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Library Administrative Manual

5.16: Library Retention, Tenure and Promotions Criteria

Approved by Library Faculty, Department Co-Chairs, and University Librarian June, 2007
Approved by Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs 9/3/08

Criteria in PDF

The criteria for retention, tenure and promotions shall be the same as those stated in the Academic Senate Retention, Tenure and Promotions policy (F06-241) with these exceptions: Teaching Effectiveness shall be replaced by Effectiveness in Library Assignment and amplifications are noted below for Professional Achievement and Growth and for Service.

 

The criteria outlined below follow the principles outlined by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the national organization associated with academic librarians.

 

For tenure and promotion to Associate Librarian, the primary emphasis is on Effectiveness in Library Assignment.  There is no priority of emphasis between Professional Achievement and Growth and Contributions to Campus and Community, and the candidate may choose the level of emphasis.  To provide for a variety of meritorious activities and flexibility, it is hoped that faculty members will exhibit highly varied and well-rounded profiles of achievement.   

 

For promotion to Librarian, candidates should document a record of achievement that demonstrates either growth in contributions or sustained contributions since promotion to Associate Librarian.  The primary emphasis is on Effectiveness in Library Assignment.  There is no priority of emphasis between Professional Achievement and Growth and Contributions to Campus and Community, and the candidate may choose the level of emphasis.  To provide for a variety of meritorious activities and flexibility, it is hoped that faculty members will exhibit highly varied and well-rounded profiles of achievement.  


EFFECTIVENESS IN LIBRARY ASSIGNMENT

A record of high-level performance or continuing improvement of performance to a high level as it relates to effectiveness in assignment is essential for a recommendation for renewal of appointment. For tenure and promotion purposes, effectiveness in assignment must be of a high level.

To provide for a variety of meritorious activities and for flexibility, comprehensiveness, and vigor in the Library faculty, it is hoped that faculty members will exhibit highly varied profiles of accomplishment. Faculty members are not required to demonstrate a record of achievement in all of the professional specializations mentioned in the criteria for Effectiveness in Library Assignment; but they must demonstrate achievement within appropriate specializations and the candidate's specific Library Assignment.

A librarian should maintain a professional/scholarly level of service and knowledge, show commitment to high academic and professional standards, be effective in providing service and access to appropriate resources, and do so fairly and appropriately with respect to all library users.

Assessment of library performance must be based on evidence obtained systematically from students, whenever possible, and from colleagues as well as from the candidate. Categories to be evaluated will depend upon the candidate's specific assignment; the candidate's Library assignment should be clearly explained and documentation provided. In addition, teaching performance shall be evaluated in courses taught by the candidate. The committee may consider achievements in subject areas outside of the library and information fields when such expertise supports the candidate's primary assignment. Evidence of the quality of the candidate's performance in assignment may be provided in a variety of ways:

      Mastery of the knowledge and skills within a specialization may be demonstrated by comments, letters, and observations from library users, when appropriate, and from colleagues as well as written documents submitted by the candidate. The committee may evaluate one or more areas of specialization depending upon the candidate's specific assignment. Specializations may include but are not limited to:

o   Computer systems in libraries, e.g., integrated library systems, networks, remote access.

o   Cataloging and technical services, e.g., national bibliographic standards and utilities, classification, bibliographic control principles.

o   Reference and instruction services, e.g., interactions with patrons, sources and techniques [print and electronic], instruction and instructional materials.

o   Selection and acquisition of resources, e.g., curricular support, funds management, liaison with subject departments, publishers.

o   Special collections and archives, e.g., curatorial knowledge and techniques, preservation, outreach.

      Abilities and skills necessary to plan, coordinate and lead may be demonstrated by evidence such as comments and letters from colleagues, and documents written by the candidate. The committee may consider, for example, the ability to work independently, to carry projects to completion, to solve problems and to communicate clearly in writing and orally. Librarians who supervise staff may be evaluated for their ability to motivate, train, develop and guide employees of varying backgrounds and skills.


Continuous Study

Professional currency and continuing education are crucial in the rapidly developing fields of higher education, academic librarianship, information science, and other scholarly fields. The candidate should address the methods used to maintain professional currency in appropriate fields.

A professional/scholarly level of performance and knowledge and a commitment to high academic and professional standards may be demonstrated by evidence such as continuing study, a formal course of study, attendance at professional conferences and workshops, and currency of knowledge in a library or subject specialty applied effectively to the candidate's assignment.

 

PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENT AND GROWTH

 

Professional Achievement and Growth is an essential component of performance in support of retention, tenure, and promotion. Being active within the profession and higher education, and in the area of research and scholarship, stimulates innovative thinking, improves performance, and contributes to the creation of new knowledge. Efforts in Professional Achievement and Growth often serve to extend the utility of the library and can facilitate the early identification of future issues, thus producing a proactive problem-solving stance for the library. Librarians are expected to demonstrate engagement with scholarly issues as they proceed toward tenure and promotion.

 

The committee may consider research and activities in fields of study beyond that of the library and information fields. In-depth research and professional activities in other scholarly fields advances a librarian's professional knowledge of the research process in general, deepens one's knowledge of a given corpus of subject matter, and serves to forge and reintroduce the natural bonds that exist between scholars, librarians, and the library as place. In addition, research and professional engagement outside of the library and information fields supports many aspects of a librarian's primary assignment, most notably reference, instruction, collection development, and departmental liaison work.

 

Librarians often work collaboratively on research projects. As such, collaborative projects are held in the same esteem as those pursued on an individual basis.

The following categories are the most common forms of professional contribution. Other types of professional contributions may be included in the Working Personnel Action File (WPAF) if the candidate can demonstrate that they contribute to Professional Achievement and Growth or professional currency. No one category is preferred, and the candidate may choose the level of emphasis.

 

Research and Publication

Within the library and information fields, Research and Publication that emphasizes practical application will often have as substantial an impact as that which emphasizes theory; both should be considered to have equal merit. Research and Publication is often initially revealed as a presentation; thus, publications that follow presentations should not be considered unnecessary duplication but rather a natural progression of research. There is no preference as to format of publication; online publications are held in the same esteem as print, while digital projects are considered forms of publication.

 

Assessment of contribution to Research and Publication is based on a variety of factors including but not limited to the selection process, the audience addressed, and the impact of the contribution as measured through factors such as feedback, recognition, and usage. For example, the committee may consider whether the publication was refereed, juried, or invited; whether the contribution reached a national, state, or local audience; the impact of a particular forum and its relevance to the topic. When weighing the relative importance of a given contribution to the profession, reviewers may consider references and commentary in other published works, as well as citations in professional bibliographies and articles. Assessment of digital projects may include professional reviews of content, design and quality; acceptance from the academic library or subject expert community; number of links from other academic sites; and/or professional or scholarly user feedback.

 

Examples of Research and Publication are as outlined in the Academic Senate Retention, Tenure and Promotions policy (F06-241), with the following augmentations:

      Journal articles and published proceedings are common forms of written professional contribution within the library and information fields. Refereed publications have the greatest prestige, but many non-refereed publications are widely respected and reach a substantial audience.

      Book length treatises and original works are unusual in the library and information fields, while book-length edited bibliographies or reference works are produced more frequently. Any of these would represent a very substantial professional contribution.

      Because book chapters may be important contributions and authors are generally selected for their expertise, book chapters may be considered as refereed works when evidence of evaluation by scholarly reviewers is provided.

      Authored digital projects are generally included with and judged as Research and Publication.

      A paper based on a presentation that is included in published conference proceedings should be included with and judged as Research and Publication.

      A compilation or indexing of collections of resources may be included with and judged as Research and Publication.

      Curating (or otherwise substantially contributing to the intellectual work of) an exhibit or other public project with educational value may be included with and judged as Research and Publication.

 

It should be clearly stated if a work is in progress, has been submitted, has been accepted, or has been published and issued. Works that are complete and available carry greater weight than works in progress, works submitted for publication or works accepted for publication, although the latter are still indications of substantial professional contribution and should be included in the WPAF.

 

Presentations

 

Conferences, workshops and professional meetings are an important communication forum within the library and information fields. Assessment of contribution to Presentations is based on a variety of factors including but not limited to the selection process, the audience addressed, and the impact of the contribution as measured through factors such as feedback, recognition, and usage. For example, the committee may consider whether the presentation was refereed, juried, or invited; whether the presentation was accepted at a highly competitive conference; whether the contribution reached a national, state, or local audience; the impact of a particular forum and its relevance to the topic.

When weighing the relative importance of a given contribution to the profession, reviewers may consider references and commentary in other published works, citations in professional bibliographies and articles, and conference session evaluations.

 

Examples of Presentations are as outlined in the Academic Senate Retention, Tenure and Promotions policy (F06-241), with the following augmentations:

      Often a successful presentation in one venue results in (a) subsequent invitation(s) to repeat the presentation to a new audience. (A) subsequent invitation(s) speak to the quality and impact of a presentation.

      The importance of a presentation is assessed by the content, preparation, and research required and the forum to which it is delivered.

      Delivery of a keynote address at a meeting is unusual and would represent a substantial professional contribution.

      Conducting a workshop at a conference or professional meeting in an area of expertise should be included with and judged as Presentations.

 

Professional Leadership

 

Leadership in professional organizations plays an important role in the professional growth of librarians. Library and information science associations at all levels are the main force in developing and implementing national policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines and in disseminating best practice. Library and information science associations rely on the broadest possible participation of members to carry out this work. In addition, leadership in professional organizations outside of the library and information fields can have a substantial impact on the awareness and inclusion of library- and research-related issues within that subject or profession.

 

Assessment of contribution to Professional Leadership is based on a variety of factors, including the level of commitment and the impact of the leadership. For example, the committee may consider whether the leadership was given to national, state, or local organizations or projects; the impact of a particular organization and its relevance to the leadership.

 

Whether a professional contribution falls under Professional Leadership or Professional Service depends on the level of commitment and impact, and should be determined by the candidate.


Innovation in Library Assignment

 

Librarians' responsibilities include comparatively limited classroom teaching and extend far beyond the classroom environment. Thus, Curricular Innovations may take very different forms, some of which may not be directly related to classroom teaching. The most important criterion for Innovation in Library Assignment is that the contribution should represent an innovative practice that may have an impact for the campus, the system, or beyond the University.

 

Other

Librarians have many other opportunities to demonstrate a level of Professional Achievement and Growth.

 

Examples of other opportunities include:

      Award of grants, gifts or donations for the library or for individual research and professional activities.

      Creative Work as outlined in Academic Senate Retention, Tenure and Promotions policy (F06-241).


CONTRIBUTIONS TO CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY

Librarianship has
traditionally had a strong service ethos. Librarians are strongly encouraged to bring their energy, intelligence, collaborative skills, and problem solving abilities to a variety of venues during their career. Strong service enhances the reputation of the library, and can create bridges to entities and individuals outside the library both at the university and at the local, state, national or international levels.

Criteria for this category are as stated in the Academic Senate Retention, Tenure and Promotions policy (F06-241) with the following amplification: The committee may consider a broad range of professional and community contributions. Direct relationship to the library and information fields is not essential, as long as the service is such as to engage the professional and/or leadership skills of the candidate in such a way as to bring credit to the University.

 

The following categories are the most common forms of service contribution. Other types of service contributions may be included in the Working Personnel Action File (WPAF) if the candidate can demonstrate that they contribute to Contributions to Campus and Community. No one category is preferred, and the candidate may choose the level of emphasis.

 

Contributions to Campus

Librarians are expected to provide service to the library.


Examples of library service are as outlined in the Academic Senate Retention, Tenure and Promotions policy (F06-241), with the following augmentations:

      Service on library committees.

Volunteering for special projects and other activities outside the normal primary assignment.


Librarians are also encouraged to provide service to the university and/or the system. Shared governance is an important component of higher education, and as faculty librarians have a direct stake in all the elements of faculty life, including curriculum development, the creation and modification of university policy and strategic planning.


Examples of university and system service include:

 

      Service on university or system committees, with chairing a committee viewed as having greater impact.

      Direct participation in shared governance.

      Service to faculty-affiliated organizations through a variety of means.

      Conducting information workshops or other educational training activities.

 

Professional Service

Service to professional organizations plays an important role in the professional growth of librarians. Library and information science associations at all levels are the main force in developing and implementing national policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines and in disseminating best practice. Library and information science associations rely on the broadest possible participation of members to carry out this work. In addition, involvement with professional organizations outside of the library and information fields can have a substantial impact on the awareness and inclusion of library- and research-related issues within that subject or profession.

 

Assessment of contribution to Professional Service is based on a variety of factors, including the level of commitment and the impact of the service. For example, the committee may consider whether the service was given to national, state, or local organizations or projects; the impact of a particular organization and its relevance to the service.

 

Whether a professional contribution falls under Professional Service or Professional Leadership depends on the level of commitment and impact, and should be determined by the candidate.

 

Examples of Professional Service are as outlined in the Academic Senate Retention, Tenure and Promotions policy (F06-241), with the following augmentations:

 

      Working in support of an organization by moderating an electronic discussion list; editing a newsletter, publication, or Web site; maintaining a Web site or other electronic resource; or similar activity may be included with and judged as Professional Service.

      Editing an academic publication is unusual and would represent a substantial professional contribution.

      Serving as a panel moderator or meeting facilitator at a conference may be included with and judged as Professional Service.

      Organizing a conference, workshop, or symposium; or a session or discussion at one of the former may be included with and judged as Professional Service.

 

Contributions to Community

Librarians can make important contributions to the extra-university world in several capacities, and this service has the highest value when it combines with an individual's own expertise and vision, and furthers the educational mission of the library or university.

Service outside the campus community can take many forms, but the highest value is attached to activities that take advantage of the librarian's special training or skills, have educational value, and enhance the reputation of the library or university.

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