Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa
Te Rau Herenga O Aotearoa


The most commonly fielded questions by the LIANZA office team relate not to membership or professional registration, but to remuneration.   


LIANZA ran the remuneration survey with the aim of offering librarians the opportunity to compare pay grades with others in local government, and in the general job market.


LIANZA worked with remuneration analysts, Strategic Pay, and pulled together 65 job descriptions from tertiary, public, special, and school libraries. These roles ranged from entry level through to senior management.  

These roles were turned into into “generic job descriptions” which fell into 6 tiers.

There were originally only 5, however feedback from the library sector saw an additional category added - the Assistant Librarian. The rationale for this was that adding the assistant librarian tier provided greater distinction within junior roles.

The 6 tiers are:

LIANZA graded each generic position, matching it with the job codes used by strategic pay when defining library market data. 

The remuneration data was then compared with grade and job codes for the Library and Information Sector, and then the wider market to generate library remuneration information.

For comparision purposes, wage data for each tier has been divided into quartiles, ranging from starting salaries through to salaries from senior roles.

Each quartile compares LIANZA's salary data with pay rates from local government and the general job market.

While Specific remuneration data is available, due to licensing restrictions, it is only available to LIANZA members.

High Level Findings

For unqualified entry level library assistants, salaries were on average 8% short of the general market. They also don’t meet an hourly rate required to provide a living wage. 

However, qualified assistant librarians do make the living wage but were still 8% short of general market salaries. 

Experienced mid-level librarians had less than 5% variation against general market salaries, but starting salaries were likely to be significantly lower than the general market.

Upper quartile salaries haver tended to comparable. Within senior roles, disparities were more visible. Senior managers received (on average) 16% less than the general market.

According to strategic pay this is a very similar trend to not for profit organisations.

Remuneration also varies depending on which sector is examined.

This was particularly evident in the school sector, where library staff are typically graded as associate support staff whose entry to mid grade salary levels are below pay rates required for a living wage.

While many of the library sector roles profiled have similar tasks at all levels (e.g. there wasn’t a single job description without a customer service component), what differed between roles was the level of engagement required. 

For example, customer service at a transactional level resulted in a low job grade and ensuing remuneration, while customer service defined as relationship building drove positions into a higher grade.


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