SirsiDynix-ALA-APA Scholarship Award Winners Announced
PROVO, UT, USA – SirsiDynix, the global leader in strategic technology solutions for libraries, in partnership with the Organization for the Advancement of Library Employees (ALA-APA), was pleased recently to announce the winners of the fifth annual SirsiDynix-ALA-APA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Promoting Salaries and Status for Library Workers. Anderson County Library Board (Clinton, TN), Ms. Lynn Sutton (Wake Forest University Library, Winston-Salem, NC), and Mr. Mohamed Ismail (The Integrated Care Society in Cairo, Egypt) received this year’s prize in recognition of their outstanding contributions to improving the salary and status of library workers in a local, regional or national setting.
The Anderson County Library Board, chaired by Robert Gregory, supports the activities of four libraries in Anderson County, a semi-rural area north of Knoxville, Tennessee. After attending a Trustee workshop sponsored by the state, the Anderson County Board began a systematic review of their policies and procedures. Armed with startling survey findings (courthouse clerks made more than the library director at the largest library), the Anderson County Library Board began an active campaign to increase the hourly rates for their personnel. The campaign was a success; workers at every level received a significant increase in the hourly rate. As was noted in the application, “The members of the Anderson County Library Board of Trustees are devoted public servants and have done a great job in making higher salaries a reality for library workers in Anderson County, Tennessee.”
Ms. Lynn Sutton, Director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library, was successful in her efforts at raising the salaries and status of librarians and support staff at Wake Forest University. In 2005, librarians were the lowest paid professionals among their peer institutions and were at-will employees with no written contracts. Sutton began a five-year program of improving librarian salaries, which—with effective advocacy—was completed ahead of schedule! As one librarian wrote, “[Lynn’s] initiative will change how we think of our place in the university, how we govern ourselves and how we live our professional lives.”
Mr. Mohamed Ismail from The Integrated Care Society in Cairo, Egypt, developed a strategy to raise the salaries and status of Egyptian librarians working at 23 different libraries. Librarian salaries have risen from Egyptian pounds (EGP) 84 to EGP 1300 monthly, an increase of 1450%; directors earn EGP 3000. In addition to increasing professional level salaries, Ismail ensured that librarians working more than 36 hours per week receive overtime and instituted performance based bonuses.
Gary Rautenstrauch, chief executive officer at SirsiDynix said, “We congratulate and thank this year’s award winners for their dedication and perseverance in promoting the status and salaries of librarians and library workers. SirsiDynix is proud to support the ALA-APA award and echo the importance of librarians and their work. In addition, we congratulate each individual who strives to improve library workers’ salary, status and working conditions.”