Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Librarian Debt Survey Is HERE!!! - IRB Approved.

For All Library School Graduates,
If you are a library school graduate, please take a few minutes, (about 10), and fill out the linked survey.
I am currently conducting a survey to study debt and scholarships retained in order to acquire your MLS/MLIS or comparable graduate degree. EVERYONE that currently holds a graduate degree from a library school is eligible to participate in this valuable survey.  It doesn’t matter if you’re an academic librarian, work in a special library, a public library, or are now in a completely separate field, your responses will mean a great deal to my research.
In addition to determining general information for all library school graduates, this survey will also attempt to examine the effect of scholarships aimed at ethnic minorities or those in underrepresented groups, as determined by various ALA initiatives.  Your time is valuable and your attention, with this survey to further the scholarship in our field is greatly appreciated.  All responses are completely anonymous and each answer is voluntary.
The link below will take you directly to the survey or click on the screen shot. 

Please feel free to contact me with any concerns or questions.
Shannon Simpson
Resident Librarian
Towson University

Please see contact information below if you have concerns about your participation in this survey: IRB (Dr. Debi Gartland, 704-2236).


  1. I just took this survey, and I was wondering how come the debt for library school wasn't separated out from total. I have a huge total debt, but very little of it is from library school.

  2. Good question. And, there are a ton of tiny other questions I wanted to ask, but didn't want to overburden participants. I'm sure there will be follow-up studies needed to parse out some results. The most important question I'm trying to answer is how much debt does everyone have after graduating from library school. We all had to go to undergrad (and some have done other graduate degrees in addition to library school), so for this study I think it's just as important to figure out all of the loans required, (or not), to finish a library degree. Undergrad included. I hope that answers your question. But, trust me, if I thought people would sit through a 35 question survey, I certainly would have asked a ton more clarifying questions. This is just to get a baseline.

  3. I just filled out the survey. Interesting project!

  4. Assistantship pay is a complete joke. I was working part time for a university (and nearly full time by the end of my degree program), but this didn't begin to cover my expenses. My grandma paid for half of my library school bills. The other half came from my personal savings. And I was able to buy food and pay rent during school only because my parents covered my car payments and insurance. Ridiculous that I had to ask for that much help. But thankful I received it.

  5. You would probably be able to get away with a larger survey if the rest of the questions were similar to the ones you set up - meaning, as long as they are multiple choice, it's not that time-consuming for participants to answer a few more questions. The surveys I hate are the ones that are mostly a lot of open-ended questions...those are the ones I don't have time for.

    Also, I'm not sure what your research agenda is like in the future, but I wanted to suggest a follow-up to this project. Once you know how much money everyone owes after library school, how many are able to get jobs in the field that are significant enough to actually pay off some of these loans? So many of the jobs available to new graduates these days seem to be part-time, so it makes me wonder how able they are to afford the loans after school?

  6. I really hope that a lot of people, (including myself), will be able to use this study to build on. I think that there will be a ton of places to continue to study once the results are in. However, I'm going to wait for the results and see if there's anything particularly surprising before I decide what to look at next.

    But, I did have a fairly hard time finding information in the literature on librarian debt after library school, and I'm really curious. Hence the study!