Having worked with over a dozen public libraries across Ohio, we’ve come to appreciate the unique circumstances of each library system. Working with Preble County District Library recently, we learned how rural systems are meeting the challenges of attracting and retaining talent. Preble County District Library is a public library located in beautiful southwest Ohio. The library cooperates with local resources and organizations to provide public, research, academic, and school library resources. The Library is a consolidation of seven small, independent libraries located in Camden, Eaton, Eldorado, New Paris, West Elkton, West Alexandria, and West Manchester, Ohio. They share their catalog with four county school systems. Preble County District Library: Helping you to connect to the world. Library Director Lauren Robinson was our partner on the project. She said
Our county is large geographically but smaller from a population standpoint. To make sure we are able to serve as many of our county residents as possible, our six branches are distributed across the county to make it easier for people to reach us.   Like many libraries we are challenged by a competitive local labor market. We not only compete with other libraries for talent, but really any other type of organization that hires. To know where we stand, we asked OA to work with us on our first compensation study in many years.   They started by analyzing the pay system and structure that we have been using and offered recommendations on how to improve it. This included developing a custom pay structure for us that was more in line with current practice and most importantly, easy for us to update over time.   Then they completed a full benchmarking of all of our positions using both broader-based survey data as well as information more specific to library positions. They provided job-level information to show how we compared to the market, and where we have to focus our efforts to be competitive.   Throughout the process they kept us apprised of their work, checked in frequently, and provided information on best practices and tools to use to ensure we stay competitive. OA has worked with many library management teams as well as their trustees and have made themselves available to us even after the project ended. We truly appreciate their assistance.
Comparing one library to another in terms of compensation practices is always a good idea. But competition for both library professionals and support staff is not only coming from other libraries…every other employer in your area is fighting for talent. It is important to balance comparable data from libraries with compensation data from the broader economy to get a true understanding of the cost of labor in your region. Additionally, once you have the benchmark data, you still need to decide how you are going to apply it, and what tools you will use to administer your compensation program in a fair and consistent manner. Organizational Architecture is the trusted partner of over a dozen of Ohio’s public libraries for compensation, recruiting, performance management, and leadership development. If you need help in any of these areas, contact us and check out other public library success stories to learn more.