A call for participation came out from Jenifer Grady at ALA-APA. A topic of hot conversation recently on one of my listservs was about Student Loan Forgiveness for librarians. It apparently was something that was considered but then was dropped by Congress.
No one will, I think, argue that the majority of new librarians make huge salaries that would render our student loan payments to be an easy expense. After Mike McGrorty's survey recently, I saw a lot of listserv conversation that pointed out that many who had responded that their loans weren't a huge burden were quick to qualify that having a two income household made that possible. Several noted that if not for a spousal income, they would be in a much tighter position. I think it was a speaking result that over a quarter of the survey participants noted $25-$50K in student loan debt.
Especially as libraries face the seeming perennial budget cuts and staff cuts, we are called upon to provide ever more vital services. We're also, it seems, expected to take on more debt getting more degrees to meet the requirements for academic and specialized positions--even as those positions are eliminated.
Jenifer has called for some assistance into research into why Student Loan Forgiveness didn't go through before and how we might be able to revive it.
"I'm looking for volunteers who will research Loan Forgiveness Programs so that I can present a report to the ALA-APA Board (same people as the ALA Board) to find out if this is something ALA-APA or ALA can pursue or has pursued. As you know ALA-APA can only work with the help of others, and this would be a wonderful service. You also may have immediate access to government documents that I don't have here. The Board is meeting mid-April, so I'd need what you find by April 6 so that I can synthesize what you sent me. The questions I have are under the umbrella of "What is the history of the Loan Forgiveness Programs?" and I'm sure there are more. Do I have any volunteers?"
Somewhere, in between trying to prep for Summer Reading (even though I'm not officially employed yet) and wrapping up some major database work (which all came in the past week or so as my clients realize I'm about to have a "real" job), I'm going digging through the libraries and information I have access to and send Jenifer what I can find.
Can you help too?
My previous rant on APA/Student Loans