Librarians and compensation negotiation in the library workplace

Shannon L. Farrell, Aliqae Geraci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to report on survey results from a study about librarians’ experience with compensation (salary and benefits) negotiation in the library workplace in order to provide data that will inform professional discourse and practice. Design/methodology/approach: A primarily quantitative survey instrument was administered via Qualtrics Survey Software and distributed through listservs and social media channels representing a range of library types and sub-disciplines. The survey was explicitly addressed to librarians for participation and asked them questions related to their work history and experience with negotiating for salary and benefits. Findings: A total of 1,541 librarians completed the survey. More than half of survey respondents reported not negotiating for their current library position. The majority of those who did negotiate reported positive outcomes, including an increase in salary or total compensation package. Only a very small number of respondents reported threats to rescind or rescinded offers when negotiating for their current positions. Respondents cited prior salary and prior work experience and/or education as the top information sources informing negotiation strategy. Originality/value: There is minimal discussion of salary and benefits negotiation by individuals in the library literature and prior surveys of librarians’ experience with compensation negotiation do not exist. This is the first paper that tracks negotiating practices and outcomes of librarians in library workplaces of all types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-64
Number of pages20
JournalLibrary Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Compensation
  • Human resources
  • Librarians
  • Library profession
  • Salary negotiation
  • Wages

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