Douglas County Library System (Oregon)

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Staff Standards

From the Oregon Library Association Standards for Oregon Public Libraries

C. STAFF (Revised 2006)
Public libraries are primarily service organizations, and as such, the quantity and qualifications of staff are an essential component of good library service. Staffing needs will vary depending on a library’s mission and goals. Note that the standards require a paid staff member to be present whenever the building is open to the public and also require certain service skills to be available, such as assistance to the public in use of technology. These are not necessarily the same people.

Threshold Standards

In order to meet threshold standards, each Oregon public library shall:

  • Have access to a paid MLS librarian (on staff, contract, shared with other libraries) who makes recommendations for decision-making in youth, adult, and technical services.
We have this.
  • Hire a paid Library Director, who works the number of hours per week that the library is open to the public (up to 40 hours/week).
We have this.
  • Make available paid library staff 100% of the time that the library is open to the public.
We have paid staff available for all open hours in all libraries.
  • Make available, during all open hours, person(s) trained to provide basic library services to all ages, including reference service, reader’s advisory, and technology support.
We have trained staff available for all open hours in all libraries.
  • Have available written job descriptions for library staff. There should be a defined salary and benefits package for each job description that falls within the range of the average of all library services staff in each category for similar-sized entities. These are based on established norms, such as defined by the Oregon Local Government Personnel Institute.
Both Douglas County and DCLS Documents contain written job descriptions. The salary and benefits packages are determined by the County. Comparative information is hard to come by ("the range of the average," "established norms").
  • Provide a salary and benefits package at or above the median of that for all library services staff in each category for similar positions in same jurisdiction or in other local government bodies in the community.
Again, finding similar positions is difficult.
  • Budget funds equal to 1% of the total salaries and wages budget for staff development direct costs.
The total salaries and wages budgeted for next fiscal year is $878,489. Although the budget isn't organized to make the "staff development direct costs" clearly identifiable, the amount for "conventions and schools" is $3,800. Travel, food, and lodging would come from a "travel" line, which includes travel for any purpose (such as attending staff meetings, substituting, etc.)

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Adequate Standards

In order to meet adequate standards, Oregon public libraries shall meet threshold standards and in addition:

  • Make available, during all open hours, sufficient trained staff to provide a professional level of library services to all ages, including reference service, reader’s advisory, and technology support.
By most definitions of "professional level," we do this only at the Central Library. Experienced and trained Branch Librarians provide some services at a "professional level," and there are times when the Branch Librarian is not present.
  • Provide a salary and benefits package at or above the median of that for all library services staff in each category for similar positions in same jurisdiction or in other local government bodies in the community.
See the same standard in "Threshold Standards," above.
  • Budget funds equal to 2% of the total salaries and wages budget for staff development direct costs.
See figures in "Threshold Standards," above.

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Excellent Standards

In order to meet excellent standards, Oregon public libraries shall meet adequate standards and in addition:

  • Make available during all open hours, sufficient trained staff to provide an advanced professional level of library services to all ages, including reference service, reader’s advisory, and technology support.
We do this at the Central Library only (although advanced technology support may not be available at all times.)
  • Staff at all levels shall receive salary and benefits package within 10% of the highest for similar positions in same jurisdiction or in other local government bodies in the community.
Again, finding similar positions is difficult.
  • Budget funds equal to 3% of the total salaries and wages budget on staff development direct costs.
See figures in "Threshold Standards," above.
  • Staff create an annual staff development plan supported and funded by library management.
We do not do this.

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Quantitative Standards--Number & Qualifications of Staff employed by the Library at all facilities
Staff qualifications are listed in the table below for Library Director and professional staff only. Other staff will have appropriate education and training for their positions. Libraries with more than one staffed service outlet, e.g. branch, bookmobile, should add approximately 0.01 FTE/1,000 served to the staffing requirement for each additional outlet. For example, a library serving 50,000 with a main library and two branches should have 0.42 FTE/1,000 served to be considered adequate. The figure will vary with outlet size and proportion of duplicated service hours.

populations served*
Threshold adequate excellent
0 - 2,499
.05 FTE, with high school diploma
1 FTE or .05 FTE/1,000 served, whichever is greater. Director has a B.A.
2 FTE or 1 FTE/1,000 served. Director has a B.A.
2,500 - 4,999
.35 FTE/1,000 served. Director has a B.A.
.5 FTE/1,000 served. Director has a B.A.
1 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS.
5,000 - 9,999
.35 FTE/1,000 served. Director has a B.A. .5 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS.
1 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS. 1/4 of staff has MLS.
10,000 - 24,999
.35 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS.
.5 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS. 1/4 of staff has MLS.
.7 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS. 1/3 of staff has MLS.
25,000 - 49,999
.35 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS. 1/5 of staff has MLS.
5 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS. 1/4 of staff has MLS. .7 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS. 1/3 of staff has MLS.
50,000 - 499,999
.33 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS. 1/5 of staff has MLS.
For DCLS: .43 FTE/1,000=45.15, currently 26.05
Director has an MLS
1/5 of staff=5.21, currently 5.9

.4 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS. 1/4 of staff has MLS
For DCLS: .5FTE/1,000 =52.5, currently 26.05
Director has an MLS
1/4 of staff=6.5, currently 5.9

.5 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS. 1/3 of staff has MLS.
For DCLS: .6 FTE/1,000 =63, currently 26.05
Director has an MLS
1/3 of staff=8.6, currently 5.9

500,000 +
.33 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS. 1/8 of staff has MLS. .4 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS. 1/6 of staff has MLS .5 FTE/1,000 served. Director has an MLS. 1/5 of staff has MLS.

*For service population, use the figure determined annually for each public library by the Oregon State Library.

Note on standards for MLS staff: In the table above, the FTE for staff with MLS is based on the actual staff. If the recommended staff size were used, instead, the threshold standard would be 9 FTE, the adequate standard would be 13.2, and the excellent FTE for MLS staff would be 20.8.