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Mr. Mustache, another librarian blog

I am a reference librarian with experience in both the public and state government fields. I am doing this on a whim, sort of like the mustache I grew when I was 19 and still have in my 50's.

Location: New Jersey, United States

I am a state worker and a librarian.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Unpaid overtime

If a lawyer has a busy case he/she thinks nothing of working well into the evenings. If there is a fire in town, doctors know they will be working late with little commiseration. Teachers are expected to tutor and grade papers after 3PM. However, librarians traditionally are of the belief that they are strictly tied to a schedule and that is not permissible for staff to give unpaid overtime. The sad truth is that unpaid overtime and out of pocket donations in supplies (cash is never unacceptable) are the grease that turns the wheels of the modern public library. Here are recommended donations:

Title, Weekly unpaid overtime, Annual financial donation:

Library director: 10 hours $1,000

Department head: 5 hours $500

Division head: 3 hours $300

Junior Professional staff: 2 hours $200

Children's librarian 12 hours $3,000

With paraprofessional staff this is much more difficult to navigate. Generally paraprofessionals should not work any extra unpaid overtime or make any financial contributions to the library, especially if the staff is unionized or is possibly ripe for unionization.

There is the exception, however. The doctor’s wife, the retired heiress, or the retired businessman working as a paraprofessional may donate time and supplies discreetly, provided there is a logical reason for the munificence. For example the doctor’s wife can donate medical publications when her husband is through with them. The retired engineer can donate monitors or computer expertise on his/her own time.

However, if a paraprofessional is clearly supporting themself solely with his/her salary, resentments will build very quickly if such a person is asked to donate any unpaid overtime. Such people should not be expected to work "off the clock." Unfortunately to the Library Board, staff who come in early to shovel snow must be given comp time.


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