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Guidelines for Appointment and Promotion of Librarians

  1. Appointment and Promotion in Rank

               All appointments to and promotions in rank are based upon the evaluation of the librarian's professional performance and the established requirements for each rank. The Libraries rank structure is equivalent to the teaching/research faculty rank structure.[1]


    The following ranks are established for librarians at the Old Dominion University Libraries:
    1. Librarian IV. Appointment or promotion to this rank is the highest honor that the university can bestow upon academic librarians. These are librarians who have made outstanding contributions to the university and to their profession. They shall have demonstrated excellence in professional performance, continued academic study, and additional professional service. Although few will excel equally in all three areas, those appointed or promoted to the rank of librarian IV shall have made demonstrable contributions in each area. A candidate with a doctorate and a minimum of ten years of professional library experience may be appointed or promoted to this rank. In cases of unusual merit, a candidate with the master's degree in librarianship, a second master's degree, and six years as a librarian III or an equivalent rank may also be appointed or promoted to librarian IV.

                 For initial appointment to the position of Dean of University Libraries, the candidate should meet the requirements for librarian IV. In the event of an opening in that position, the librarians shall have input toward the selection of the new Dean of University Libraries and shall meet with all final candidates.

    2. Librarian III. Appointment or promotion to the rank of librarian III is based upon established excellence of professional performance, continued academic study, and professional service, with pre-eminence and/or high-quality contributions in one or more of these areas. Degree requirements for this rank include the master's in librarianship and either a second master's degree or thirty credit hours approved by the university. The candidate is considered for promotion during the fifth year in rank as a librarian II or may be appointed to this rank after nine years of professional library experience. Exceptions should be made only in cases of unusual merit.

    3. Librarian II. Appointment or promotion to the rank of librarian II requires a master's degree in librarianship, a minimum of fifteen credit hours approved by the university, and three years of professional library experience. A candidate with a master's degree in librarianship and five years of professional library experience is also considered. Evidence of promise in professional performance, continued academic study, and additional professional service are also required.

    4. Librarian I. Appointment to the rank of librarian I requires a master's degree in librarianship from a library school accredited by the American Library Association. Evidence of promise in professional performance is also required.

    To be considered for promotion in rank, the librarian must make written application to the Libraries Promotion Committee. The librarian will follow the calendar as given in the Schedule for Faculty Seeking Promotion in Rank found in the Appendix in the Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook. The Libraries Promotion Committee is responsible for initial consideration of all applications for promotions in rank, appointments to rank for newly hired librarians, and also requests for extended appointments. The committee consists of five members elected by the Libraries faculty and chosen from those librarians with rank of librarian II or above with one or more years of experience in the Libraries. The committee reviews the application and documentation and forwards its recommendation to the Dean of University Libraries. The Dean of University Libraries forwards his or her recommendation and that of the Libraries Promotion Committee to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs ("the Provost"). On the basis of all the evaluations and recommendations, the Provost makes a decision concerning promotion and extended appointments for the coming year. If the Provost decides against promotion or an extended appointment, the librarian may request a review by the President. The decision of the President is final.
  2. Evaluative Criteria for Promotion

               An annual review of the performance of each librarian of the Old Dominion University Libraries staff will be conducted in order that he or she may receive full credit and reward for his or her contribution to the Libraries and to the university. The criteria on which this evaluation will be based are as follows:

    1. Professional Performance. The basic quality which must be evident for promotion in academic rank is the ability to perform at a high professional level in areas which contribute to the educational and research mission of the university such as reference service, collection development, management, bibliographic organization and control. Each librarian should have the maximum possible latitude in fulfilling these responsibilities.

      Demonstration of high standards of professionalism should include:
      1. Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of job.

      2. Effectiveness in providing information to the university community and in the development and use of library resources.

      3. Performance characteristics such as innovativeness and creativity, adaptability and acceptance of responsibility.

      4. Demonstrated ability as an administrator, if applicable, to the librarian's position description.

                 Additional evidence for promotion in rank may include:

    2. Continued Academic Study. This category includes a formal, practical effort to broaden one's academic base, to acquire an additional graduate degree, or to pursue a course of study related to professional growth.

    3. Additional Professional Service. This category includes activities, beyond those of required professional performance and continued academic study, in which the librarian exercises professional expertise in the service of the Libraries, the university, the profession, or the community.

                 The following activities will be among those considered in evaluation of additional professional service:

      1. Teaching

      2. Organization of workshops, institutes or similar meetings.

      3. Public appearances, such as presenting book reviews or addresses.

      4. Contributions to the advancement of the profession such as active participation in professional and learned societies as a member, as an officer, as a committee member, or as a committee chairperson.

      5. Activities related to inquiry and research, such as writing, editing, abstracting or reading for a professional journal, publishing in scholarly journals, presenting papers, reviewing books and other literature, developing grant proposals, serving as a member of a team of experts, review committee or similar body, developing or applying computer programs, etc.

      6. Preparation of Libraries in-house publications such as manuals, guides, bibliographies, newsletters, etc.

      7. Active and effective service to the Libraries, to the university, to university-related agencies or other community agencies.

                 The application and interpretation of all guidelines used in the evaluation of the librarians should be consistent with the principles of academic freedom as stated in the 1940 "Statement of Principles of Academic Freedom and Tenure."

                 The basic responsibility for the evaluation of the librarian's performance rests on the Dean of University Libraries and/or the department head.

                 Evaluation will be based on the aforementioned criteria with evidence supplied by each librarian. Additional evidence may be supplied by request of the Libraries Promotion Committee. The evaluation process will conform with the Administrative and Professional Faculty Performance Appraisal policy as stated in the latest edition of the Administrative and Professional Faculty Guidebook.

  3. Salary Increments

               Annual salary increments for librarians are based on the "Compensation and Human Resources Administration Plan for Administrative and Professional Faculty" in the latest edition of the Administrative and Professional Faculty Guidebook. Initial recommendations for salary increments are made by the Dean of University Libraries, who determines the salary increments from information supplied by the librarian's supervisor. The salary increments for librarians are within the total salary budget assigned to the Libraries by the Provost. After being notified by the Dean of University Libraries of the salary increment, any librarian may request that the salary decision be reviewed by the Provost. The decision of the Provost is final.

  4. Grievance Policy

               Grievance policy and procedures for librarians follow the "Faculty Grievance Policy" as found in the latest edition of the Teaching and Research Faculty Handbook.

  5. Renewal and Non-Renewal of Appointments

               Two types of appointments are normally awarded to librarians: (1) annual appointment, and (2) extended appointment.

    1. Annual Appointment. The Dean of University Libraries recommends to the President or his or her designee all librarian appointments, either initial appointment or renewal. For renewal, the Dean of University Libraries writes each individual a letter in early spring indicating intent to recommend same. Prior to the beginning date of employment or normally during the month of June for renewal appointment, each individual is sent a "Notice of Appointment."

    2. Extended Appointment. The main purpose of the extended appointment is to provide and protect academic freedom and job security for librarians. The extended appointment is a pledge by the university of continuing employment to a librarian for a period of three years. The extended appointment is not a pledge of a specific administrative position or job assignment. Annual salary for each year of the extended appointment shall be in accordance with section III, Salary Increments. Changes in rank or position shall not affect the extended appointment.

      The terms of the extended appointment are as follows:
      1. Librarians at the librarian I rank are not eligible for extended appointment.

      2. Librarians at the librarian II or III ranks are eligible for extended appointment after five full years of service in the Libraries.

      3. Librarians at the librarian IV rank are eligible for extended appointment after two full years of service in the Libraries.

                 The Libraries Promotion Committee considers the applications for extended appointments using the same criteria as stated in section II, Evaluative Criteria for Promotion. The committee will recommend to the Dean of University Libraries that the librarian be considered for an extended appointment or that the librarian remain on an annual appointment basis.

    3. Resignation and Release from Appointment. The obligation to give due notice of termination of employment is reciprocal. A librarian, as part of his or her responsibility to the university and the profession, should make every effort to give Libraries administration adequate time to find a replacement if he or she desires to leave Old Dominion University. Release from a notice of appointment will be granted by the university only in exceptional cases, normally involving circumstances beyond the individual's control. In the case of a librarian who has signed a reappointment notice, release from appointment to take another position will be considered if (1) the offer of or the invitation to apply for another position did not come as a result of any solicitation or encouragement by the librarian, or (2) the position in question represents an opportunity for significant professional advancement.

                 When a librarian is unable to complete the term of service specified in the "Notice of Appointment," he or she must request release from the terms of that appointment. To request a release from appointment, the librarian should submit a letter to the Dean of University Libraries for his or her review and approval. The letter should state the reason for the release, the release date and the last actual working day, if remaining annual leave must be utilized. A minimum of 30 days' notice, in addition to accrued leave, is expected.

                 Release from appointment is recommended by the Dean of University Libraries and is subject to the approval of the Provost or his or her designee.

                 A librarian may voluntarily resign from his or her appointment by June 30. A minimum of 30 days' notice, in addition to any accrued leave days, is expected. The letter of resignation, including the reason for and the effective date of resignation, should be sent to the Dean of University Libraries.

    4. Non-Renewal of Appointment. The Dean of University Libraries may recommend the non-renewal of appointment for the librarian whose evaluated performance is below acceptable professional standards. Said recommendation is made by the Dean of University Libraries to the Provost or his or her designee in accordance with the following timetable as found in the policy on Administrative and Professional Faculty in the latest edition of the Administrative and Professional Faculty Guidebook:

      1. At least ninety (90) days for librarians in their first twenty-four months of service.

      2. At least one hundred and eighty (180) days for librarians with more than twenty-four months of service.

                 As stated in section I, Appointment and Promotion in Rank, on the basis of all the evaluations and recommendations, the Provost makes a decision concerning extended appointments for the coming year. If the Provost decides against an extended appointment, the librarian may request a review by the President. The decision of the President is final.

    5. Termination with Cause. The procedures for termination with cause for librarians follow the procedures for "Notice of Termination of Administrative and Professional Faculty Members" holding rank without departmental designation as found in the policy on Administrative and Professional Faculty in the latest edition of the Administrative and Professional Faculty Guidebook.

- Approved by the Board of Visitors
June 14, 1979; Revised June 20, 1991;
Revised June 13, 2013 (eff. 7/1/13)
Transitioned to University-Level Policy
December 10, 2021
Revised and Approved by the President
May 16, 2022



[1] See the "Policy on Academic Rank and Criteria for Ranks."


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