NJLA Statement on the Minimum Wage Legislation

The New Jersey Library Association has concerns about raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour for student pages.  All libraries use student pages to do tasks such as shelving and organizing books and other library materials. These tasks are essential to the maintenance of the library but do not require additional education or advanced skills.   These page positions are short term or seasonal positions. Students often take these positions to see if they would be interested in a career in library science in the future.  They are not intended to provide long term employment.  Our Association does understand the need to provide a “living wage” for employees but feel there should be exceptions for student workers. We have adopted a voluntary salary recommendations for all permanent positions in the library. For each of these positions we do recommend an hourly wage about $15.00 an hour. This salary schedule has been developed based on the education requirements and experience needed for each position.

Most libraries do depend upon student pages as an essential part of library operations. As tax funded institutions, many libraries would face budgeting difficulties if these position were required to be paid at a much higher rate than currently budgeted. 

Patricia Tumulty,  NJ Library Association