ASSOCIATES (2004, November, v. 11, no. 2) -

*ALA-Allied Professional Association -- An Introduction and Invitation*


Jenifer Grady
Director, ALA-APA
50 E. Huron
Chicago, IL 60611
800-545-2433, x2424

The ALA-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) is off to a great start! Building on the work of committees and task forces that brainstormed and worked hard to build its foundation and define its mission, we are on our way to being the resource that you expect. This article is an introduction and an invitation. I want you to know what ALA-APA is up to and how it wants to be your organization, and how you can help to make it take hold and transform how we and others view our profession.

As many of you know, ALA (American Library Association) created the ALA-APA in 2002 to fulfill two missions: advocating for improving the salaries and status of library workers and certification. The first mission is being forged in several ways, including the development of the Advocating for Better Salaries and Pay Equity Toolkit ( and the formation of the Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers. National Library Workers Day (NLWD) will have its second anniversary on Tuesday, April 12. NLWD is one way ALA-APA has encouraged our community to set aside a day to celebrate ourselves and to let our patrons know what we do.

The biggest news is that, thanks to the Standing Committee and Dynix Corporation, ALA-APA is offering a $5000 award for the first annual Dynix-ALA-APA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Promoting Salaries and Status for Library Workers. The award will be given to an individual, group of individuals or institution, that has made an outstanding contribution to improving the salary and status of library workers in a local, regional or national setting. The nomination form can be found on the ALA-APA Web site at The deadline for submitting nominees is December 31, 2004.

The Standing Committee, which is now chaired by Diane Fay and which has a support staff subcommittee, is hard at work and invites you to join them. The Committee developed the salary advocacy video, “Working @ Your Library: For Love or Money,” describing how important every position is in the library and why our salaries should be comparable to others with similar responsibilities and requirements. It has been used to stimulate dialogue amongst staff, trustees, and other decision makers.

ALA-APA is currently holding a contest to write a guide to accompany “Working @ Your Library: For Love or Money,” a new advocacy video produced by ALA-APA. Participation is free and the winner will receive a $250 prize-donation to a school or library. Contestants will write a short (three to four page) guide showing people who use the video how to customize their presentations by type of library, geographic region, etc., and how to advocate for better salaries for library workers. The “Advocating for Better Salaries and Pay Equity Toolkit,” one of the many resources that may be used to create the guide, is available at Visit after November 19th. ALA-APA will send a copy of the video to the first 20 individuals or groups who want to participate. The deadline is December 31, 2004.

Your concerns and celebrations about salary and status issues are also being promoted in Library Worklife: HR E-News for Today’s Leaders. Several times this year this monthly electronic newsletter has featured “Good News” articles about successful salary improvement initiatives in libraries across the country. If your library has Good News to share, please send it to me. The newsletter also has a specific category for Support Staff to express what’s working, what’s not working, news and opportunities. However, we are always looking for articles in every category:

  • career advancement
  • certification
  • human resources practice
  • human resources law
  • pay equity
  • recruitment
  • research
  • support staff
  • work/life balance
  • The newsletter is a benefit of membership for ALA organizational members, and costs $35 for ALA individual members who wish to receive it. Students may subscribe for $15 a year. You may view the front page of each current issue here: The other mission is to develop nationally recognized, portable certifications for library workers. As you may know, the first program will be the Certified Public Library Administrator certification. The second is going to be up to you! The ALA Library Support Staff Interests Round Table is asking for your opinions about the benefits of certification. The Web-based survey and explanation can be found here: Hurry – the deadline is December 17th.

    Finally, since many have asked, I will end this invitation with the “Top Ten Ways You Can Get Involved with ALA-APA.”

    Top Ten Ways to Get Involved with the ALA-Allied Professional Association

  • Sign up for membership on one of the subcommittees of the Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers. <>

  • Subscribe to the newsletter, Library Worklife: HR E-News for Today's Leaders. <>

  • Write for Library Worklife. <>

  • Download the Better Salaries and Pay Equity Toolkit and find ways to use it in your library to improve salaries. <>

  • Donate to ALA-APA—a complimentary copy of the advocacy video "Working @ Your Library: For Love or Money" will be sent to donors giving $25 or more. ALA-APA has no members and depends on your contributions. <> <>

  • Celebrate National Library Workers Day—the Tuesday of National Library Week. <>

  • Subscribe to either the "MoneyTalks" or "Union" electronic discussion lists. <>

  • Attend ALA-APA meetings and programs at ALA Midwinter and Annual Conferences. <>

  • Learn the facts <> and initiate discussions <> about improving salaries, pay equity, and certification with your colleagues, managers, trustees, and others.

  • Spread the word!

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