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Public Library Staff Compensation Survey Now Available

Monday, August 28, 2023

Guest Post by Steve Heser, SRLAAW Vice-Chair

A final report on the Public Library Staff Compensation Survey is now available. The purpose of the report is to provide staff salaries and position classification information to help library boards determine appropriate compensation to attract and retain the best possible employees for the positions.

Prior to using the report, library directors are encouraged to review the Wisconsin Public Library Staff Compensation Summary Report and toolkit to effectively utilize the data presented in the report. The complete report and toolkit are available at

Highlights from the report include:

  • Participation: The survey engaged 305 participants (or 80% of public libraries in Wisconsin), predominantly from the Western, Southeast, and Northern regions.
  • Data Collection:  Participants were asked to review a list of 46 survey job titles and descriptions, and to provide their pay range, annual work hours, benefit eligibility, paid leave eligibility, and MLS requirements.
  • Total Rewards: Participating libraries commonly provide benefits such as Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) participation, health insurance, bereavement/funeral leave, and dental insurance.
  • Compensation: Statewide, Library Directors earn an average of $27.56-$31.37. Compensation often correlates with population size; municipalities exceeding 50,000 residents pay $49.73-$66.73.

The survey is part of a Library Services Technology Act-funded (LSTA) library staff compensation study coordinated by the System and Resource Library Administrators Association of Wisconsin (SRLAAW) and conducted by Carlson Dettmann Consulting.

The Compensation Survey supports the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s 2023-2027 LSTA goal to support the recruitment and retention of library staff, including administrative, professional, and support roles, reflecting their diverse communities.

For questions about this information, contact Beth Tomev (608) 266-7410

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