Library Promotions Policy

Reference Number: S82-99
Senate Approval Date: Friday, January 01, 1982


Academic Senate Policy Recommendation #S82-99


The following policy statement on promotions for Library faculty is based on:

1. California State University and Colleges, Librarian Personnel Plan, August 30, 1978 (FSA 78-64)

2. San Francisco State University, Promotions Policy (Academic Senate Policy Recommendation #S78-28, approved on November 8, 1978 by President Romberg for two years effective 1979-1980).

7.1 GENERAL STATEMENT. All library faculty members are academic employees in the academic job related category. Promotion shall be recommended on the basis of merit. Candidates shall be judged upon substantive and demonstrable evidence of achievement in the categories described under Criteria for Promotion.

Promotion decisions are made by the University President. The main responsibility for evaluating and interpreting the significance of a candidate’s endeavors and performance must reside with the Library Promotions Committee, the “immediate supervisor*”, and the Library Director.

Within the promotions process, all accompanying materials and recommendations made at each  must be transmitted through all succeeding levels. The accompanying flow diagram clarifies the report sequence.

7.2 TIMELINES. Timelines for independent reports and recommendations from the Library Promotions Committee and the immediate supervisor to the Library Director shall be the same as that used for teaching faculty, the dates of which appear annually in the Executive Calendar. The Library Director shall forward his/her recommendation along with the promotions dossier for each candidate according to the timelines prescribed for the School Deans in the Executive Calendar.


7.3.1 Membership.  The Library Promotions Committee shall consist of three persons, elected by the tenure-track/tenured members of the Library faculty.  Minimum eligibility for membership shall be tenure an the rank of Senior Assistant Librarian.  Service on the Promotions Committee is assumed to be a part of a librarian’s professional duties during his/her tenure at the University.  No member of the Library administration may serve on Committee.

In cases in which the Library does not possess the required number of eligible faculty members, faculty from outside the Library faculty shall be added according to procedures determined by the Library faculty in consultation with the Provost and the Executive Committee of the Academic Senate.

Members of the Committee on the 10-month year appointment shall make necessary adjustments to fulfill their responsibilities during their term of membership. In the event that an elected member of the Committee is the immediate supervisor of a candidate for promotion, that member must resign from the Committee during the review of that candidate. The vacancy on the Committee shall be filled by the person with the next highest number of votes in the last Promotions Committee election.

7.3.2 Term of Office. Each Library faculty member of the Library Promotions Committee serves a term of two years. Members may succeed themselves in office, with the exception that no one may serve more than four consecutive years. In the first year of the Committee’s operation, two members, chosen by lot, will serve terms of a single year in order to provide for staggered terms. Thereafter, annual elections shall be held each spring to fill vacancies for the following academic year.

In the event that a member resigns, or is unable to fulfill his/her term of membership, the person with the next highest number of votes in the last Promotions Committee election shall fill the unfinished term.  If there is no available elected alternate, the Promotions Committee shall notify the Nominating Committee of the vacancy and the Nominating Committee shall conduct an election in accordance with the Nominating Committee procedures.

7.3.3 Operation. The members of the Library Promotions Committee shall elect one of their number to serve as Chair. The Chair’s term is one year.

At the beginning of the fall semester, the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs shall notify the Library Director of those Library faculty eligible for promotion. The Library Director shall notify in writing the candidates, the Library Promotions Committee, and the immediate supervisor of those librarians who are eligible for promotion. The Library Promotions Committee shall then communicate in writing with the faculty whose names are on the list as to the deadlines for review. A faculty member who is eligible for review may decline such review by so informing the Library Promotions Committee, the immediate supervisor, and the Library Director in writing.

The Library Promotions Committee may receive signed written reports or hear testimony from: students, staff, faculty and administrators who have knowledge of the library service provided by the candidate or of the candidate’s effectiveness in his/her library assignment; professional colleagues who have knowledge of the candidate’s effectiveness in committee work, in team activities, in specific independent or cooperative projects; colleagues who have had an opportunity to assess the candidate’s professional activities, publications, scholarly achievements and contributions to the profession as they contribute to the candidate’s effectiveness in library assignment and his or her professional growth; others as deemed appropriate. The Committee’s recommendations should provide explanations and evidence of how the candidate’s abilities and achievements are demonstrated in and show potential for higher rank professional activities.

Oral statements, if any, shall be taken in the presence of the Committee alone in order to ensure confidentiality. The Committee members should understand that, in the case of a grievance, for example, they may be called upon to substantiate or defend their positions which were based on confidential material. In this situation, responsibility for the confidential information shifts from the source to the Committee which uses the material.

The Library Promotions Committee prepares a report and recommendation for each candidate considered for promotion and presents it to the Library Director. Recommendations shall be made on the basis of a majority vote. An. abstention is counted as a no vote. In cases of dispute, individual or collective reports may be filed as well.

At the time the candidate’s promotion recommendation is forwarded to the Library Director, two copies shall be given to the immediate supervisor (one for the candidate and one for the immediate supervisor). Supplemental materials bearing upon the promotion evaluation that amplify or substantively change the character of previously submitted material may be submitted by a candidate at any time in advance of the Library Director’s referral of his/her recommendation to the University Promotions Committee.

At the end of each personnel cycle, all personnel documents, e.g., Retention and Tenure, Promotions, or Evaluation of Tenured Faculty, received by the immediate supervisor shall be forwarded to the Library Faculty member’s file. It is understood that all such information is available to the faculty member on demand.

Promotions deliberations are personnel matters and the usual. and legal proscriptions with respect to confidentiality obtain.

7.4 CANDIDATE. The individual being evaluated shall be an active partner in the promotions process and shall contribute whatever material he/she believes will be useful in arriving at a sound and just decision. The candidate and persons authorized to participate in the evaluation process shall have access to all data collected. The Library Promotions Committee and the candidate should act in a reciprocal manner to disclose and present the candidate’s achievements and attributes fully and fairly to prepare materials which will be employed in support of the Committee’s recommendation. It is expected that information supplied to the Committee will reflect primarily the accomplishments of the candidate during the time spend in his/her present rank.

It is the responsibility of each candidate to update his/her personnel file in the Office of Faculty Records. This file should include a statement of job responsibilities approved by the Library administration, a current resume, and a description of special achievements that may include participation in professional associations; publications; scholarly work; local, regional and national recognition by professional colleagues; campus committee work, etc. The candidate shall be responsible for including the necessary information to support his/her promotion.

All candidates, including those on a 10-month appointment, shall make the necessary arrangements to be available to assist the Committee as needed during the evaluation process.

7.5 IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR. The immediate supervisor shall prepare a separate and independent report and recommendation for each candidate under his/her immediate supervision. The immediate supervisor shall discuss with the candidate the contents of the report and explain the bases and reasons for the recommendation. Subsequently, the immediate supervisor shall forward his/her report to the Promotions Committee prior to the Committee’s deliberations. The immediate supervisor shall share all pertinent knowledge of a candidate with the members of the Committee by making an oral presentation on the candidate’s responsibilities and performance. The written report and oral presentation, at a minimum, shall be based on and conform to the established criteria. The immediate supervisor may add other categories or comments.

The immediate supervisor and the candidate should act in a reciprocal manner to disclose and present the candidate’s achievements and attributes fully and fairly. It is the responsibility of the immediate supervisor and the Library Director to assist conscientiously the individual faculty member to correct any prominent weaknesses in his/her professional performance.

7.6 THE LIBRARY DIRECTOR. The Library Director received and reviews all reports and recommendations by the Library Promotions Committee. The Library Director shall prepare a separate recommendation concerning each candidate and review these with the appropriate candidate and then shall forward copies of all reports and recommendations to the University Promotions Committee. The Library Director shall present a copy of his/her recommendation to the candidate before the promotions dossier is forwarded to the University Promotions Committee.

7.7 UNIVERSITY PROMOTIONS COMMITTEE. For procedures followed by the University Promotions Committee, consult the University Promotions Policy in the Faculty Manual.


7.8.1 Regular promotion for Library faculty shall be based on effectiveness in library assignment, with no distinction between ten-month and twelve-month assignments. The three promotional ranks are:

Senior Assistant Librarian. Graduate degree from ALA-accredited school of library science, or school of equivalent quality (e.g., in the case of foreign institutions). With a few years of experience and continuing education and training, performs the full range of librarian activities within a particular function of service with considerable independence.

Associate Librarian. Graduate degree from an ALA-accredited school of library science, or school of equivalent quality (e.g., in the case of foreign institutions). With typically at least seven or eight years experience and considerable professional achievement, serve as specialists in a given subject area or as recognized authorities in a broad range of activities using initiative, judgment and independence in solving unique problems and developing innovative approaches and recommendations. Only tenured librarians or those selected for simultaneous award of tenure may be promoted to this rank. Librarians initially appointed to this rank will serve the usual probationary period.

Librarian. Graduate degree from an ALA-accredited school of library science or school of equivalent quality (e.g., in the case of foreign institutions). Top rank for’ librarians who pursue very difficult problems and provide creative approaches and solutions in areas for which typically there are no precedents. Librarians at this rank usually have at least ten years of experience and typically are recognized for their professional competence and scholarly contributions in the regional or national professional circles. Librarians initially appointed at this rank are subject to the same provisions for probationary period and tenure as full professors.

7.8.2 Administrative promotions are granted to librarians who have been engaged in administrative activities outside the Library departmental structure. Such promotions must be made according to the relevant portions of the decision procedure specified below and after review by the Library Promotions Committee.

7.8.3 After consultation with the Library Promotions Committee, the University President may adjust an inequity in appointment rank which is disclosed subsequent to the time at which the individual joined the University.


7.9.1 Any full-time faculty member may be considered on the basis of distinguished and outstanding performance after he/she has been at the University one full academic year.

7.9.2 To ensure equitable treatment for all full-time faculty members, each faculty member, who so chooses, must be considered for promotion when he/she has reached the fifth step of each rank, and if promotion is denied, in each subsequent year. Each year, eligible candidates at or beyond the fifth step mast indicate to the Committee in writing whether or not they wish to be reviewed.

7.9.3 Tenured faculty who are currently employed part-time may be considered for promotion after serving an aggregate time in rank equal to that of full-time faculty members.

7.9.4 Faculty members on leave may be considered for promotion. Time spent by faculty members while on sabbatical leave or other authorized leave directly related to professional endeavors is included in time spent in rank.

7.10 CRITERIA FOR PROMOTION. Evaluative criteria for promotion shall include appropriate academic training and effectiveness in library assignment, as well as a careful review of the following: job performance, professional contributions and achievements, university service, community service, continuing professional growth and development, and supervision and administrative leadership.

In the evaluative procedures, primary consideration is to be given to professional competence as shown in the individual’s academic library assignments and current rank. The major criteria should be applied in such a manner as to distinguish qualitatively and quantitatively between the various Librarian ranks. To merit promotion, it is understood that no one is required to exhibit achievement in all the relevant categories. Beyond the primary emphasis on effectiveness in library assignment to merit promotion, an individual must exhibit superior achievement or service in a single category or significant achievement or service in more than one category. To provide for a comprehensive spectrum of achievement within the Library faculty, it is hoped that faculty members will exhibit highly varied profiles of activity.

Activities while in current rank are of primary relevance to promotions considerations. Activities engaged in while in former ranks are relevant when they form part of a process which occurs, in part, while the candidate is in current rank. The intensity of the evaluation process will vary in accordance with the academic position of the faculty member; thus, promotion to Librarian requires more rigorous applications of standards than promotion to Associate Librarian. Nevertheless, achievements in current rank should demonstrate promise of performance concomitant with the achievements and services expected of faculty who serve at the rank to which the individual is to be promoted.

A recommendation for promotion should be made upon concluding that the candidate’s activities during service in the current rank have proven to be of significant value to the Library and the University. The candidate’s activities must demonstrate an ability to undertake commitments which serve the Library and the University and which exceed the basic obligations required for mere continuation of employment.

7.10.1 Effectiveness in Library Assignment. Knowledge.  Depending upon the candidate’s specific area of assignment, categories to be evaluated may include:

Reference and Advisory Service. Knowledge and degree of mastery of the reference function, its techniques, materials and methodology including teaching effectiveness in a formal classroom situation and/or in daily informal instruction in the use and location of library materials; knowledge of reference works; understanding of, and ability in, the selection process in the development of collections in support of the instructional program and of reference services. Knowledge and degree of mastery of reference and information on-line data services.

Cataloging and Technical Services. Knowledge and degree of mastery of cataloging and effective bibliographic control of the Library’s collections; knowledge of principles of bibliographic organization through cataloging and classification; knowledge and degree of mastery of information sources to provide for effective access and retrieval.

Selection and Acquisition. Knowledge and degree of mastery of principles and practices of materials selection; degree to which the materials selected support the curricular needs of the University in management of book funds.

Circulation Services. Knowledge and degree of mastery of the Circulation Services function; maintaining an effective lending and return of materials operation; developing and maintaining accurate records; and effectively managing the work units responsible for the Loan, Reserve Book, Stack Maintenance and Interlibrary Loan programs to the end that positive public relations be generated with the library users. Knowledge and degree of mastery of, or demonstrated ability to master, automated circulation processes and procedures.

Special Programs and Support Services. Degree of effectiveness in working with students, faculty and staff, in providing access to, and order of, Library collections; in interpreting and enforcing Library regulations, in resolving difficult problems associated with internal operations; in gathering and analyzing data to design or implement new projects or procedures; or plans for physical organization of materials and personnel.

Administration. Knowledge and degree of mastery of administrative theory, management practices, and evaluation techniques. Skills: Depending upon the candidate’s specific area of assignment, categories to be evaluated may include:

Productivity. Ability to work independently within established guidelines; ability to define, plan and execute assignments and projects; ability to master new information and concepts; ability to be analytical, creative and constructive in resolving problems and improving Library procedures and policies; ability to communicate both orally and in writing.

Flexibility. Ability to work effectively in a range of library functions and subject areas, as required to meet changing library goals and needs.

Leadership. Ability to accept responsibility and to see projects or plans to completion; ability to work in concert with and through others.

Supervision and Management. Ability to develop and/or improve work methods and procedures; ability to coordinate and integrate the work of others or organizational components ability to motivate, train, develop and guide employees of varying backgrounds and skills.

7.10.2 Professional Achievement and Growth. Professional achievement as exhibited in the following: research, publications, creative work, unpublished manuscripts, work in progress, active participation in professional associations, or continuous study. No one of the following three categories is to be given more weight than any other, nor is achievement in all categories required.

Participation in Professional Societies or in Other Professional Activities. Participation includes active membership and office held in professional societies, committee activities, participation on editorial boards or in refereeing, addresses made, papers given, and services provided as a consultant. Such participation should represent service or expertise to the Library assignment or the profession and/or status in the profession or respect of professional colleagues.

Publications and Research. Descriptions of publications, research projects or unpublished manuscripts, or copies of said works shall be submitted to the Library Promotions Committee, If scholarly evaluations of the works are available, these shall be included. If such evaluations are not available and if the Library Promotions Committee determines that such evaluation is desirable, it is authorized to obtain such evaluations after reaching agreement with the candidate as regards the appropriateness of the referees. The Library Director, the University Promotions Committee and other extra departmental constituents in the promotions process must obtain the agreement of the Library Promotions Committee in regard to appropriate referees or else must employ recognized professional refereeing or accrediting bodies. The Library Promotions Committee should include in its report assessment of the quality of the candidate’s work.

Creative works, such as musical compositions, paintings, sculptures, films, videotapes, literary or dramatic works, designs or inventions, exhibitions or performances shall be submitted to the Library Promotions Committee in whatever form or forms typically are employed for purposes of evaluation in the relevant field. Such forms may include presenting the creative work itself, a reproduction or a replica of the work, or a description of the work, together with whatever critical reviews may be available. In addition, a statement of how this achievement contributes to the professional growth of the candidate must accompany the submission of the creative work. The Library Promotions Committee should include in its report assessment of the quality)of the candidate’s work.

Continuous Study. Professional growth and development on those activities that result in augmented knowledge, service or skills. These activities may include keeping current with trends and developments in the profession; participating in workshops, seminars and similar training activities, such as computer technology, administration, human relations, foreign languages; pursuing coursework in academic subject areas; travel with educational objectives; or involvement in other relevant educational activities.

7.10.3 University Non-Teaching Activities. These include administrative assignments - committee work at system wide, University and Library levels (but not necessarily at all these levels); special Library assignments; administrative assignments; advising; sponsoring student organizations and projects; activities in developing the curriculum and structuring courses; participation in faculty governance; participation in the activities of faculty/organizations or a collective bargaining unit.

The Library Promotions Committee should include in its report an assessment of the quality of the candidate’s work in these activities. After consultation with the candidate, the Library Promotions Committee is authorized to request assessments of the quality of the candidate’s service from others knowledgeable of such service.

7.10.4 Community Service. Individuals may serve the Library and the University by using their professional expertise or their status within the University to provide non-compensated service at the community, city, state or national level. Such service may involve participation in public forums or lectures or significant contributions to community services or projects. Such service is recognized as exhibiting merit if it can be shown to enhance relations between the University and the community or the professional skills of the candidate.

7.11 APPEAL OF PROMOTIONS DECISIONS (remains unchanged from Faculty Manual pages 81-82)

7.12 APPENDIX A - GUIDELINES FOR CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT OF EVALUATION CRITERIA (remains unchanged from pages 82-85 in the Faculty Manual.)

*****Not to be considered policy until approved by the President*****