Policy E-8

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This is an archived version of the policy. See current university policy here


(Approved: UFC 11/30/76; 4/28/09; Trustees 6/12/09)

Performance of Librarianship duties, professional development/research/creative activities, and service to the profession, university, and community are long standing University promotion criteria for librarians. Promotion considerations must take into account, however, differences in mission among campuses, and among library units within some campuses, as well as the individual librarian's contribution to the library/campus mission. The relative weight attached to the criteria above should and must vary accordingly. In all cases the candidate’s total record should be assessed by comprehensive and rigorous peer review. Promotion to any rank is a recognition of past achievement and a sign of confidence that the individual is capable of greater responsibilities and accomplishments. For specific procedures and criteria for promotion, see The Indiana University Library Faculty Handbook, and campus-specific documents.


The prime requisites of an effective librarian are intellectual competence, integrity, proficiency and a willingness to cooperate with others in carrying out the responsibilities of his/her position in the library. Evidence must show that the librarian uses professional experience, knowledge of appropriate research and creativity to solve problems, improve services, innovate, and lead. Assessment of the quality of a librarian’s performance is admittedly difficult to evaluate, yet so important, that recommendations for an individual’s promotion should include evidence drawn from such sources as the collective judgment of peers, faculty and colleagues, who have been closely associated with or have some knowledge of the candidate’s work.


A librarian who is responsive to the demands of the profession keeps abreast of the latest developments in Librarianship and makes original contributions through professional development/research/creative activities. Assessment of the quality of professional development/research/creative activities is based on evidence of the impact of such work on the development of the librarian and the advancement of the profession, among other factors.


Service is the application of a librarian’s knowledge, skills, and expertise to benefit the institution, the discipline, the profession, or the community in a manner consistent with the missions of the university and the specific campus. Assessment of the quality of service is based on evidence of its impact on furthering the goals of the library, the specific campus, the university, the community and the advancement of the profession, and its effect on the development of the individual, among other factors.


When considered for promotion, the librarian should be assessed in regard to all three criteria from the preceding section. Favorable action should result when the individual has demonstrated a level of excellent performance of Librarianship duties and a level of competence or distinction appropriate to the proposed rank in one of the other areas of endeavor. In exceptional cases, a candidate may be promoted based on excellent performance and evidence of balanced strengths across the other two areas of professional development/research/creative activities and service that when considered together show a level of distinction appropriate to the rank under review. Failure to promote may arise from an assessment of unsatisfactory contributions in one of the three criteria areas. For details on the criteria and procedures, see The Indiana University Library Faculty Handbook and campus-specific documents.

From Assistant Librarian to Associate Librarian

Excellent performance of Librarianship duties is the primary criterion. Professional development/research/creative activities and service are secondary criteria. The candidate must demonstrate continued improvement beyond the satisfactory level in one and be satisfactory in the other. If professional development is the secondary criterion, the librarian demonstrates a definite continuing program of relevant professional contributions and activities. If service is the secondary criterion, the librarian demonstrates a definite continuing commitment to service that reflects favorably on the university and the libraries, marked by increased levels of responsibility.

From Associate Librarian to Librarian

Promotion is based upon achievement beyond the level required for Associate Librarian. The librarian must have demonstrated an extraordinary ability and level of Librarianship which stimulates/ inspires others. Wherever feasible he or she should have demonstrated the ability to direct the work of others, mentor students or train staff and colleagues. If professional development/research/creative activities is the secondary criterion, the candidate should have shown a continued growth in professional contributions which has enhanced the reputation of the university. If professional service is the secondary criterion, distinguished contributions must be evident.