ALA does salary surveys every year. This is from the ALA-APA toolkit [1]:

"Pay inequity also exists within librarianship. The Association of 
Research Libraries, in its Annual Salary Survey
2005-6, reported that the average salary for male academic librarians in 
member libraries was $63,984, while
the average for female academic librarians was $61,083.5

Library Journal reported that new library school graduates finally 
crossed the $40,000 mark as an average salary,
but the gender split had women below that point with $39,587 and men at 

And there's more if you go through the literature.



On 11/29/12 1:19 PM, Chris Fitzpatrick wrote:
> Hm. This all has been a long and really interesting conversation...but I
> gotta ask if  men really outweigh women in the higher paying library jobs
> as much as they do in banks and K-12? I guess it depends on the definition
> of "tech" vs. "non-tech" jobs in the library setting, which I'll leave to
> that other email tread...but since I started working in libraries, 3 of my
> last 5 managers (hi, Bess!) were women. I always thought one of the best
> things about working at libraries was that there are way more women working
> in higher positions than there are in most private for-profit companies.
>   And I'd be willing to bet my life savings that libraries have
> a significantly higher percentage of women executives than Fourtune 500
> companies. But maybe I'm delusional about this? I don't have any figures or
> anything...
> What I have noticed is that academic libraries have been trying harder to
> emulate the Valley and the general tech field. Not only is "Thinking Like A
> Startup" a mantra, but libraries are flocking to flashier cutting edge
> technologies. This is probably not a bad thing, but communities like Rails,
> Drupal, Django, Hadoop, and Node are all overloaded with particular
> chromosome. So maybe a side-effect is that we're now emulating some of
> their bad habits along with the good ones?
> Another thing that Karen Coyle's comments about "coders" vs. "helpers" made
> me think of is that academic libraries tend to be reorganizing their
>   departments in kinda interesting ways. There now seems to be things like
> "Metadata" or "Systems" groups that are distinct from "Digital Repository"
> or "Applications" groups. Catalogers and the people who work on the ILS are
> often completely segregated from the people who work on the new flashy
> grant-funded projects. The former, it kinda seems to me, tends to have more
> women members while the latter is often lacking. Code4Lib draws mostly from
> people working in these new-ish groups, which the others get sent to things
> like ALA...maybe we can significantly improve our ratio by trying to
> involve and interact more with our colleagues sitting on the other side of
> the cubical partition? Although the last time I did that I learned the hard
> way why turning off the Zebra index is a bad idea, so maybe on second
> thought it's better if we don't get in each other's hair....
> best,fitz.
> On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 9:10 PM, Bess Sadler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> The challenges around getting women into male-dominated professions is a
>> little different from the challenges of getting men into women-dominated
>> professions. For one thing, professions that are female-dominated are
>> notoriously low-paying and low-status (think K-12 teachers, nursing, social
>> workers, etc). These professions do have major recruiting problems, largely
>> because they are low-paying, often considered to be undesirable, and they
>> have high levels of stress burnout. When men choose to enter these fields,
>> they often are promoted more quickly and paid more than women. There are
>> many professions where this is true. Women outnumber men as K-12 teachers,
>> but men outnumber women as K-12 principals and school superintendents.
>> Women make up the majority of bank tellers, but men make up the majority of
>> bank managers. Women make up the majority of librarians, but men make up
>> the majority of the higher-paying technology jobs in libraries. Sensing a
>> pattern yet? THAT is what we a!
>>   re trying to disrupt.
>> Don't get me wrong, getting more men into nursing is a good thing too! The
>> fact that men are less likely to put up with low wages, bad working
>> conditions, or disrespectful colleagues can work in everyone's favor, and
>> the field of nursing in particular has faced such problems with recruiting
>> that they are trying to undergo a major cultural shift. Male nurses have
>> been a part of that. Obviously I am not a nurse, but I do have a close
>> relative who authored a study on this subject for a nursing school, so I
>> have heard a bit about it.
>> I highly recommend the book "Women Don't Ask" (,
>> which is a great book for anyone who wants to know more about effective
>> negotiating. (Read it before your next salary negotiation!) The book
>> discusses why men tend to ask for better treatment, better salaries, more
>> opportunities, etc, while women more often accept whatever they are given.
>> This is learned behavior that we can learn to change, though. I think a
>> place like code4lib, where there is so much opportunity to speak up or
>> spark initiatives without any hierarchy or bureaucracy getting in the way,
>> can be a fertile ground for women who want to develop their negotiation and
>> leadership skills, as well as their technical capacity. My entire career
>> has been shaped around stuff I learned in code4lib, and only some of it was
>> about code.
>> Bess
>> On Nov 27, 2012, at 7:56 AM, "Huwig,Steve" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I'm just the peanut gallery (having never attended Code4Lib) but it
>>> seems to me that a useful analogue to programming/tech conferences --
>>> which Code4Lib surely is -- would be conferences aimed at professional
>>> nurses.
>>> Do those conference organizers take measures to increase the number of
>>> male attendees? If so, what do they do?
>>> Just throwing ideas out there,
>>> Steve Huwig

Karen Coyle
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