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Quinn Galbraith Appointed ARL Visiting Program Officer to Study Salary Trends and Equity Issues

Quinn Galbraith

ARL has appointed Quinn Galbraith as a visiting program officer (VPO) for 2015–2016 to research salary trends using the ARL Annual Salary Survey data. Galbraith, a social science librarian and former human resources manager for the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University (BYU), is examining minority- and gender-based salary gaps. The ARL Assessment Committee will serve in an advisory capacity on the project.

Elliott Shore, ARL executive director, said, “Quinn has the experience and credentials that are needed for this research and has assembled a group of key experts to assist him. This work will inform discussions about diversity and pay equity, which will be very useful to ARL member libraries and their institutions.”

Galbraith will approach this project in two phases. First, he will conduct a historical analysis of the ARL Annual Salary Survey data. Second, he will augment the current data with an additional research survey approved by BYU’s institutional review board. A brief examination of ARL Salary Survey data from the past several years reveals that minority and gender salary gaps have been decreasing overall, but this trend has not been consistent across all groups. While these salary gaps may point to discrimination, literature dealing with gender and minority salary differences suggests that other variables may explain a portion of these salary differences. With this in mind, Galbraith has constructed a survey that examines the extent to which gender and minority salary differences can be explained by factors beyond gender and race. The survey asks questions regarding family size, family-related leaves, attitudes toward promotion, and years of experience, among other variables. A subsample of ARL institutions are participating in this second part of the study.

Jennifer Paustenbaugh, BYU university librarian, expressed her appreciation for this collaboration and “ARL’s willingness to work with Quinn on this significant project, as well as the vote of support for this endeavor from the ARL Assessment Committee.” This work also includes the engagement of BYU labor economist Brigham Frandsen and two research assistants, Heather Howell and Sean Miner. The ARL data are used in compliance with the ARL Policy on the Release of ARL Salary Data to Researchers.

The ARL VPO program provides opportunities for outstanding staff members at ARL member libraries to contribute to special projects and programs, either in whole or in part, in order to advance the agenda of the Association. Visit the ARL website for more information about ARL’s Visiting Program Officer program.


The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.

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