May 21, 2022

Key Findings From the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Annual Salary Survey 2019–2020

From ARL:

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published the ARL Annual Salary Survey 2019–2020, which analyzes salary data for professional staff working in 123 of the 124 ARL member libraries during 2019–2020. Data are reported for 10,691 professional staff from 115 of the 116 university ARL libraries in Canada and the United States* and for 3,154 professional staff of the 8 US federal and public ARL libraries. In the Salary Survey, data for university library staff are usually reported in three distinct groups: general library systems, health sciences libraries, and law libraries.

The 2019–2020 data show that median salaries for professionals in Canadian and US ARL university libraries salaries outpaced inflation; whereas, median salaries for professionals in US federal and public ARL libraries decreased. The median salary for professionals in US ARL university libraries in 2019–2020 was $76,076, an increase of 2.1% over the 2018–2019 median salary of $74,482. The US CPI rose 1.8% during the same period. The Canadian CPI rose 2%, and median salaries in Canadian university libraries increased from $100,699 (Canadian dollars) to $104,123 (Canadian dollars), a rise of 3.4%. The median salary for US federal and public ARL libraries decreased 0.1% from $95,166 in 2018–2019 to $95,101 in 2019–2020.

The ARL Annual Salary Survey 2019–2020 analyzes salary data from a number of different perspectives, including race, ethnicity, and sex. Individuals from historically underrepresented groups make up 16.7% of the professional staff in US ARL university libraries; the percentage of individuals in managerial or administrative positions who are also from historically underrepresented groups is lower. Women make up 69% of historically underrepresented staff members. Sex-based salary differentials persist in ARL libraries in 2019–2020. The overall salary for women in 115 of the 116 ARL university libraries is 95.08% of that paid to men.


Ordering Information For Complete Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Annual Salary Survey 2019–2020

See Also: Key Findings From the 2019 ACRL Academic Library Trends and Statistics Report

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.