ASSOCIATES (vol. 4, no. 3, March 1998) -

Table of Contents

                            SURVEY RESULTS*


                               Ed Gillen
                 Agency Training and Development Specialist
                        NYS Education Department 
                              Albany, NY  

	My name is Ed Gillen and I'm presently acting as a process 
guide for the American Library Association SSIRT in developing a 
strategic plan to help resolve some long standing support staff 
issues.  Before joining the Office of Human Resources Management 
Staff Development and Training Unit, I was a Library Technical 
Assistant for 16 years at the New York State Library.  
	Have you heard about the SSIRT Support Staff Issues Survey and 
ALA SSIRT's plan?  Here is some background.  At the 1996 ALA annual 
conference, the SSIRT Executive Board gave their approval to a 
strategic planning process that called for the identification of the 
'most pressing needs of support staff and to develop recommended 
strategies to address these needs.'  A Steering Committee was formed,
a survey was identified as the methodology to use, it was piloted and
refined.  On January 2 & 3, 1997 information on the process and how 
to access the survey were announced to LIBSUP-L.  Ten days later the 
survey was posted to LIBSUP-L.

	By ALA Mid-winter (1997), over 600 responses had been received. 
The Steering committee extended the deadline to May 30 to allow for
survey distribution at a number of spring conferences.  Surveys were
accepted up until June 9, 1997.  Over 2,000 response were received 
and we thank you all! 

	Results were tabulated in an expeditious manner considering the
numbers received and the number of individuals compiling the data. 
However, since a large percentage of the surveys received were filled
out incorrectly (check marks instead of the requested 1 to 5 ranking,
the ALA SSIRT Executive Board at their annual meeting (6/28/97)
recommended that the results be reexamined to 'accurately determine 
the top three [issues] prior to handing off to the subcommittees for 
analysis.' That reexamination is now completed.


	Participants were asked to rank the five issues they would like 
to see receive the highest priority from SSIRT in future strategic 
planning.  A large percentage of respondents did not rank the issues 
but simply placed a checkmark beside those they considered important. 
For that reason, a statistician from the University of Colorado at 
Denver reviewed the issues ranked 1-5 and those checkmarked as 

The top three issues are listed in order of ranking. 

1. Career ladders (few opportunities for advancement) 
2. Compensation not appropriate to level of education, experience, 
	and responsibilities
3. Access to continuing education and training opportunities

Of the people who responded:

505 worked in Acquisitions
759 worked in Cataloging/Processing
1048 worked in Circulation
483 worked in Interlibrary Loan
740 worked in Reference
442 worked in Serials 
774 worked in "Other"

Of the people who responded: 

283 worked in a privately funded College or University Library
735 worked in a publicly funded College or University Library
96 worked in an Elementary/High School Library
747 worked in a public library 
65 worked in a privately funded Special Library 
61 worked in a publicly funded Special Library
100 worked in "Other" Library 

Of the people who responded, worked in a library where the total
population served: 

351 served a population of less than 5,000
277 served a population of 5,000-9,999 
371 served a population of 10,000-24,999 
395 served a population of 25,000-49,000 
245 served a population of 50,000-99,999 
190 served a population of 100,000-249,999 
98 served a population of 250,000-499,999 
73 served a population of 500,000-999,999 
87 served a population of more than 1,000,000 

Of the people who responded: 

625 earned a high school diploma
279 earned an Associate's Degree
727 earned a Bachelor's Degree 
64 earned a Master's Degree--MLS 
116 earned a Master's Degree--"Other" 
10 earned a Ph. D 

Of the people who responded: 

126 earned less than $10,000 annually
256 earned $10,000-$14,999 annually 
444 earned $15,000-$19,999 annually 
513 earned $20,000-$24,999 annually 
346 earned $25,000-$29,999 annually 
141 earned $30,000-$34,999 annually 
83 earned over $35,000 annually

	SURVEYS!  They're necessary as one way to collect data yet 
often frustrating if nothing is done with the data once collected.  
Library support staff issues have been previously identified and 
examined.  What often wasn't done was developing a plan that 
identified action steps to address these issues.  In all fairness to 
past efforts, the infrastructure to carry out a plan wasn't in place 
10 years ago as it is today.  

	Today there is e-mail, websites, discussion lists, ejournals,
teleconferences  as well as a host of new local, regional, statewide 
and national library support staff organizations.  That network has 
nurtured the career awareness amongst library support staff and has 
resulted in a lot of positive change.  It also led to the 
collaborative effort to publicize and encourage completion of the ALA
SSIRT Support Staff Issues survey.  That survey identified the top 
three issues which should receive the highest priority in ALA SSIRT's
strategic planning.

	The process continues with the formation of 3 separate task 
forces whose main charge is to recommend implementable solutions to 
address these issues -- internally within ALA and ALA working with 
the larger library community. The ALA SSIRT Executive Board will be 
kept up to date by a series of task force reports with final reports 
due by June 1999.  

	Although this is an ALA SSIRT led effort, the Executive Board 
recognizes that a lot of great people are working towards addressing 
issues locally, regionally and on a statewide and national level.  
They recognize that they will need your help in developing and 
implementing the steps necessary to finally address the issues you 
identified in the survey.  

	We will keep ASSOCIATES readers up to date as the process 
continues. Results can be found on the WWW at the Library Support 
Staff Resource Center at