I’m pissed.

May 18th, 2006 by cathy

My husband has a discussion board, and somehow, one thing led to another and they ended up talking salaries. Oh! I know. I think that some union employees in Delphi were complaining because the company wanted to decrease their wages (if it was me, I think I’d want to complain too) from $27 an hour to $16.50 an hour. Right now, I make about $16.50 an hour (or about $31,000 a year). I found an article that stated that in 1998, in a medium sized library, a beginning librarian made an average of 28,767 a year. That means that 8 years later, I’m only making about $3000 more a year than those librarians.

I try not to be upset about this.

I try telling myself that its only money and that when we die that we can’t take it with us.
I try reminding myself that I like working with kids and teens and the rest of the public (sometimes).
I try reminding myself that its a worthy cause to be a strong advocate on behalf of the youth in my town.
I think about when the kids are excited because I found them a book they had never heard of but were excited to read.
I think about when the kids are *so* excited to shake their wiggles out at storytime that they can’t stand still.
I think about when the kids want to give me a hug because they like having me around.

I *really* do try and remind myself of all of these things.

And then…

I think of the teens getting in my face and calling me a fucking bitch.
I think about the guy who hovers and won’t leave you alone.
I think of the old guy who leaves boogers on his books and asks you to put holds on fifty things and changes his mind a couple of days later and the stuff has already come, and he doesn’t want to pay the fees.
I think of the people that think I’m personally out to get them when I tell them:
*turn off your cell phone
*your children need to stop climbing on the shelves or running through the aisle
*you can’t use the internet and type a paper at the same time
*you have to pay for that print out even though you didn’t mean for 20 more pages to  come out of the printer (usually they run out of the library)
*I’m sorry I don’t know which book you are talking about that has the blue cover that is about this thick (shows with fingers extended) is about some kind of war and has the word “the” in the title
I  think of all the programming that I have to do because not only can’t they afford to pay me well, they can’t afford to hire another librarian to do either teens or children’s services, because I do both.
I think about how I have four story times, yet people complain because we don’t have as many story times as *that* library. Then, after preparing for those storytimes, only one person shows up, or sometimes none, and everyone who signed up doesn’t bother letting me know if they’re sick or dead.
I think about how people complain because we don’t have enough general programming, enough educational programs, or we show too many movies. Then I plan a poetry program and NO ONE shows up.
Alright, so I know that I shouldn’t be jealous of Jeff’s friends who are making $55,000 – $65,000 or more. I know that I should accept the fact the librarians are typically women, and women usually make less than men. I should be glad that in the next 20 years or so my undergrad and grad loans will finally be paid off. I should be glad to have a job at all! But that doesn’t make it any easier to know that a manager at Wilson Farms makes about $2.00 an hour more than I do. I’m greatful to have these people here, but what kind of message are people trying to send. I shouldn’t both having gotten a 6 year college degree when I can go to Wilson Farms with a high school diploma and make more money.

This F’ing SUCKS!…. Nevermind the fact that I drive past three other libraries on the way to get to my library.

I guess its just because I’m tired from working hard. I just can’t understand it.

Okay, I just found this article, that has updated median salaries.

Here are some of the results:
Librarians who do not supervise, make an average of $47,246
Beginning librarians make an average of $36,486

I’d say that I’m below that by quite a bit.


4 Responses to “I’m pissed.”

  1. maggie moran Says:

    I was hired as a sub-para-professional to run a small town library in MS for $6,000 a year in 1996. I left that job in October making $18,000 to my current job which pays $43,000. I really feel like a “PAID my dues” to get where I got! I was paying them with all my hard work and volunteer time. Nice to be where people recognize the past hard work. 🙂

  2. cathythelibrarian Says:

    Well, I guess I don’t have it THAT bad. I think I just go through gasps and spurts of annoyance because people complain easily enough, but they never appreciate when you try and do good things too.
    BTW I do love my job. I like the people I work with. I LOVE my boss, who is very understanding and flexible. I love working with kids and teens. I just wish that people might say thank you a little more often.
    But maybe I’m just being selfish.

  3. V Says:

    I’m a field biologist. Very competitive, and I don’t have a Master’s or Ph.D.. Going rate for my job is about $10-12/hour. And my jobs are all seasonal, because it snows during the winter. To get competitive in my field, I’d have to go back to school in my 30s for 4 years. No way, because I’m in my 30s and I f’ing hate school, and always have. I always only wanted to work. I couldn’t even support myself on my own. In my 30s. Beat that 🙂

  4. wendy Says:

    I have a bachelors and a masters from very good school. I don’t make (in my opinion) as much as I should but I do love my job. I too have to deal with difficult people. The one thng I tell myself is that at least I’m lucky to be married to someone who makes more than me!