive a significantly higher salary than staff at the same position who do not have outside responsibilities. Staff members in one person libraries, directors and paraprofessionals with outside responsibilities are paid significantly more than those with no outside responsibilities


PRIVATE LIBRARY STAFF MEMBERS WITH RESPONSIBILITIES OUTSIDE LIBRARY

(1997)

Table 20

 

Significantly Higher Salary*

Position

Percentage

 

One Person Library

22%

*

Director/Chief Librarian

25%

*

Assoc./Ast./Chief Librarian

16%

 

Supervisory Librn/Dept. Head

12%

 

Computer/Automation Librarian

13%

 

Foreign/International Librarian

0%

 

Government Doc. Librarian

8%

 

Reader Services Librarian

3%

 

Technical Services Librarian

6%

 

Generalist

6%

 

Library Assist/Paraprofessional

8%

*

Library Clerk

4%

 

Computer Technician

0%

 

*Salary higher compared to those at the same position but with no outside responsibilities.

 

21A. The average difference in salary for the three positions with a significant difference in salary was between 11% and 16%.

Table 21

Comparison of Average Salary

(1997)

Position

Have No Outside Responsibilities

Have Some Outside Responsibilities

$ Difference

% Difference

One Person Library

$39,681

$46,171

$6490

16%

Director/Chief Librarian

$57,315

$63,405

$6090

11%

Library Assist/ Paraprofessional

$26,553

$30,444

$3891

15%

None of the other positions had a statistical difference between the salaries of those with outside responsibilities and those with no outside responsibilities. However, it should be noted the number of staffers with other responsibilities within a given position code was small making it difficult to identify statistical differences.

GOVERNMENT LIBRARY MAKE UP

22. One in six government libraries in the 1997 survey are federally funded.

Table 22

PERCENT OF FEDERALLY FUNDED GOVERNMENT LIBRARIES

1997 SURVEY FINDINGS

16%

1995 SURVEY FINDINGS

18%

EDUCATION

23A. Twenty three percent (23%) of library professionals have a dual MLS and LLB/JD

23B. Eighty six percent (86%) of paraprofessionals have a BA degree or higher


Table 23

Highest Level of Education

(1997)

 

Total Sample

Professionals

MLS&LLB/JD

16%

23%

LLB/JD

4%

4%

MLS

39%

55%

RACE

24. The race distribution for this survey is very similar to that reported in the 1995 survey


Table 24

RACE

(1997)

 

Total

Professionals

Paraprofessionals/ Clerks/ Computer Techs

White

82%

90%

73%

Black/ African American

10%

4%

16%

Hispanic

3%

1%

5%

Asian/ Pacific Islander

5%

4%

6%

Other

1%

1%

1%

YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

25A. An average of 12 years experience among library professionals and paraprofessionals indicates a stable employee base.

25B. Close to two thirds of professionals (63%) have more than 10 years experience.

25C. One third (31%) of paraprofessionals have more than 10 years experience.


Table 25

AVERAGE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE (1997)

 

Total

Professionals

Para- professionals/ Clerks/ Computer Tech

Average Years of Library Experience

11.9

14.4

8.6

       

Less than 2 Yrs

8%

4%

13%

2-5 Yrs

21%

14%

30%

6-10 Yrs

22%

20%

26%

11-15 Yrs

17%

18%

15%

16 or More Yrs

32%

45%

16%

26. Among professional AALL members, the years experience and years at current position appears to be increasing. A continuation of this trend may indicate a lack of new entrants into the profession.


Table 26A

AVERAGE YEARS OF LIBRARY EXPERIENCE

 

1997 Findings

1995 Findings

Total

11.9

10.8

Professionals

14.4

11.2


Table 26B

AVERAGE YEARS IN CURRENT POSITION

 

1997 Findings

1995 Findings

Total

7.1

6.2

Professionals

9.4

7.1

AALL MEMBERSHIP

27A. Forty four (44%) of the Library Staff Members covered in the Salary Survey are members of the AALL.

27B. Perhaps reflecting the limited entry of new members to the Legal Librarian profession, the AALL seems to be having difficulty attracting new members. A clear majority (74%) of those reporting AALL members have been members for more than 5 years.

27C. The vast majority of AALL members are professional librarians. Seventy nine percent (79%) of the Professionals and only 2% of the Paraprofessional/Clerk/Computer Tech group are AALL members


Table 27

SUMMARY OF AALL MEMBERSHIP

 

1997

1995

Average Years of Membership

11.9

10.1

     

Less than 2 Yrs

6%

6%

2-5 Yrs

20%

25%

6-10 Yrs

27%

29%

11 or More Yrs

47%

40%

BONUS

28A. The majority of library staff at Private Law Libraries receive a bonus.

28B. Among those at Private Libraries, 61% receive a bonus.

28C. Among those who receive a bonus, the majority receive less than $3000.


Table 28 BONUS

RECIPIENTS

(1997)

Less than $3000

83%

$3000 to $10,000

16%

More than $10,000

1%