$1.4M to raise library staff salaries for next two years
Dallas County Library Board Chairwoman Lora Houlihan said she has a plan to raise the salaries of library staff for the next two to three years.
The library board voted Tuesday to approve the $1 million to hire more employees for the first year.
The proposal is the first step toward raising the salaries for all library staff by 2018, Houlimans first priority.
“I think it’s important to keep the staff engaged and I think it is important to continue to be proactive in looking for ways to help us make our community better,” Houlihen said.
The staff raises will be implemented starting with the library system’s 2019 fiscal year.
“I think the next three to four years is critical for the library to remain open,” Hulihen added.
The Dallas County Public Library Board approved the hiring of 3,400 employees last fiscal year to keep it operating, which is roughly $1 billion annually.
It is the fourth largest library system in the U.S. The board voted unanimously to increase the salaries last year from $15.30 to $19.95 per hour.
It was approved with a 5-4 vote.
The increase was the result of a proposal by the library’s board in March to raise staffing levels by a total of 5,000 employees by 2021.
The budget is now up for a vote at the next board meeting, which takes place June 14.
Houlikan said the board will need to increase staff levels by another 1,000 jobs by 2020 to maintain the library at its current level of funding.
Hulihan’s office has said it will look to hire an additional 200 employees in 2021.
In a separate move, the Dallas County Board approved a $300,000 grant to the Texas Public Library System to hire 3,500 additional library staff members.
The grant is intended to help the system hire more full-time library staff.
The plan is to hire about 2,500 full- and part-time staff members by 2021, said Mary Ann Gilder, director of library services.
Houser said the library board also approved an additional $100,000 in funding for the district’s Office of Digital Media, which manages the digital library at the district.
The office will hire about 1,200 full- or part-timers to help run the digital and social media channels.
The district will also use the money to help fund digital media initiatives at the library.
Hosey said the district has made significant progress in increasing digital library revenue.
“In fact, we have been a digital library for the last six years,” he said.
“We are seeing more and more people come to our public library.
I think that’s an important development.”