April 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Archives for January 2009

Additional Data | SLJ’s Job Satisfaction Survey

The Survey

The Money Gap
Big Satisfactions
School Librarians: Surprise! This is Also Your Job Now
Public Librarians: Lots of Work, Little Pay, Lousy Bosses
Librarians of Tomorrow
Behind the Survey
Additional Data

Dinosaurs: Gone But Not Forgotten | Focus On

Paleontologists are still unearthing the mysteries surrounding dinosaurs. It’s no wonder youngsters ask questions about when these prehistoric animals lived, what they ate, or even if they’re still alive. Digging for these answers is exciting and lays a foundation for further probing of our planet. In Adventures in Paleontology: 36 Classroom Fossil Activities for Middle School (National Science Teachers Association, 2006), Thor Hansen and Irwin Slesnick list biology, ecology, and astronomy among the 10 subjects covered in the activities for […]

Happy Days: SLJ’s Job Satisfaction Survey 2009

Photo illustration by Tom Nick Cocotos

Glance through the thousands of comments left by the participants in School Library Journal’s Job Satisfaction Survey and the same verbs keep popping up: love, help, assist, connect, match, teach, promote. And the objects of these verbs? They’re nearly always children or books, as in “I love finding the right book for a child, and turning a nonreader into someone who’s excited about reading!”

SLJ’s Job Satisfaction Survey, conducted online in spring 2008 (see “Behind […]

Behind the Survey | SLJ’s Job Satisfaction Survey

The Job Satisfaction Survey was emailed to 15,987 subscribers of School Library Journal and the electronic newsletter Extra Helping on March 26, 2008. Recipients of the email invitation were encouraged to share the link with their colleagues. Notices of the survey were also included in two issues of Extra Helping.

A drawing to win one of 10 $50 Amazon gift cards was offered as an incentive.

The survey closed on April 28, 2008, with 2,253 responses. The sample is comprised of 1,681 […]

Public Librarians: Lots of Work, Little Pay, Lousy Bosses | SLJ’s Job Satisfaction Survey

Children and young adult librarians frequently describe their jobs as veering out of control. That’s easy to understand, given the slew of competing responsibilities, such as outreach, marketing, fundraising, grant writing, collection development, program planning and implementation, building maintenance issues, serving on several reference desks, and “on top of all the paperwork, the bureaucracy/political wrangling.”

To make matters worse, writes a library veteran, “I’m endlessly being asked to do more with no responsibilities taken away. We feel obligated to offer more […]

School Librarians: Surprise! This is Also Your Job Now | SLJ’s Job Satisfaction Survey

But it’s not all smiles. Both school and public librarians report two major sources of dissatisfaction: they’re overworked and their libraries are underfunded (See Most Common Dissatisfactions, chart above).

School folk in particular commented on the sheer breadth of their responsibilities—which continue to grow: “I was not prepared for the full scope of the job.” “The constantly increasing ‘to-do’ lists and not nearly enough time to keep up.” “Not enough time to do the librarian’s job, the clerk’s job, the teacher’s […]

Big Satisfactions | SLJ’s Job Satisfaction Survey

Both public and school librarians expressed similar levels of satisfaction with their work: 74 percent are either very satisfied or satisfied with their jobs.

It’s impossible to overstate the satisfaction that public and school librarians derive from their work—nearly every participant took the time to write a sentence or two describing what they most enjoyed about their job (see The Satisfaction ‘Top Five,’chart above). Often times, they listed multiple reasons.

For both groups, the opportunity to work with young people was the […]

The Money Gap | SLJ’s Job Satisfaction Survey

When it comes to money, it’s far better having a teacher’s contract than not. While the median salary among all participants was $49,900, if you dig beyond the specific job titles, some real differences emerge between school and public librarians (see Median Salaries by Job Title, chart above).

It’s unlikely they’re driving Maseratis or Porsches, but with a median salary of $62,500, teacher librarians led the pack, followed by library media specialists at $52,500 and school librarians at $47,500. More than […]

Librarians of Tomorrow | SLJ’s Job Satisfaction Survey

Participants in SLJ’s Satisfaction Survey were hardly representative of the diverse populations that our nation’s schools are educating and which public libraries serve: 95 percent are female and 89 percent are white. Their average age is 49, and over a third are 55 or older. While there are initiatives to bring underrepresented groups into librarianship, such as the American Library Association’s Spectrum Scholars, the lack of diversity in school and youth librarianship is especially troubling.

Such a large swath of the […]

The Great Unknown: Daniel Handler Interviews National Book Award-Winner Judy Blundell

Before she snagged the National Book Award, Judy Blundell was one of publishing’s best-kept secrets

If you haven’t heard of Judy Blundell until recently, join the club. For nearly 20 years, Blundell has toiled in anonymity, turning out more than 100 mysteries, romances, and media tie-ins under various pen names, such as Jude Watson. But in mid-November, the writer-for-hire was suddenly shoved into the spotlight. That’s when What I Saw and How I Lied (Scholastic, 2008)—the first title Blundell has put […]

The F-Word: What to Do When Cussing Appears on the Printed Page | Scales on Censorship

What to do when cussing appears on the printed page

A 10th-grade English teacher received an advanced reader’s copy of a novel, and she’d like me to purchase it when it’s available. While thumbing through her copy, I spotted the F-word on one of its pages. Now I’m worried about buying the book for our school library. What would you suggest?

You first need to read the entire book. Right now, you’re doing what many censors do—taking a word or phrase out […]

Tabletop Fantasy RPGs | The Gaming Life

Tips for introducing role-playing games in your library

Fantasy role-playing games (FRPGs) utilize a set of rules for a group of players and a game master (GM) to create characters and tell stories in fictitious worlds that are provided in the game or created by the group. During actual play, the GM describes the surroundings and the players explain their character’s reactions to the setting.

Most role-playing games (RPGs) can be divided into two overarching groups: rules heavy and rules light. […]

A Reading List for Barack–and the Rest of Us

This year’s best reads for adults help us better understand ourselves

Illustration by Victor Juhasz.

With the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, and the most troops overseas since Richard Nixon’s presidency, President-elect Obama will certainly have his work cut out for him. But at least Obama is a reader (and a writer), and, as we all know, there is no better antidote to the stress of the present than an hour or so lost in a good book. This […]