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College & Research Libraries News

ACRL STANDARDS & GUIDELINES: Faculty status and collective bargaining statements: Final versions: Approved by ACRL and ALA January 2001

Prepared by the ACRL Committee on the Status of Academic Librarians

Standards for faculty status for college and university librarians

In order to recognize formally the importance of faculty status for academic librarians, ACRL endorses these standards. Institutions of higher education and their governing bodies are urged to adopt these standards.

To implement these standards, ACRL shall:

• publicize these standards to college and university administrators and governing bodies, academic libraries, library education programs, library organizations, and agencies that accredit institutions, and

• seek to have these standards formally adopted or endorsed by the appropriate groups listed above.

The academic librarian makes unique contributions to the academic community and to higher education itself. These contributions range from developing collections to providing bibliographic access to all library materials and interpreting these materials to members of the college and university community.

Specific services include instruction in the use of print and online library resources and the creation of new tools to enhance access to information available locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally.

Librarians add to the sum of knowledge through their research into the information process and other areas of study. Service improvements and other advances in the field result from their participation in the library and other scholarly organizations.

1. Professional responsibilities. Librarians must be able to exercise independent judgment in the performance of professional duties. There must be a regular and rigorous review of their performance based on a stated set of institutional criteria. A necessary element of this review is appraisal by a committee of peers who have evidence pertaining to the performance, service, and scholarship of those being evaluated, subject to appropriate institutional policy.

2. Library governance. College and university librarians should adopt an academic form of governance similar in manner and structure to other faculties on the campus.

3. College and university governance. Librarians should be eligible for membership in the faculty senate or equivalent governing body. They should have the same degree of representation as other academic units on all college or university governing bodies.

4. Compensation. Salaries and fringe benefits should be comparable to and within the range of those paid to faculty of equivalent rank. Salary scales should be adjusted in an equitable manner to contract period. All librarians should have written contracts or agreements consistent with institutional policy.

5. Tenure.Librarians should be covered by a stated tenure policy.

6. Promotion.Librarians should be promoted in rank based on their academic proficiency and professional effectiveness (performance, service, and scholarship) consistent with stated campus standards. The peer review system should be an integral part of procedures for promotion.

7. Leaves.Sabbatical and other research leaves should be available to librarians consistent with campus standards.

8. Research and development funds.Librarians should have access to funding for research projects and professional development consistent with campus standards.

9. Academic freedom.Librarians must have the same protection of academic freedom as all other faculty. Censorship of any type is unacceptable whether individual or organizational. All librarians must be free to provide access to information regardless of content. ■

Guideline on collective bargaining

The policy of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) is that academic librarians shall be included on the same basis as their faculty colleagues in units for collective bargaining. Such units shall be guided by the standards and guidelines of ACRL pertaining to faculty and academic status.

Development and revision of the standards and guideline

In 1998, the ACRL Committee on the Status of Academic Librarians began the review process for the “Standards for faculty status for college and university librarians,” which was established in 1971 and revised in 1992 and 2001. The primary focus of the current revision was to improve the wording of the standards to lessen the distinction between librarians and faculty in other academic units.

The committee’s revision of the standards was completed at the July 9, 2000, meeting and plans were made for publicizing the changes. The proposed revision was published in C&RL News in September 2000. A public hearing was held at the ALA Midwinter Meeting on January 13, 2001, and the resulting suggestions were discussed at the committee’s meeting following the hearing. The final revision was presented to SAC at its meeting on Sunday, January 14, 2001, and approved. Subsequently, the document was approved by the ACRL Board and the ALA Standards Committee at the Midwinter Meeting.

The “Guideline on collective bargaining” was developed by the ACRL Academic Status Committee and approved by the ACRL Board of Directors at the 1993 Midwinter Meeting. In 2000, the ACRL Committee on the Status of Academic Librarians reviewed the guideline as requested by ACRL and no change was recommended to the current text. The guideline was also published in C&RL News in September 2000 and was subject to the public hearing on January 14, 2001. The Committee actively sought input from librarians with expertise in collective bargaining and asked them to review the guideline as well. The guideline, with no major revision, was presented to SAC at its meeting on Sunday, January 14, 2001, and approved. Subsequently, the document was approved by the ACRL Board and ALA Standards Committee at the Midwinter Meeting.

Numerous people have contributed to the review and revision of these two documents. I wish to thank all past and present members of the Committee on the Status of Academic Librarians, but in particular Laura Bushallow (former chair) and Bill Nelson (committee member) for their efforts and support in this process.

I also wish to thank Barton Lessin, chair of the ACRL Standards and Accreditation Committee, and Susan Maltese, SAC liaison to the Status Committee, for their support and guidance. Members of the committee who saw this through to the final approval were Navjit Brar, Martin Goldberg, Phillip J. Jones, Sharon McCaslin, Bill Nelson, Samson Soong, James Chervinko (intern), Ravil Veli (intern), and Shannon Cary (staff liaison).—Glenda Thornton, chair, Committee on the Status of Academic Librarians, g.thornton@csuohio.edu

Copyright © American Library Association

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