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Library Faculty Promotion: Guidelines

Guidelines for Law Librarian Appointment and Promotion

A. Introduction

Rank among the professional staff of the Law Library is to be distinguished from job assignment. Rank is awarded in recognition of job performance, achievements and qualifications. No particular rank entitles a professional staff member to any particular job title. Job assignments may require a law librarian of a lower rank to supervise a law librarian of a higher rank.

Salaries in the Law Library are determined by job assignments and, therefore, no salary range is attached to any particular rank. Successful candidates will receive a salary increase effective with the new fiscal year. The amount is determined by the University.

Rank in the Law Library does not confer tenure upon the staff member nor does it grant appointment to the Law Faculty. Denial of promotion does not mean termination of employment. Employment and dismissal of law librarians is controlled by the policies and procedures of the Board of Regents.

B. Appointment of New Law Library Faculty

Appointment as a law librarian requires a Master's degree from an American Library Association accredited library school. Appointments of those with only a law degree and not a librarian's degree are non-academic professional appointments (e.g., legal research associate). These employees are classified employees subject to the jurisdiction of the Personnel Services Division. A Legal Research Associate is a member of the Law Library staff entitled to full participation in all activities of the Law Library except promotion.

a. The Law Library Director will determine the appropriate rank for a new appointee.
b. Because promotion plays an important role in the career of the law librarian, the Law Library Director will present these guidelines to each Law Library faculty member soon after employment begins.
c. The Law Library Director will also be responsible during the annual evaluation process for reviewing the promotion process with the librarian and discussing opportunities to progress toward fulfilling the requirements.

C. Law Librarian Ranks

The criteria listed under each rank indicate the level of achievement candidates must meet in order to be promoted to that rank. Prior service as a law librarian or in other legal professional activities entitles an individual to consideration for a rank, but does not guarantee promotion to that rank. Increasing levels of achievement based on these criteria are expected as a law librarian moves sequentially through the ranks.

Librarian I

Definition: Entry level rank; used for persons with limited or no professional experience.

Criteria:

  1. ALA-accredited master's degree in librarianship/information science.
  2. Exhibit the potential for successful overall performance as a librarian.

Librarian II

Definition: Lower intermediate rank. Individuals with both the law and library science degrees may be initially appointed to this rank rather than Law Librarian I.
 
Criteria:

  1. ALA-accredited master's degree in librarianship/information science.
  2. Successful job performance which includes adjustment to the particular requirements of a Law Library.
  3. Initial professional growth as evidenced by involvement in the following three areas:
    1. service to the law library, law school, legal community, university libraries or the university
    2. professional activities; or
    3. research and other creative activities pertaining to librarianship.
    4. Service to the community may be used as additional support.

Length of Service:

  1. Before meeting the criteria for promotion to Librarian II, an individual appointed as a Librarian I will have completed two years of professional library experience by the promotion application deadline.
  2. Candidates may be recommended for early promotion if they are exceptionally meritorious.
  3. Librarians with previous professional appointments (i.e. Legal Research Associates) may include their library experience in meeting the length-of-service criteria. 

Librarian III

Definition: Upper intermediate rank.

Criteria:

  1. ALA-accredited master's degree in librarianship/information science
  2. Continued successful job performance.  The candidate is expected to demonstrate the potential for: 
    1. performing or administering complex or highly specialized duties; or
    2. for developing a high level of expertise in his/her specific areas of librarianship.
  3. Continued professional growth as evidenced by significant contributions in the following three areas:
    1. service to the law library, law school, legal community, university libraries or the university;
    2. professional activities; and
    3. research and other creative activities pertaining to librarianship.
    4. Service to the community may be used as additional support.

Length of Service:

  1. Before meeting the criteria for promotion to Librarian III, an individual will have completed a minimum of 5 years of cumulative professional experience by the promotion application deadline.
  2. Candidates may be recommended for early promotion if they are exceptionally meritorious.

Librarian IV

Definition: Highest rank.

Criteria:

  1. ALA-accredited master's degree in librarianship/ information.
  2. Consistently successful job performance. The candidate is expected to:
    1. perform or administer complex or highly specialized duties; and
    2. demonstrate a high level of expertise in law librarianship.
  3. Recognition by colleagues (subordinate, peer or supervisor) as being outstanding in at least one specific area of librarianship.
  4. A record of sustained professional growth as evidenced by extensive contributions in the following three areas:
    1. service to the law library, law school, legal community, university libraries or the university;
    2. professional activities, including service to the library profession; and
    3. research and other creative activities pertaining to librarianship.

Length of Service:

  • Before meeting the criteria for promotion to Librarian IV, an individual will have completed 10 years of cumulative professional library experience by the promotion application deadline.
  • Candidates may be recommended for early promotion if they are exceptionally meritorious.

D. Criteria for Appointment and Promotion

1. Job Performance

The law librarian has a major role in the academic and legal communities. He/she assumes primary responsibility for developing the library's collections, for extending bibliographic control over these collections, and for assisting the law school community, the university community, and other scholars to utilize the library collections. The law librarian serves as a resource person for the law school and legal profession providing a wide range of services, but avoiding the practice of law. Without the services of highly skilled law librarians, research and the quality of teaching in the law school would be seriously impaired.

Law librarians assume professional tasks that require a special background and education in at least one of the technical, public, or administrative areas of the law library; make independent judgments; and plan, organize, communicate, and administer programs of service to users of the law library's materials and services. Candidates must be judged on criteria appropriate to their assigned duties. In any of the ranks, responsibilities may include supervision or management; however, supervisory duties are not a prerequisite for any appointment or promotion.

The performance of the law librarian in his/her assigned duties is a critical factor in the law library's continuing successful service to the legal community and to the university. Successful job performance, which is defined as performance evaluated at the “meets expectations” level or above on annual performance appraisals, is the single most important criterion for promotion in rank. The law librarian should have demonstrated the ability to carry out competently and independently the complete range of functions and duties relating to his/her particular assignment. Each position necessitates particular requirements and skills and these must be carefully considered. Job-related characteristics such as accuracy, judgment, ability to organize work, dependability, initiative, positive relationships with staff and patrons, written and oral skills, and understanding of the relationship of one's function to the more general goals of the law library and of the university should be considered in the overall performance. 

Documentation of Job Performance

  • All candidates are required to submit their most current performance evaluations; earlier evaluations may be submitted if desired.
  • Documentation should include items covering at least the minimum number of years required for the rank sought.
  • Other evidence of effective job performance may include, but are not limited to:
  1. Letters or other documentation from colleagues, subordinates, or supervisors inside the library profession.
  2. Letters or other documentation from students, faculty, or other law library users.
  3. Letters or other documentation from sources outside the profession.

2. Service to the Law Library, Law School, Legal Community, University Libraries, or the University

  • The quality and extent of contributions to the law library and the law school as a whole will merit consideration for promotion.
  • Contributions may include service on university, law school or Law Library governing bodies or committees or projects or involvement in any other way that would further the objectives of the university or the Law Library.
  • Examples include but are not limited to:
  1. participation in the development and training of staff,
  2. serving as a Law Library team leader or member,
  3. providing Law Library orientation sessions, and
  4. participating  in continuing legal education seminars.

Documentation of Service

  • Documentation should include items covering at least the minimum number of years required for the rank sought.
  • Evidence of service may include, but is not limited to:
  1. Brief descriptions of teams, committees, governing bodies, projects, workshops, or programs with copies of any reports or results appended
  2. Letters or other documentation from faculty, students, or other law library users
  3. Letters or other documentation from colleagues, subordinates, or supervisors
  4. Letters or other documentation from sources outside the profession.

3. Professional Activities

  • Participation in professional activities on the local, state, regional, and national levels will be considered in determining appointment and promotion.
  • Examples of such participation include:
    • active involvement in professional and learned societies as a member, committee member or officer, as well as attendance at professional, scholarly, or technical meetings, workshops, and conferences;
    • consulting services to other libraries or academic institutions;
    • service as a professional advisor to special programs or projects sponsored by scholarly organizations, consortia, or interdisciplinary academic groups; and
    • outstanding achievements or promise as evidenced by awards, fellowships, grants, teaching and lecturing, and editorial activity.
  • Professional activities also include continuing education. Examples are:
    • obtaining an additional advanced degree;
    • completion of advanced courses relevant to law librarianship or courses relevant to the candidate's position;
    • participation in continuing education programs including professional short courses, seminars, workshops, lectures, or conferences;
    • acquisition of additional skills relevant to the candidate's position such as a foreign language or computer programming; or
    • participation in an internship program or other similar program outside the law library that is relevant to the candidate's position.

Documentation of Professional Activities

  • Documentation should include items covering at least the minimum number of years required for the rank sought.
  • Evidence of participation in professional activities may include, but is not limited to:
  1. Reports or other documentation generated from the activity
  2. Candidate's statement of membership in organizations or continuing education activity
  3. Evidence of courses or degrees completed
  4. Letters or other documentation from faculty, students, or other law library users
  5. Letters or other documentation from colleagues, subordinates, or supervisors
  6. Letters or other documentation from sources outside the profession.

4. Contributions to Research and Other Creative Activities

  • Contributions include research, publications, or teaching in the field of law librarianship or a related field.
  • Specific endeavors which may fulfill the requirements in this area include, but are not limited to:
  1. Publication in professional literature
  2. Citations to the candidate's research
  3. Presentations of lectures, papers, or demonstrations
  4. Participation in other creative activities related to the librarian's specialization
  5. Development of substantial processes, computer programs, or apparatus useful in library   operations
  6. Membership on editorial boards reviewing publications, panels judging grant/contract proposals
  7. Substantial in-house publications, such as bibliographies, indexes, or catalogs for public distribution
  8. Receipt of fellowships, grants, awards or other special honors for research or instruction
  9. Teaching a course in one's area of specialization.

Documentation of Research Activities

  • Documentation should include items covering at least the minimum number of years required for the rank sought.
  • Evidence of contributions to research and other creative activities may include, but is not limited to:
  1. Copies of publications or citations to publications
  2. Candidate's statement of participation in such activities
  3. Letters or other documentation from faculty, students, or other law library users
  4. Letters or other documentation from colleagues, subordinates, or supervisors
  5. Letters or other documentation from sources outside the profession.

5. Service to the Community

  • Service to the community involves participation in activities outside the university that help to carry forth the university's service to the community, or that in any way enhance the image of the university to the community at large.
  • Examples include:
    • serving as a consultant, teaching, or otherwise extending one's knowledge to the public and participation in civic or community activities such as committee work, holding an office, or volunteer work.

Documentation of Service to Community

  • Evidence of service to the community may include, but is not limited to:
  1. Reports or other documentation generated from the activity
  2. Candidate's statement of participation
  3. Letters or other documentation.

E. Appeals

  • A candidate, in the case of a negative recommendation from either the Promotion Committee or the Law Library Director, may file a written appeal with the Law Library Director within five working days of the notification.
  • Appeal Committee
    • Within ten working days of the appeal the Law Library Director will establish an Appeal Committee to review the promotion decision. The Committee will consist of three librarians chosen from either the Law Library or the University Libraries Committee on Promotions selected as follows:
  1. The first is designated by the appellant.
  2. The second is designated by the Committee.
  3. The third is designated by the Law Library Director.
  • The Appeal Committee will select a Chair from among its members. The Chair will arrange for the appellant to have a hearing before the Committee within ten working days of the Committee's establishment. At this hearing the appellant may:
  1. Explain and remedy omissions or inaccuracies in the evidence presented to the Promotion Committee.
  2. Present documentation of a failure on the part of the Promotion Committee to apply the guidelines correctly.
  3. Outline procedural irregularities that may have affected the dossier's review.
  • The Appeal Committee will review the above aspects of the process only. Its purpose is not to evaluate the substance of the dossier. It will have access to relevant records and can call any witnesses that it deems necessary to complete its deliberations.
  • Committee proceedings will be conducted in strict confidence. Voting will be by written ballot, and decisions will be determined by majority vote. The Chair will be a voting member. The Chair will destroy ballots at the end of the appeals process.
  • Within five working days after the hearing, the Appeal Committee will notify the candidate, the Promotion Committee, and the Law Library Director of the recommendation. The Director and the Chair of the Appeal Committee will meet with the appellant to discuss the decision within ten working days following notification of the appellant.
  • If the Appeal Committee recommends that the candidate be promoted, the decision will be transmitted by the Law Library director to the Dean's Office along with supporting evidence. If the Committee recommends denial, the matter of promotion will be closed for the academic year.
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