6.8 Demonstration of Attainment of Promotion Criteria for Library Faculty

Governing Policies

Section 8, Faculty Handbook – Promotion and Tenure


These guidelines should help the University Librarian prepare promotion dossiers that make the best case for the candidates from the Library, and to provide promotion committees and Deans with information to support a balanced view of the candidate’s application for promotion.

It is generally understood in a research university that production of new knowledge is the paramount criterion for promotion.  The application of criteria for librarians cannot and should not share this emphasis. It is more appropriate and even crucial that a librarian contributes to the improvement of the practice of academic librarianship rather than exhibit a body of research.  Promotion to higher ranks is based on the career growth of the librarian, as demonstrated by a balance of professional and scholarly activities and service, with professional activities holding the largest proportion of the candidate’s accomplishments.

All library faculty are expected to apply disciplinary knowledge and innovation to local practice. However, due to typical division of duties in an academic library, no one candidate is expected to exhibit achievement in all of the other areas of librarianship/professional accomplishments listed below.  Consider any or all that are applicable:

  1. Librarianship/Professional Accomplishments
    • Creative and/or innovative application of knowledge to local practices, grounded on expertise in academic librarianship.
      • External recognition for professional expertise including awards, consultancies, etc.  
    • Project management, grants, or gifts in the academic library environment, including:
      • Scope of projects, goals and objectives, and resources.
      • Impacts of projects on the library mission and their outcomes.
    • Teaching and/or development of information skills:
      • Information, including student course evaluations, that will assist the committee to determine teaching effectiveness and student learning (e.g. class visits, input from students and instructors, participation/use numbers, awards).
      • New courses, activities, or guides to information resources in appropriate media.
      • Creativity in instruction, as demonstrated by local innovations, adaptation of instructional content for local audiences, implementation of workshops, student-oriented seminars, exhibitions, displays.
      • Instructional books or other materials considered as a teaching and/or research contribution.
    • Research/subject-specific knowledge, including:
      • Evidence of expertise in point-of-need support for students and faculty, including progressive development of subject expertise relevant to academic programs.
      • Ability to connect library resources with users and interpret user needs, demonstrated by improvement of services, collaborative research with faculty and students, or user-needs assessment.
      • Development of resources to support research/curriculum needs in appropriate media; for example, subject-based guides, web resources, reference works, seminars, etc.
    • Resource/collection management, including:
      • Demonstrated ability to develop collection resources to support the university’s curriculum and research needs, including user needs assessment, usage data, and collection level evaluations.
      • Development of consortia or partnership arrangements.  Include the impacts of these activities on the library and campus.
      • Management of services from external vendors and publishers, including creating efficiencies in work flow; partnering to develop new products, interface modifications, and contract negotiations and implementation.
    • Access/data management:
      • Demonstrated impact on access to resources, including activities to assess users’ needs and the level at which those needs are met, metadata statistics, etc.
      • Rankings, awards, or consultation roles defining skill level for metadata creation or data management.
      • Level of expertise in project management with data imports/exports, system configuration, or migration according to industry standards and local practices.
      • Scope of access/data management projects, including impacts on the library and campus.
  2. Publications & Research
    • Quality of journals in which the candidate has published their work, including:
      • Level of journal importance—Top tier, second tier, etc.
      • Quality or impact indicators and/or publisher’s reputation.
    • In academic librarianship, identify other avenues used to disseminate scholarly work (e.g.: presentations at conferences or workshops, blogs or wikis), including:
      • Level of importance, scope of audience—Top tier, second tier, etc.
      • Quality or impact indicators and/or publisher’s reputation.
    • In the list of publications, clearly identify works that are peer reviewed.
    • Define the average expected number of publications per year of a library faculty.
    • Identify the level of scholarly contribution to the discipline (include reviews, use statistics, etc.) for works in academic librarianship of:
      • Reference works, for example indexes, compilations, encyclopedias, databases, annotated bibliographies.
      • Interdisciplinary works: Works that apply aspects of librarianship to other disciplines.
      • Descriptive/analytical works based on collections, practices or assessment.
      • Software, interface design, classification systems, innovative processes.
      • Critical or review contributions to communications media (e.g., journals, newsletters, websites).
      • Presentations at professional conferences, workshops, special programs, etc. Identify scope of audience (regional, national or international audience) and impacts on the discipline.
    • Internal research reports grounded in the discipline’s literature.
      • Describe scope of your research, including goals and objectives, resources.
      • Identify the impacts of your research on library mission. Include outcomes.
  3. Service
    • Level of effort and impact in serving in local, regional, national, and international committees, editorial boards, panels, review teams, conference planning groups, etc. Include:
      • Scope of activities for your position.
      • Describe outcomes, service awards, recognitions, etc.
    • Level of effort and impact of service to the Library, Mines community, and the public.
      • This could include committees, task forces, or service to local, state, private or public organizations.
      • Describe your contributions and outcomes.
    • Library/university administrative assignments. Describe scope of activities and outcomes.
    • Development of policies, bylaws, guidelines, or standards. Describe level of involvement and impact on the organization.
    • Outreach, including participation as a representative of the library/university at public events, presentations to public and private civic organizations, K-12 education groups.
    • Noteworthy contributions should be highlighted and elaborated on for the consideration of the Committee. The candidate should explain the nature and significance of each emphasized contribution.
  4. Reference Letters
    • Provide information on the process used to solicit references (how the list was prepared; how many were requested; whether the candidate provided any input; names that were used from the candidate-provided list).
    • Any information on the reviewers who wrote the letters (their credentials and standing in the field, etc.)

Last Revision:

June 12, 2022