Development of Faculty Status for Librarians at Indiana University

A Profile of the Librarians at Indiana University
prepared for the Committee on Academic Status
by Dominique-René de Lerma
Associate Prof. of Music and Music Librarian

November 29, 1968

In an effort to determine the present relationship of Indiana University's professional librarians to basic academic faculty standards, a questionnaire was submitted on October 15, 1968. Within the two-week deadline, one hundred forms were returned. Returns received after October 28 are on file for examination, but the effect of these returns on the general picture of IU's librarians does not substantially alter the image established by the majority. This profile makes no attempt to signal individual accomplishments, regardless of an occasional temptation. It cannot help, nonetheless, but suggest the identity of certain individuals in the summary of those data which cannot be reduced to a chart format.

All information has been transcribed accurately from the questionnaires, but the replies are known not to have been complete in several instances. For example, a cataloger who has a speaking knowledge of an Oriental language will assuredly have bibliographic competency in that language, yet it was not reported. No statistical interpretation is offered in such instances. The results presented here are basic.

Rather unexpectedly, there appeared no reason to distinguish the full professional from the intern. Selection of participants in the intern program is sufficiently restrictive to equate the intern with the new professional in every area, save that of the terminal degree.

It should be particularly noted that the librarian was asked those questions which traditionally provide answers relative to academic promotion considerations (education, experience, creativity, honors and service) In addition to these categories were questions in subsections which acknowledge additional standards for the professional librarian.

Two editorial observations can be made on the general tenor of the replies. The librarians were often inhibited by the standards implied, and betray anxiety that the full potential of their professional responsibilities have not been satisfied in the past. In many instances within several of these areas, this apprehension is unjustified. At other times, it does indeed appear that the librarians may wish to tax their technical and intellectual resources to a greater extent, but that the definition of their service roles is restricted enough to deny the stimulus, encouragement and possibility of this action. It might be observed through this that the professional librarian does actually feel like a second-class citizen of the academic community, a condition which is more a habit of thinking than can be measured by actual accomplishments. Institution of the grades of academic rank for the librarian will give him a structure and a more defined image for the measurement of accomplishment. This will doubtless result in his accepting the challenge to fulfill his potential to a greater degree than he has in the past. Persons who have taught at a university which lacked faculty rank will readily agree with this belief.


It is a matter of policy with most universities not to engage with rank a faculty member who does not have the terminal degree applicable to his field. The Ph.D. is normally the degree expected. In the library profession, the terminal degree is a master's in Library Science. Even so, Indiana University has thirteen professional librarians with doctoral degrees, earned by persons who were not then planning to enter the library profession.

Many of the librarians, after starting or completing an initial graduate degree, have abandoned hopes temporarily for the doctorate in order to earn the degree in Library Science which the profession demands. To a large extent, this accounts for the relatively large number of credits held be these librarians which are not applied to an additional graduate degree, and for the number of persons with two degrees on graduate and undergraduate levels. Furthermore, the responsibilities of library service have been heavy enough that the earning of additional graduate degrees has been inhibited and would not, within the present structure, appear to be professionally advantageous.

A. What university degree do you presently hold?

The following summary of replies is edited only to the extent that European degrees are transliterated into American degrees when the terminology differs.

Doctoral degrees13 (2 not reporting)
Master's degrees109
Undergraduate degrees94

B. How many university credits do you have past your most advanced degree?

Exactly half of the librarians responding have graduate credits not yet included with a registered degree. This figure is only slightly influenced by the returns of the seven (of ten) interns who replied to the questionnaire. Even including their credits, the librarians have a total of 987 graduate credits after their last degree (an average of over 19.7 credits per librarian with additional course work, or an over-all average of 9.87 credits for the one hundred who responded). In two cases, these credits represent completion of doctoral degree work less the dissertation. In others, they, indicate plans for an advanced degree which were dropped for the professional degree in Library Science. These figures do not represent those librarians who, for additional subject knowledge, have audited classes or attended workshops and seminars.

C. In what languages are you bibliographically competent (i.e., have cataloging and/or bibliographic linguistic facility in)?

D. What languages do you read and/or speak with minimal effort?

Bibliographic service to any educational and research institution requires the staff to have extensive linguistic abilities. To a greater extent than any single department within the university, the IU librarians exhibit the greatest versatility in languages. Many of these are foreign born, who had to develop facility with English. Those who spoke this language' natively have accepted the responsibility of learning those languages appropriate to their fields of library activity. A cosmopolitan school, such as Indiana, would find its research programs crippled if the librarians did not parallel the linguistic facility of the entire university.

Replies to the above questions are tabulated simultaneously below, representing 39 languages known by the IU librarians.

European            Bibliographic  Read/speak
French              64             52
German              56             22
Spanish             28             17
Latin               17              -
Russian             16             12
Portuguese          14              6
Italian             13              5
Polish               8              5
Dutch                7              -
Czech                6              3
Bulgarian            4              1
Greek                4              1
Slovak               4              2
Ukrainian            4              5
Catalan              3              -
Hungarian            3              1
Serbo-Croatian       3              -
Swedish              3              1
White Russian        3              2
Danish               2              1
Estonian             2              1
Finnish              2              2
Norwegian            2              1
Romanian             2              -
Church Slavic        1              -
Icelandic            1              -
Latvian              1              -
Lithuanian           1              -
South Slavic         1              1
All Slavic           2              1
All Western          2              -

Non-European languages
Chinese              3              2
Japanese             3              2
Arabic               2              2
Korean               2              3
Turkish              2              1
Afrikaans            1              -
Esperanto            1              -
Hebrew               1              -
Indonesian           1              -
Persian              1              -


A. List any positions you held before your library appointment at IU which might be considered "professional" (or equivalent)

Not all persons in the library field enter the field intentionally in the realization of long-developed plans. A large number were drawn into this profession because of evolving bibliographic concern after valid activity in the subject area itself, or a related field. Others came to Indiana University after significant library work at other universities and institutions. This explains the wide diversity of backgrounds reported below. It might be noted that not all of those who held academic rank prior to their IU appointment have retained this standing.

                    Academic appointments

Associate Professor                Pre-college and private teaching

University of Miami          
University of Oklahoma             Alabama

Assistant Professor                California
University of Colorado             Illinois
University of Graz                 Indiana
University of Innsbruck            Mississippi
University of Lvov                 Tennessee
Utah State University              Utah
Wayne State University             Virginia

Guest lecturer                     Estonia
Indiana University                 France

Library appointments (universities)

Antioguia                     Michigan
Beloit                        Montana State
California                    Missouri
Colorado                      Notre Dame
Drake                         Purdue
Florida State                 Rochester
Harvard                       Stanford
Illinois                      Texas
Indiana (Institute for        Washington
   Sex Research)
Indiana State

Library appointments (public and others)
California                              Maryland
  Alameda County                          Montgomery County
  Huntington Library                    Michigan
District of Columbia                      Detroit
  Federal Aviation Agency               Missouri
  Library of Congress                     Kansas City
  Veterans' Administration              New York
Illinois                                  New York
  Chicago                               Oregon
                                          Library Assoc. of Portland
Indiana                                 Texas
  Fort Wayne                              Houston
  Gary                                  Virginia
  Indiana Institute of Technology         Fairfax County
  Indianapolis                            Richmond
  Kokomo                                Wisconsin
  Lake County                             Milwaukee
  Monroe County                         Others
  Princeton                               W.P.A.
  University School                       U.S. Army
Kentucky                                  Lawson Memorial.

Foreign libraries
  National Archives of Rhodesia & Nyasaland
  U.S. Cultural Center, Sao Paulo

B. How many years of work do these positions total?

Sixty-four of the 100 responding librarians have had previous professional experience totaling 456 years. The average of pre-IU experience for these persons is just over seven years. Mention should be made that many members of the academic faculty of Indiana University would be considered for tenure very soon after his appointment on the basis of such previous experience.

C. How long have you had professional association with IU?

The years of service given IU by those responding total 487.6. The average is, therefore, in the vicinity of five years. The fact that the average is low is due in part to the recent increase in the size of the professional library staff, and in part to its turn over. Three of the librarians responding have been professionally associated with IU for more than twenty years, and another 15 librarians have been with the school for more than ten years. With only the most minor exceptions, none of these has been eligible for sabbaticals or tenure.


A cause for concern by many librarians on the verge of being considered for full faculty status is the extent to which they will be subjected to the "publish or perish" philosophy. This uneasiness is not suggestive of an inability to do creative work, but is based on matters of schedule, stimulus and opportunity. A teaching faculty member is often engaged with his subject area in sufficient detail to engender additional and publishable research. The librarian, particularly one whose assigned duties' cover more than one specific area, feels he cannot afford the time for subject research to make a contribution to the field. 'This belief is misdirected often by the nature of research conducted by the faculty member whose work may terminate in a discovery. Within a subject area, most librarians encounter sufficient bibliographic data to issue bibliographies which may well be of utmost significance and prerequisite to subsequent investigations.

A. How many unpublished bibliographies or related projects have you developed (include internal reports and studies, such as annual reports and typescript aids for the faculty)?

Fifty-five librarians reported more than 930 items in this category. The questionnaire asked for specific areas included within these, but this information has been omitted from this report in this question and those immediately following. Topical details may be secured directly from the questionnaires, if desired. The types of materials included here are bibliographies, indexes, lists of special information, guides and miscellaneous data. With respect to the annual reports (which make up only a small portion of the total figure), mention should be made that these cover all aspects of departmental operation for the fiscal period, and are of substantially greater complexity than the individual annual reports asked of the faculty.

B. How many articles have you published?

Thirty-four librarians have published a total of more than 235 articles. In keeping with the nature of library work, the topics have been related both to the profession and the various subject areas.

C. How many book reviews (or equivalent) have you published?

Seventeen librarians have published 144 reviews in various journals.

D. How many books have you published?

There have been more than 39 books published by thirteen librarians.

E. What papers have you read at conferences and professional meetings? F. How many bibliographies do you have in preparation (include reports as in item 3A above?

Sixty-three bibliographies and other lists for the faculty are in progress by 28 librarians.

G. How many articles do you have in preparation?

Nineteen librarians are presently engaged in writing 31 articles.

H. How many books do you have in preparation?

Twelve librarians are in the process of writing thirteen books.

I.Cite other creative work, not given above (projected papers, recitals, art shows, displays, exhibits of past or future, etc.).

The creative work which was listed in reply to this question could not be tabulated with any degree of accuracy. The activity involved was not always allied with the professional field of the contributor (e.g., concerts, musical compositions, poetry writing), suggestive of extra-curricular talents of some of the librarians. One of the more substantial projects reported here was that of identifying quotations for journals and newspapers in New York and London.

When these tasks are undertaken within the latitude of one's service, the matter of time involved is justified. But the schedule for research is not exactly parallel with that of the teaching professor. The librarian must provide a certain number of hours in service at his job, as his work (like that of an administrator) cannot be reduced to nine or twelve contact hours per week with his public. All the more credit is due the librarian who can discharge his quota of service hours at school with distinction, and still find time for creative energies.

Librarians are not presently urged to publish. Those who do, do it from habit of earlier professions, or because they find it a challenge. Were the librarians to be given the structure of full academic status, it would remain true that all librarians even then would not be equally engaged in publishing. It is naive to assume otherwise, but the stimulus of being able to understand the promotion structure and of accepting the challenge would develop research interests to a new degree. The research might not fall into the area of an academic subject. Some librarians are active in service to a distinct field, such as business or geology, but others are not associated with a particular school or department. These may have insight into techniques of cataloging, information retrieval, reference service, space and traffic patterns, or administration. All of these areas have outlets for original thoughts and ideas in periodical and monographic literatures.

Obviously, even without specific encouragement, many of the librarians have found time to publish a substantial amount of material, including articles, reviews, and books, and to prepare papers for professional meetings.

The amount of material in progress manifests additional energy being expended in scholarly activity.


A. List scholarships, awards, fellowships, grants, citations, etc. which you have been awarded. Include source and reason when not evident.

A very large number of the librarians were honor graduates and students on academic scholarships. Many of these were elected to Phi Beta Kappa and similar honorary scholastic and professional societies. No effort was taken to tabulate statistics in this area or those which follow, nor are reasons for the honor reported here.

Among special scholarships which the librarians have held are those awarded by the University of the Americas, the State of Indiana, the White Fund, the Kettering Institute, the Curtis Institute, Metz and RCA Victor.

Fellowships and grants to several librarians have been awarded by the IU Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, the Fulbright Commission, Rockefeller, Chapelbrook, Ford, Phi Delta Theta, NDEA, the Midwest University Consortium, and others.

Special citations and awards have been issued by the governments of Germany and Austria, the Veterans' Administration, the Hammond Co., the President of Cuba and the Federal Aviation Agency.

One librarian holds the title of Honorary Professor at the University of Bonn, and another has received a doctorate in honoris causa.

A few of IU's librarians are biographically listed in such references as Who's who in America, the Directory of International Biography, American Leaders in the Humanities, and Who's Who in American Humanities.


A. In what professional societies do you presently hold membership?

There are 111 memberships in library organizations, indicating that most of the professionals belong to some basic group, such as A.L.A. or the Special Libraries Association, as well as special subject areas within the library societies. The interest of the librarians in other scholarly groups is manifest by the fact that 89 memberships are held in societies totally outside of the library profession. The interest area of librarians evidently is quite broad.

B. In what professional societies have you held membership in the past?

Fifty-three memberships, not reported above, have been dropped. This fact in itself is of no great value to this profile, excepting for four memberships in the A.A.U.P. which have been cancelled. Most of the societies to which the librarians no longer belong were regional organizations related to previous employment.

C. Within these, what offices or committee positions have you held?

D. How many campus committees are you active in, and what is their function?

E. Cite past campus committee work of importance.

Questions E and F were less successful to the extent that some replies applicable to these were provided under Question C. Rather than engage in extensive editorial revision, it was elected to combine all replies in an indication of the librarian's experiences in offices and committees. The only replies which are thus somewhat distorted are those on committee work, but few librarians are eligible for campus committee work by virtue of their not holding full academic rank. Most reports of committee activity noted below, thus apply to work in the societies.

President, or equivalent 6
Vice-president 7
Secretary 16
Treasurer 4
Committee membership,
     including chairmanships    119

Leadership qualities are evident, despite the fact that few campus faculty groups can benefit from the presence of the librarians in this respect.

F. Cite professional consultation assistance you have give in off-campus service.

In addition to their reference services and other inquiries which come by mail or phone from off-campus locations, the librarians have been consultants in various capacities (bibliographic and architectural) to such universities as Kent State, Lehigh, Earlham, Louisville, Texas, Indiana State, Islamabad, Cincinnati, Stillman, SUNY, Anderson, Ohio, Susquehanna, Illinois, Kansas, Middlebury and Montana. They have also assisted such groups and institutions as the Oklahoma City Public Library, the Indianapolis Police Department Library, General Electric, the Newberry Library, the American Library Association, the governments of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, the African Bibliographic Center, the public libraries of Kentucky, and various school, corporation, and church libraries.

G. What is your degree of activity in community service?

     P.T.A.    10
     Church    31
     Civic     16
     Scouting  4
     American Legion     1
     Others    12

H. How many courses have you taught at IU, or elsewhere?

A librarian is not a person who cannot teach, just as a teacher is not someone who cannot accomplish what he teaches. IU's librarians have experience teaching 96 courses, in both broad and specific areas of English literature, Latin, law, German, mathematics, French, history, musicology, piano, and library science. The majority of these have not offered a class of their own at Indiana, and no implication is offered that they should; the statistics merely reinforce the non-clerical aspect of the library profession. Many of the librarians are charged with revising the work of their associates and to train new members-of their departments in the details of the profession as they are practiced here. The details of these educational tasks are exacting and totally compatible with practices of any scholarly discipline.

I. If you have lectured for any classes, on any campus, as a guest, please indicate.

It is not uncommon to find librarians who are regularly called on to speak on various topics, not all of which are immediately related to their library work, for classes at IU. A few of these are doubtless as simple as instructions on how to use a particular division of the library. Others are on the bibliography of a particular area or, still more complex, on the techniques of research. The responding librarians indicated 77 instances of such lectures.

J. What library responsibilities outside of your regular duties have you assumed on campus (e.g., Library Forum, staff organization, social planning, etc.)?

Within a wide range of activity. 36 instances of such initiative were cited. These vary from planning a staff Christmas party to accepting appointment on doctoral committees.

K. What professional meetings have you attended in the past five years?

More than 189 meetings were attended by the professional librarians during this period. Over half of these were to attend scholarly meetings outside of the library field.

L. Please indicate any other professional activities, experience or service not requested above.

A large number of additional activities were cited here. most of which were related to official visits to other libraries, meeting the officials of these institutions and discussion o f mutual problems. The other activities, of such diversity as securing A.E.C. clearance. co-designing ARAC and administrating a film circuit, only add evidence that the role of a librarian is truly a professional one which normally includes two fields: the subject and the technique. On that basis it differs from no academic discipline.

This profile was prepared by Dominique-Rene de Lerma, Associate Professor of Music and Music Librarian.