Friday, November 17, 2006

 

Speaking Survey: Results

The speaking fees in librarianship survey garnered 90 responses between Sept. 8 and Sept. 25, 2006. I took it down on Oct. 4, when it became apparent that further responses were unlikely. This was not a scientific survey, but was merely intended to give a snapshot of what people tend to charge and what people think about the issue, to provide a first step towards breaking our reticence to talk about money, and to give people an idea about what (or that) they can ask for. This post provides some survey results; a separate post will share some comments from respondents. (My own commentary may come later; I felt it more useful to get these belated results out now!)

Results:

(Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole so may not add exactly to 100%; not all respondents answered each question.)

42% of respondents did 1-3 presentations/workshops a year outside their library
26% did 4-6
13% did 7-10
18% did 10+

10% have been presenting for less than one year
24% have been presenting for 1-3 years
24% have been presenting for 4-7 years
12% have been prsenting for 8-10 years
29% have been presenting for more than 10 years

Respondents were 43% male, 57% female. 92% had an MLS. 76% currently work in a library. 17% make some part of their living from speaking.


What they charged.

Here, if people gave a range (say, that they'll speak for 45-90 minutes for $100-300), I used the average (say, $200). If people left an answer blank or put N/A, I didn't consider their response in the compilation, but only included those who provided actual numbers. A number of people only provided responses to one or two of the types of presentations (many wrote in responses such as "haven't done it yet"); the total number of respondents is listed for each. All numbers are in U.S. dollars.

For participating on a panel:

46 total respondents, of whom 30 people said they'd do it for nothing. The average panel charge including those who charged nothing was $117.50, of those who charged anything, $337.81. Responses of those who charged ranged from $50-$2000 -- when dropping out the outliers ($50 and $2000), the average panel charge was $239.64.

Doing a 45-90 minute conference presentation:

64 total respondents, of whom 27 said they'd do it for nothing. The average charge for a 45-90 minute presentation including those who charged nothing was $255.66, for those who charged anything, $442.23. Responses of those who charged ranged from $50-$2500. When dropping out the highest and lowest honoraria ($50 and $2500), the average charge for 45-90 minutes among those who charged was $337.50.

Putting on a half-day workshop:

59 total respondents, of whom 17 said they'd do it for nothing. The average charge for a half-day workshop including those who charged nothing was $460.59, for those who charged anything, $647.02. Responses of those who charged ranged from $50 to $3500. When dropping out the lowest and highest honoraria ($50 and $3500), the average among those who charged was $583.13.

Conducting a full-day workshop:

47 total respondents, of whom 15 said they'd do it for nothing. The average charge for a full-day workshop including those who charged nothing was $873.94, for those who charged anything, $1283.59. Responses of those who charged ranged from $300 to $7500. When dropping out the highest and lowest honoraria ($300 and $7500), the average among those who charged was $1109.17.

Giving a conference keynote:

38 total respondents, of whom 13 would do it for nothing. The average charge for a keynote was $707.24, for those who charged anything, $1075. Responses of those who charged ranged from $300 to $2500. When dropping out the highest and lowest ($300 and $2500), the average among those who charged was $1046.74.

Several other people said that they asked for registration fees or waivers and/or travel expenses in addition to -- or instead of -- their honorarium.


Under what circumstances people will speak for free (number of "yeses").

For my alma mater: 36
To any LIS or LTA class: 50
For an online workshop that doesn't charge participants: 31
For a local workshop where I don't have to travel: 47
If I know the organizer and am doing him/her a personal favor: 52
For/to a group of which I am a member: 43
If it will help me achieve tenure or promotion at my institution: 21
At a conference I'm attending anyway: 44
If it's a short panel or fill-in that won't take much of my time: 36
Always: 10
Never: 1
Other (please specify): 12


Do people charge expenses for out-of-area-travel?

50 charge actual expenses
6 fold these into their fee
18 say their institution pays expenses
6 say "other"


Are you willing to speak at conferences that require presenters to pay their own registration fees?

Yes: 21
No: 28
Sometimes: 38

(Many of the "sometimes" responses clarified by saying they would if it were a conference they were attending anyway.)


Are you willing to speak at conferences that require presenters to pay for their own travel and expenses?

Yes: 27
No: 21
Sometimes: 35

(Again, many of the "sometimes" responses clarified by saying they would if it were a conference they were attending anyway.)


The original survey:

The Speaking Fees in Librarianship Survey is intended to give a rough idea of what speakers at library conferences and workshops tend to charge, and to give others an idea of what they might themselves ask for (or, that they can even ask!). Please see The Liminal Librarian for more details and comments.

Comments? Questions? Problems with the form? E-mail rachel@lisjobs.com.

How many workshops or presentations do you do, on average, each year (outside your own library):

1-3
4-6
7-10
More than 10

What do you usually charge (USD) for:

Participating on a panel
Doing a 45-90 minute conference presentation
Putting on a half-day workshop
Conducting a full-day workshop
Giving a conference keynote
Other (please specify)

Under what circumstances will you speak for free (please check all that apply)?

For my alma mater
To any LIS or LTA class
For an online workshop that doesn't charge participants
For a local workshop where I don't have to travel
If I know the organizer and am doing him/her a personal favor
For/to a group of which I am a member
If it will help me achieve tenure or promotion at my institution
At a conference I'm attending anyway
If it's a short panel or fill-in that won't take much of my time
Always
Never
Other (please specify)

Do you charge expenses for out-of-area travel?

Actual expenses
A flat fee
I fold it into my speaking fee
I pay my own expenses
My institution pays my expenses
Other (please specify)

Are you willing to speak at conferences that require presenters to pay their own registration fees?

Yes
No
Sometimes (please explain)
Comments

Are you willing to speak at conferences that require presenters to pay for their own travel and expenses?

Yes
No
Sometimes (please explain)
Comments


How long have you been presenting?

Less than a year
One to three years
Four to seven years
Eight to ten years
More than ten years

Do you have an MLS?

Yes
No

Do you currently work in a library?

Yes
No

What's your gender?

Male
Female

Do you make a living as a presenter?

Yes
No
In Part

Any other comments? Anything I forgot to ask?

Comments:
Thanks for this, Rachel. I hope it leads to some wider conversation about this question, because practices appear to be so varied that a great many librarians strike me as being taken advantage of!

I want to see conference-payment practice be fair and aboveboard, and as uniform as is reasonable. Sure, some people are hot tickets and deserve to be paid more for it, but that doesn't mean everybody else gets screwed!

One thing I think we need is a conference taxonomy. Rules are different for academic conferences, association conferences, and "pro" conferences, not so?
 
You're right, Dorothea -- Probably should have broken that down (as many of the comments made clear) -- although for a brief little survey, it already got up to too many questions!
 
Rachel, this was a useful and informative exercise. Thanks for taking the time to collect, compile and report the results. What a wide variety of experiences!

Part of my job is to locate and hire presenters for conferences and other events in our region, so this was interesting to me.

My best gauge of a speaker's value is word of mouth. If I hear good things on the library grapevine, I'll check the speaker out personally if at all possible, or call him/her up for a phone visit. I don't mind paying a decent fee for a top-notch speaker that will deliver the goods.

I think expenses should always be paid above and beyond a speaker's fee if the engagement requires travel. Period. Anything else would be unfair.

BTW, the practice of invited speakers being charged conference registration fees is reprehensible. If anyone tried to pull that one on me, I'd respectfully decline to pay and offer them the choice of a cancellation (on my part) or a comp reg (on their part).

I enjoyed having you as our guest in the Northeast Kansas region when you came to speak to our librarians earlier this year, and I trust we treated you in a respectful and professional manner, as you deserved.
 
Rachel, very useful and I suspect many speakers, as well as organizers, will be looking at these results. I've already forwarded the link to this post to several people.
 
Jill - Thanks, glad you found it useful!

Mickey - You were both professional and kind, and I had a great time in Kansas -- thanks again for inviting me :).
 
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