Preliminary results from statistical tests

In addition to the information contained in the Preliminary report, we examined the following questions using data from the survey. We examined responses from MLA national members only. These questions and their answers were discussed during the WG session in Boston.

These questions are couched in terms of hypotheses and statistically significant responses. By "statistically significant" or "statistically significant difference" we mean that, according to the statistical test used, these results would happen by chance at most only 5 times in 100. The actual numbers from the tests (run in SPSS) are not listed here for reasons of space. They will be included in the final report of the Working Group.

In looking at job categories (reference librarian, cataloger, administrator) we considered someone to belong to a particular category if 50% or more of their time was spent on those activities. These categories were mutually exclusive-for example, no one spending 50% or more of their time on cataloging also spent 50% of their time doing reference or administrative work. In considering salaries, we used only salaries of those who had full-time work.

Please note: These results are preliminary and may change as we reexamine the data. Hence do not consider them as the last word on these particular issues.


Hypothesis: Reference librarians and administrators are more likely to have a graduate degree in music than catalogers.

No statistically significant differences were found. All three groups are equally likely to have music graduate degrees.


Hypothesis: Public librarians and academic librarians are equally likely to have graduate degrees in music.

Those working in academic libraries are more likely to have graduate degrees in music. (This result is statistically significant at the .05 level) This is one of the few areas in which public and academic librarians differ.


Hypothesis: Administrators are more likely than catalogers or reference librarians to publish articles, reviews, or books, and academic librarians are more likely to publish than are public librarians.

Actually, there are no statistically significant differences between any of these groups with regard to scholarly activity save that administrators are more likely to author or co-author books than reference or catalog librarians.


Hypothesis: Male MLA members are more likely than female MLA members to publish, perform, etc. etc.

In general, there are no statistically significant differences between men and women regarding scholarly activity.


Hypothesis: Women are more likely than men to serve on the MLA board, chair a committee, be appointed to a committee…. (etc.)

There are no statistically significant differences when comparing gender to participation in any of the MLA activities we measured.


Hypothesis: There are differences between public librarians and academic librarians in MLA participation.

None we have yet discovered. There are no statistically significant differences when comparing participation in specific MLA activities to the type of library (academic vs. public) in which MLA members worked.


Hypothesis: You are more likely to be elected to the board if you are from the Northeast.

We did not find that MLA members from northeastern states were proportionally more likely to be elected to the board than MLA members from the rest of the country. Note also that there appears to be no statistically significant relationship between board membership and the possession of an MLS or a graduate degree in music.


Hypothesis: Male MLA members earn more than female MLA members.

There appears to be no statistically significant difference between the average salary of men and women employed full-time who are MLA national members. This holds true for the few subgroups we looked at as well (e.g. those with an accredited MLS).


Hypothesis: Surely administrators earn more than reference librarians or catalogers.

Yes. The average salary of those spending half or more of their time on administrative work is greater than that of reference or catalog librarians, and this difference is statistically significant.


Hypothesis: Public librarians earn more than academic librarians.

There does not appear to be a statistically significant salary difference between these two groups.


Hypothesis: There are statistically significant differences in job satisfaction measures between men / women, academic / public librarians, or catalogers / reference / administrators.

In general, apparently not, but this area needs more research. It seems, however, that there are no gender-related or library-related differences on any of the individual measures of job satisfaction.


Hypothesis: Women are more likely than men to make changes in their job or education due to family responsibilities.

Yes, but (because of small cell sizes) the only significant differences are in 'resigned position to relocate with spouse or family.' Most MLA members did not indicate family responsibilities caused them to make changes in job or education.


These are some of the issues we have been able to test statistically. Now we would like your help. Please have a look at the full questionnaire. If there are specific questions or groups of related questions or issues which you would like us to research, please let any of the members of the working group know. We will do our best to look at your questions or interests and incorporate them into our final report.

MLA Working Group on Music Library Personnel Characteristics: David Lesniaski, chair; Timothy Cherubini, Charles Coldwell, Pat Fisken, Richard Griscom, Michelle Koth, Renee McBride, Cindy Richardson.