Association of College & Research Libraries Guidelines for Academic Librarians Without Faculty Status

Revised by the ACRL Committee on the Status of Academic Librarians and approved by the ACRL Board of Directors on October 21, 2011

ACRL supports faculty rank, status, and tenure for librarians but recognizes that not all academic institutions provide faculty status to their librarians. To ensure that their rights, privileges, and responsibilities reflect their integral role in the mission of their institutions, ACRL has developed the following guidelines for academic librarians without faculty status.

1. Professional responsibilities

Librarians should be assigned responsibilities matched to their educational competencies and the needs of the institution. They should have maximum latitude in fulfilling their responsibilities. Supervisory personnel and peers should regularly and vigorously review their performance. Review standards and procedures should be published and uniformly applied; reviewers should have access to all appropriate documentation.

2. Governance

The library exists to support the teaching, research, and service functions of the institution. Thus librarians should also participate in the development of the institution's mission, curriculum, and governance. Librarians should participate in the development of policies and procedures for their library including the hiring, review, retention, and continuing appointment of their peers.

3. Contracts

A librarian should be appointed by a written contract of no less than one year. The contract should state the terms and conditions of service and grant security of employment for the contractual period. After a period of no longer than seven years and through a process which includes peer review, librarians should be granted continuing employment if they have met the appropriate conditions and standards.

4. Compensation

The salary scale and benefits for librarians should be the same as for other academic categories with equivalent education, experience, or responsibility.

5. Promotion and salary increases

Librarians should be promoted through ranks on the basis of their professional proficiency and effectiveness. Procedures for promotion and salary increases should include a peer review. Librarians should have ranks equivalent to those of the faculty.

6. Leaves and research funds

Librarians should be eligible for internal and external research funds, leaves of absence, sabbaticals, and other means of administrative support to promote their active participation in research and other professional activities.

7. Academic freedom

Librarians are entitled to the protection of academic freedom as set forth in the American Association of University Professors 1940 Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure.

8. Dismissal or nonreappointment

The institution may dismiss a librarian during the contractual period only for just cause and through academic due process. Nonreappointment should involve adequate notice, peer review, and access to a grievance procedure.

9. Grievance

Librarians should have access to grievance procedures. These should include formal steps to be completed within specified time limits and effective safeguards against reprisal by the institution, or abuse of the procedures by the grievant. They must be consistent with applicable institutional regulations and contracts.


For standards and guidelines related to librarians with faculty status, please refer to the documents below:

1. ACRL Guidelines and Procedures for Screening and Appointment of Academic Librarians (1977), revised July 2009.

2. ACRL/AAUP/AAC Joint Statement on Faculty Status of College and University Librarians (1972); currently under review.

3. A Guideline for the Appointment, Promotion and Tenure of Academic Librarians (2004,) revised July 2010.
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4. Standards for Faculty Status of Academic Librarians (revised October 2011).