Tenure & Faculty Status for Librarians
  • “Academic Librarian Status.” Available at: http://academic-librarian-status.wikispaces.com/

    This wiki contains lists and links to institutions which employees librarians with one of the following ranks structures: 1) Librarians with faculty status and tenure, 2) Librarians with faculty status but no tenure, 3) College and university libraries with a mix of professional statuses, 4) Librarians without faculty status, and 5) Librarians without faculty status but with status similar to tenure. This information may provide valuable to those seeking external reviewers for promotion and/or tenure.

  • Association of College & Research Libraries. "Standards & Guidelines." Available at http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards.

    Some of the standards and guidelines listed on this web site include the following:
    Academic Status for College and University Librarians, Guidelines for (June 2007)
    A Guideline for the Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure of Academic Librarians (June 2005)
    Faculty Status of College and University Librarians, Joint Statement on (June 2007)
    Faculty Status for College and University Librarians, Standards for (Jan. 2007)

  • Cary, Shannon. "Faculty Rank, Status, and Tenure for Librarians: Current Trends." College & Research Libraries News 62, no. 5 (May 2001): 510-11, 520.

    The issue of faculty status for academic librarians has been discussed within the profession for many years, and opinions have been expressed in both support of and opposition to the notion. In 1990, ACRL adopted the "Guidelines for Academic Status for College and University Libraries" and the board stated that "ACRL supports faculty rank, status, and tenure for librarians." And in a 1992 article, Bede Mitchell and Bruce Morton argued that librarians should embrace the academic model and strive to become full members of the academic community. However, detractors also have voiced their opinions. Recently, Blaise Cronin wrote that the "obsession with [faculty] status merely detracts from customer service and weakens the profession's public image." Because this issue is of continuing interest to academic librarians, ACRL decided to illuminate this discussion by gathering data on faculty status.

  • Chait, Richard, ed. The Questions of Tenure. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.

    In this unique book, Richard Chait and his colleagues offer the results of their research on key empirical questions. Are there circumstances under which faculty might voluntarily relinquish tenure? When might new faculty actually prefer non-tenure track positions? Does the absence of tenure mean the absence of shared governance? Why have some colleges abandoned tenure while others have adopted it? Answers to these and other questions come from careful studies of institutions that mirror the American academy: research universities and liberal arts colleges, including both highly selective and less prestigious schools. Lucid and straightforward, The Questions of Tenure offers vivid pictures of academic subcultures. Chait and his colleagues conclude that context counts so much that no single tenure system exists. Still, since no academic reward carries the cachet of tenure, few institutions will initiate significant changes without either powerful external pressures or persistent demands from new or disgruntled faculty.

  • Cronin, Blaise. "The Mother of all Myths." Library Journal 126, no. 3 (February 15, 2001): 144.

    Faculty status for college and university librarians does not make the slightest difference to the library user. Good librarians continue to be good librarians whether or not they have faculty status, and, whatever the feel-good factor, faculty status does not compensate for mediocre professional skills or materially improve the application of already honed skills.

  • "Do Librarians with Tenure Get More Respect? An Interview with Mark Herring and Michael Gorman." American Libraries 34, no. 6 (June/July 2003): 70-72.

Gorman, dean of library services at California State University in Fresno, and Herring, dean of library services at Winthrop University, discuss how much tenure has closed the salary and prestige gap between librarians and other faculty on U.S. campuses.

  • Gillum, Shalu. “The True Benefit of Faculty Status for Academic Reference Librarians.” Reference Librarian 51, no. 4 (October-December 2010): 321-328.

    The author examines the three primary arguments against faculty status for librarians: that it interferes with librarians’ job duties, that librarians are not prepared for the rigorous requirements for promotion and tenure, and that the performance of librarians would not be improved with faculty status. Gillum explains how each of these arguments against faculty status can also be used in support of faculty status, ultimately benefiting everyone involved by increasing both the quantity and quality of contributions to the literature made by academic librarians.

  • Keyse, Dana, Elizabeth Kraemer, and Julie Voelck. "Mentoring Untenured Librarians: All it Takes is a Little Un-TLC." College & Research Libraries News 64, no. 6 (June 2003): 378-80.

    As an untenured librarian, it is natural to have some important, career-altering questions above and beyond the endless routine questions that arise when learning a job. Having the "why" and the "how" at the tip of our tongues is easy. The problem is in the knowing what to ask whom when it comes to issues related to the tenure process, and when--if ever--such questions are appropriate. When the untenured librarian is seeking the way to the Holy Grail of tenure, he or she often seeks a mentor. The natural step is to find someone who is in the know, and someone who can be trusted not to note in one's personnel file the depth and breadth of the stupidity of the inquiry.

  • Kuyper-Rushing, Lois. "A Formal Mentoring Program in a University Library: Components of a Successful Experiment." The Journal of Academic Librarianship 27, no. 6 (November 2001): 440-46.

    The Louisiana State University (LSU) Libraries began a formal mentoring program in the fall of 1998 to help tenure-track librarians meet the requirements for tenure and promotion at LSU. At the end of the first year of the program, those responsible for, and involved in, the program were well satisfied. The program had its share of difficulties and problems, but much was learned from the misdirections as well as the successes of the program. . . . Although much has been written on the subject of "mentoring," little has been written on how to develop a mentoring program, and how to develop it to be effective. The literature that discussed mentoring programs did not address several of the issues that the LSU Libraries program found to be key to its success. This article outlines the step-by-step process used in setting up LSU's program, the key components used in developing the program, and the parts of the program that had not been documented in the literature before this article.

  • Lener, Edward, Bruce Pencek, and Susan Ariew. "Raising the Bar: An Approach to Reviewing and Revising Standards for Professional Achievement for Library Faculty." College & Research Libraries 65, no. 4 (July 2004): 287-300.

    The committee revising the retention, promotion, and continued appointment policy in the Virginia Tech libraries took a broad view of its task in articulating its goal, gathering information from internal and external sources, allocating drafting responsibilities, and winning support. The committee's work revealed an unexpected need and led to an explicit affirmation of professional obligations of librarians to one another. Thus, adoption of the new policy and the principles it embodied became a lever for changes in the organizational culture.When a college or university seeks to raise promotion and tenure standards for academic faculty, where do its professional employees fit? How can they affect the standards under which they will be judged? For librarians, the nature and effects of higher retention, promotion, and tenure (RPT) standards will depend not only on whether they have faculty status, but also on the nature of that status: librarians who are entirely integrated into the academic faculty may have different opportunities to affect RPT standards than librarians whose institutions distinguish among classes of faculty. Naturally, librarians who are professional employees without faculty status face yet another set of issues.

  • Ottervik, Jennifer. “Faculty Status and the Music Librarian.” In Careers in Music Librarianship III, ed. by Susannah Cleveland and Joe C. Clark. Middleton, WI: A-R Editions, 2014.

    A topic of much debate, academic librarians may have faculty status and face rigorous requirements in order to earn promotion and tenure. Ottervik provides a brief history of the debate, an explanation of the standards for faculty status, and an overview of trends in higher education. She discusses the three primary areas considered in evaluations for tenure and promotion (teaching and librarianship, research and scholarship, and service), as well as whether music librarians are adequately prepared to meet these requirements. The author also includes a list of the pros and cons of faculty status for librarians.

  • Weaver-Meyers, Patricia. "Conflict Resolution: A Case Study about Academic Librarians and Faculty Status." College & Research Libraries 63, no. 1 (January 2003): 25-34.

    Faculty status for academic librarians has a complex history that includes past conflict. Furthermore, this history has never fully resolved the problem of librarians' status in the minds of non-librarian faculty. Even the minds of librarians, as evidenced by a variety of current statuses (professional status, non-tenured faculty status, academic status, faculty status without rank, and faculty status with rank) are unsettled. An academic librarian may move from one institution to another and dramatically affect his or her evaluation criteria. The following is a discussion of how some aspects of faculty status among librarians may contribute to potential conflict and how the resultant damage can be minimized. This discussion analyzes the upheaval of faculty status for the University of Oklahoma librarians that occurred in the last decade with the intent of formulating some strategies for coping with similar conflict. Within this case study are two major conflicts. The first is a conflict between the university administration and the librarians. That conflict creates a situation in which subsequent conflict among the librarians themselves becomes unavoidable.

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About MLA

The Music Library Association is the professional association for music libraries and librarianship in the United States. Founded in 1931, it has an international membership of librarians, musicians, scholars, educators, and members of the book and music trades. Complementing the Association’s national and international activities are eleven regional chapters that carry out its programs on the local level.