Tenure Advice for Law Librarians and Their Directors
Law Library, Vol. 103, No. 2, pp. 199-217, Spring 2011
19 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2009 Last revised: 28 Dec 2011
Date Written: October 16, 2009
This article examines what is required of law librarian tenure candidates and their directors and supervisors to bring a tenure track to a successful conclusion. It is the second of two articles examining the effect of tenure opportunities on academic law librarians, their law libraries, and the profession of law librarianship. Its intended audience is tenure candidates, and directors and supervisors who oversee the tenure process. Tenure candidates must regularly engage in self-reflection, personally assess their progress, and seek feedback from directors and supervisors throughout the tenure-track period. Candidates should be prepared to invest the time and effort that will be necessary to excel as an academic law librarian. Candidates must master the concept of shared governance and understand the institutional culture of their library. Library directors serve a role similar to that of a department chair or a dean during the tenure process. Directors must provide adequate support to candidates, ensure equitable policies and procedures are in place, and apply them consistently and fairly. Regular meetings with tenure track librarians to check on their progress and to provide feedback are essential. Directors must be prepared to address performance problems that arise during a tenure track.
The companion piece to this article, “The Need for Faculty Status and Uniform Tenure Requirements for Law Librarians,” may be found at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1510824. It discusses performance review standards currently in use for law librarian tenure candidates and makes urges law library leaders to work to ensure that these standards are uniform and rigorous.
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