Carol Stream Public Library officials say they want to keep employee salary ranges competitive, but some members of the library's board of trustees questioned if raising the ranges would adversely affect the budget.
Still, board members voted 3-2 to increase salary ranges for all positions -- about 8 percent for jobs on the lower pay end, and over 4 percent for higher pay grades.
Executive Director Ann Kennedy said raising overall salary ranges isn't the same as raising salaries, which would also be subject to board approval.
She said raising all the ranges would only affect seven current employees who are paid on the lower end of the spectrum. Most are part-time employees who work 10 to 20 hours a week.
The increases would be anywhere from 6 to 29 cents. For example, an employee now making $10.20 an hour would make $10.49 an hour.
Kennedy said the range increases are comparable to nearby libraries of the same size. Carol Stream would be in the median of other public libraries in the Library Administrators Conference of Northern Illinois, she said.
"It makes the Carol Stream Public Library competitive to hire qualified librarians, especially those at entry level," Kennedy said. "If your (salary) is $35,000 and the others are $39,000, they'll go to where there's $39,000."
Board President Robert Douglas said the board votes to increase salary ranges every three years. If new ranges aren't approved, they would "get so out of date you'd have to make huge adjustments," which has previously occurred, he said.
Trustee Michael Wade said the range increases, particularly those over 8 percent, were excessive. He suggested that if one library raises its ranges, another library would follow, and the process would continue.
"To me, that's an endless loop," Wade said. "I don't know when that stops."
Wade and Trustee Tom Arends questioned the affect of the range increases on the budget. Kennedy said this year it would cost the library an extra $4,000.
"To vote no isn't saying I'm not for raises or competitive salaries in our library," Arends said. "But we should be doing this after we address our budget issues."
Douglas and Trustees Mary Hudspeath and Jim Bailey voted to approve the new ranges, with Wade and Arends opposed.
The new ranges will go into effect on May 1.