County library hires firm to study employees’ compensation

By Peter H. Milliken


The Public Library of Youngs-town and Mahoning County has hired a Cleveland consulting firm to study the pay and benefits of library employees compared with those of their peers doing similar work elsewhere.

That firm, The Human Resource Department, will be paid between $12,000 and $13,500 for the compensation study, depending on its scope.

The services and personnel committee of the library’s board of trustees will meet at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Poland library to discuss the library system’s compensation philosophy and the compensation study.

A meeting of the full board of trustees will be at 4 p.m., immediately after the committee meeting, and the compensation philosophy is on the agenda for possible adoption at the full board meeting.

“What markets exactly they’re compared against will be determined by the consultant,” said Heidi Daniel, library director. She added, however, that compensation of library employees in the 16-branch system here will be compared with that of their peers in similar-sized library systems.

The local library system’s goal is to be “fair and competitive with our total compensation package,” Daniel added.

“We want to be good stewards of public funds, and we also want our employees to be treated fairly,” said Janet Loew, library communications and public relations director.

“We don’t have a lot of turnover here because it’s a good place to work. People want to work at the library. It’s stable,” Loew said. “We’re well-funded. We have a lot of community support. The working environment is very nice.”

Library officials expect the study results will be available before the start of the next round of labor negotiations with librarians and clerks next spring, Loew said.

The consulting firm’s client list includes The Cleveland Clinic, the Cleveland Indians, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, American Greetings, the Columbus Metropolitan Library and FedEx.

As digging proceeds for the foundation of the library system’s new 6,650-square-foot Jackson-Milton library branch, library officials are promoting opportunities for donors to sponsor various features within or outside the new building during a $250,000 fundraising campaign.

Donor sponsorship opportunities include a children’s outdoor reading garden, a caterpillar-shaped children’s activity table, a children’s computer table, a “peas in the pod” early literacy activity table, a teen service area, large and small meeting rooms, an adult service area, a casual reading area, the computer and media center, the multimedia collection area and the entrance lobby.

Potential donors may call the library’s development director, Deborah Liptak, at 330-740-6086.

Loew said library officials hope the $1.7 million building can be under roof before winter to enable the interior work to proceed throughout the winter months so the building can open as scheduled next spring.

The library will be on school-donated land on the eastern end of the schools’ complex.

A project update will be presented at the board meeting.

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