I had a different post this week, but I couldn’t resist keeping everyone up on current events and spreading library-related joy! You might have heard in the news yesterday that Walmart has announced to raise their wages this coming April, with further raises coming in 2016. Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon announced a bold new initiative on pay and training for U.S. associates. In his announcement via Business Wire:
Approximately 500,000 full-time and part-time associates at Walmart U.S. stores and Sam’s Clubs will receive pay raises in the first half of the current fiscal year. Current and future associates will benefit from this initiative, which ensures that Walmart hourly associates earn at least $1.75 above today’s federal minimum wage, or $9.00 per hour, in April. The following year, by Feb. 1, 2016, current associates will earn at least $10.00 per hour.
Unless I got my math wrong, that’s nearly a 24% raise in April and a 38% raise come February 2016.
According to Huffpost, “the new wage floors will apply to current employees. New hires next year will be earning at least $9, but will be bumped up to at least $10 per hour after roughly six months of training.” Way to go, Walmart! Most business analysts and unions would say you were dragged kicking and screaming, but I’m just glad you got with the program.
“But Justin, what does this have to do with libraries?”
I’m getting there! Many of you might have read about Walmart’s wage increase, but I’ll bet many of you didn’t know that there is a WALMART LIBRARY.
That’s right. After a Walmart in McAllen, TX, closed their doors, they left 124,500 square feet to the city. Instead of trying to bring in another conglomerate, corporation or factory, the city of McAllen opted to turn the building INTO A LIBRARY! This ain’t just another library, either. Let me hit you with a few facts about the McAllen Public Library:
- Upon its completion, it became the largest single-story library in the United States.
- Registration by first-time patrons went up by 23% in the library’s first month of operation.
- The library now boasts 16 public meeting spaces, 14 public study rooms, 64 computer labs, 10 children’s computer labs, and 2 genealogy computer labs.
- It was recently named winner of the International Interior Design Association’s 2012 Library Interior Design Competition.
I’d say it’s a pretty good week for Walmart, wouldn’t you? I’d say my faith in humanity/Walmart has been restored just a little bit.
I hope this got everyone’s weekend off to a good start. Have a great weekend!
Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian