So on Friday evening my hubby, sister, and I were having dinner with friends. They asked more or less in passing if I had "heard about the librarian from Clackamas county that was making over $180,000 per year." I said no, but I did say that at the very least, it had to be a director's salary... and conversation went on to other things...
I've been looking for a news article or some other mention off and on throughout the weekend but it wasn't until I went to the Oregonian's webiste and only searched on "librarian salary" (dropping Clackamas) that I finally found the article that explained it all. It turns out that Molly Raphael has been hired as the director of Multnomah County Library (which services all of Portland and its immediate surrounds) and for a salary of $138,000. And the only reason that this became a newsworthy item is because Oregon (like so many other states) is in the midst of a budget crisis which of course, trickles down to the local level.
I was curious about Molly Raphael and ran across this article that announced her leaving the D.C. library system. It was very interesting to get such two distinct views on the same story. I especially liked reading about the comparisons between the two systems, including this bit:
For instance, she said, the District's library system has a budget of $27 million for a 27-library system that serves about 570,000 people; Multnomah County's library system has a budget of $45.5 million for a 17-library system that serves about 660,000. Further, she said, Multnomah's staff is 50 percent larger than the District's, and its annual circulation -- the number of items borrowed from the library, including books, videotapes, CDs and DVDs -- is 16 million to the District's 1.2 million.
Of course, none of the "high performance" stats made it into the first article. Do I think it's worth paying someone $138,000/year to run the Multnomah County library system? Damn straight I do.