Perspectives and Images of Tenure-track Librarians <ul><li>Karen Davidson </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul>...
Overview <ul><li>Research concerns & methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research findings </li></...
Research Concerns <ul><li>What types of contributions are expected for successful p/t @ Carnegie institutions? </li></ul><...
Methodology <ul><li>Gathered 3,269 names & email addresses </li></ul><ul><li>Survey approved by Institutional Review Board...
Research Findings “ Everyone who is successful must have dreamed of something.” (Maricopa)
No. of libraries & respondents by size of collection
Geographic regions represented
Age of respondents
Age & gender
Age & tenure status
Age & rank
Age & years in position
Participant highlights
Library highlights
Scholarship/Service Findings “ We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.” (Dakota)
Types of contributions
Types of contributions
Examples of scholarship contributions
Examples of service contributions
Knowing what you know now about your current tenure track position, what would you consider to be the positives and negati...
Positives <ul><li>Job security </li></ul><ul><li>Respect among library colleagues  </li></ul><ul><li>Encouragement and mot...
Positives (cont.) <ul><li>Assurance that faculty conduct research </li></ul><ul><li>After tenure, research agenda can beco...
Negatives <ul><li>Expected to publish, but not knowing where to start </li></ul><ul><li>Balancing tenure & job requirement...
Negatives (cont.) <ul><li>Excellent librarians struggle with writing </li></ul><ul><li>Doing less than your best at librar...
What advice would you give to a librarian beginning a library career in a tenure-track position? “ You must live your life...
Advice <ul><li>Start writing early </li></ul><ul><li>Make writing a regular part of your work </li></ul><ul><li>Make a tim...
Advice (cont.) <ul><li>Learn to manage your time </li></ul><ul><li>Do not rely on anybody else to make it happen </li></ul...
Images “ Words are the voice of the heart.” (Tuscarora)
<ul><li>Librarianship </li></ul><ul><li>“ Technical services librarians, in particular catalog librarians, often have litt...
<ul><li>Librarianship (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>“ I believe that my professional activities to date have demonstrated my s...
<ul><li>Scholarship </li></ul><ul><li>“ The major emphasis of my scholarship has centered on …” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have...
<ul><li>Scholarship (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>“ My publications are significant contributions to the national discussions ...
<ul><li>Service </li></ul><ul><li>“ Service to the profession is documented at the national, regional, and local levels. …...
<ul><li>Service (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>“ As a faculty member of the … University Libraries, I have been actively involv...
<ul><ul><li>Examples from cover letters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ I feel that I have made significant contributions to both...
Related articles <ul><li>Bolin, M. K. 2008. A typology of librarian status at land grant universities.  Journal of Academi...
<ul><li>Miller, B. H., et. al. 2005. Jumping through the hoops: Serials librarians’ reflections on tenure, reappointment, ...
“ Love yourself, get outside yourself and take action. Focus on the solution; be at peace.”  (Sioux) <ul><li>Thoughts?  </...
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Perspectives and Images of Tenure-Track Librarians

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Presentation given at the North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) in Phoenix, Arizona June 6, 2008 by June Garner and Karen Davidson

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Perspectives and Images of Tenure-Track Librarians

  1. 1. Perspectives and Images of Tenure-track Librarians <ul><li>Karen Davidson </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Mississippi State University </li></ul>NASIG Friday, June 6, 2008 1:45 p.m.- 2:45 p.m. Tactic Sessions, Group 1 “ One has to face fear or forever run from it.” (Crow) June Garner [email_address]
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Research concerns & methodology </li></ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Research findings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scholarship/service findings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Images </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recent literature </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Research Concerns <ul><li>What types of contributions are expected for successful p/t @ Carnegie institutions? </li></ul><ul><li>What advice would you give to a new tenure-track librarian? </li></ul><ul><li>How do librarians portray themselves in p/t applications? </li></ul><ul><li>What is life like for tenure-track librarians? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Methodology <ul><li>Gathered 3,269 names & email addresses </li></ul><ul><li>Survey approved by Institutional Review Board </li></ul><ul><li>QuestionPro </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-test and drastically revised survey </li></ul><ul><li>Random sample of 655 names </li></ul><ul><li>Invitation letter sent / Survey sent / Reminder sent </li></ul><ul><li>Received 252 responses from tenure-track librarians </li></ul>
  5. 5. Research Findings “ Everyone who is successful must have dreamed of something.” (Maricopa)
  6. 6. No. of libraries & respondents by size of collection
  7. 7. Geographic regions represented
  8. 8. Age of respondents
  9. 9. Age & gender
  10. 10. Age & tenure status
  11. 11. Age & rank
  12. 12. Age & years in position
  13. 13. Participant highlights
  14. 14. Library highlights
  15. 15. Scholarship/Service Findings “ We will be known forever by the tracks we leave.” (Dakota)
  16. 16. Types of contributions
  17. 17. Types of contributions
  18. 18. Examples of scholarship contributions
  19. 19. Examples of service contributions
  20. 20. Knowing what you know now about your current tenure track position, what would you consider to be the positives and negatives of a tenure track position? “ Everyone who is successful must have dreamed of something.” (Maricopa)
  21. 21. Positives <ul><li>Job security </li></ul><ul><li>Respect among library colleagues </li></ul><ul><li>Encouragement and motivation to publish </li></ul><ul><li>Opportunities for growth, development, and advancement </li></ul><ul><li>Eligible to serve on university committees </li></ul><ul><li>Sense of accomplishment </li></ul><ul><li>Academic freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Participate in campus governance </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty status / equal to teaching faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraged to participate in professional activities </li></ul><ul><li>Adds to literature of the profession </li></ul><ul><li>Eligible for sabbatical </li></ul>
  22. 22. Positives (cont.) <ul><li>Assurance that faculty conduct research </li></ul><ul><li>After tenure, research agenda can become more personally motivated </li></ul><ul><li>Interaction with “teaching” faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Better pay / opportunity for raises </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation to remain active in the profession </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages a broader perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges one to “stretch” knowledge, skills, & interests </li></ul><ul><li>Support from library for travel and time </li></ul><ul><li>Both library & profession benefit </li></ul><ul><li>Develop an area specific expertise </li></ul>
  23. 23. Negatives <ul><li>Expected to publish, but not knowing where to start </li></ul><ul><li>Balancing tenure & job requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Requires personal commitment of money and time </li></ul><ul><li>Amount of work not commensurate with the compensation </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of support in time for research </li></ul><ul><li>Library school does not prepare one for a tenure track position </li></ul><ul><li>No mentoring program for junior faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Stress of possibly not getting tenure and job termination </li></ul><ul><li>Focus & emphasis on activities that do not directly service students </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of job security before tenure </li></ul>
  24. 24. Negatives (cont.) <ul><li>Excellent librarians struggle with writing </li></ul><ul><li>Doing less than your best at librarianship because of pressure to publish </li></ul><ul><li>Extensive documentation required every year </li></ul><ul><li>Lose good librarians because they don’t make tenure </li></ul><ul><li>Too many sub-standard publications </li></ul><ul><li>Stressful / frightening </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to become complacent after tenure </li></ul><ul><li>Tenure guidelines often subject to interpretation and bias </li></ul><ul><li>Being required to publish instead of encouraged </li></ul><ul><li>Fitting library work into the faculty model of tenure </li></ul><ul><li>Reviewing p/t packets knowing a person’s career is on the line </li></ul>
  25. 25. What advice would you give to a librarian beginning a library career in a tenure-track position? “ You must live your life from beginning to end; no one else can do it for you.” (Hopi)
  26. 26. Advice <ul><li>Start writing early </li></ul><ul><li>Make writing a regular part of your work </li></ul><ul><li>Make a timeline with milestones & update annually </li></ul><ul><li>Publish in refereed journals </li></ul><ul><li>Learn your organization’s culture </li></ul><ul><li>Most projects can get published somewhere </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize the position is not 9-5. Scholarship takes place in the evenings & on weekends </li></ul><ul><li>Find a mentor </li></ul><ul><li>Take the time to do research & service well </li></ul><ul><li>Learn as much as you can about tenure expectations & support </li></ul><ul><li>Set up a research schedule </li></ul><ul><li>Keep focused on tenurable activities </li></ul><ul><li>Get involved in associations right away </li></ul><ul><li>Have a positive attitude about research </li></ul><ul><li>Establish reasonable goals & priorities </li></ul>
  27. 27. Advice (cont.) <ul><li>Learn to manage your time </li></ul><ul><li>Do not rely on anybody else to make it happen </li></ul><ul><li>Learn your job & spend as much time as possible toward tenure activities </li></ul><ul><li>Team up with colleagues on projects </li></ul><ul><li>Utilize your colleagues to good effect </li></ul><ul><li>Watch for research & service opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Choose research topics of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Keep everything </li></ul><ul><li>Do not let it scare you, work steadily </li></ul><ul><li>Accept the reality of tenure & devote the time/money that is necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Use research done in graduate school </li></ul><ul><li>Begin networking early </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how to balance work and personal time </li></ul><ul><li>Tenure is not easy, but there are rewards </li></ul>
  28. 28. Images “ Words are the voice of the heart.” (Tuscarora)
  29. 29. <ul><li>Librarianship </li></ul><ul><li>“ Technical services librarians, in particular catalog librarians, often have little contact with the public, yet they perform one of the most important functions in the library: cataloging and providing access to the materials in the collections. Without catalogers the institution’s collections would be a largely unorganized and inaccessible mass of materials. Catalog librarians create intellectual access to materials so that users of the library can identify and find what they need for their academic and scholarly work. The work of the catalog librarian in creating the content of the online catalog is essential to the successful functioning of the institution. “ </li></ul><ul><li>“ I contribute original bibliographic records to OCLC WorldCat, a large international database of bibliographic records. The cataloging records I create and contribute to OCLC become available immediately for use by other institutions enabling them to avoid duplicating the creation of cataloging records.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have demonstrated a sustained pattern of growth in leadership, management and service to the University of … and the profession. I have augmented to scholarship of instruction and have made significant contributions to improve the practice of library instruction.” </li></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Librarianship (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>“ I believe that my professional activities to date have demonstrated my strong commitment to academic librarianship, and that I am developing a national reputation in the field, as evidenced by ….” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Maintains a current awareness of both national and international trends in librarianship.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Maintains active knowledge of reference and information sources in all formats.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have consistently purchased materials that support the curricular needs of the University.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Throughout my years at … I have been engaged in teaching graduate students and professionals in various aspects of….” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We librarians occupy a unique position in academia that offers many chances for an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge sharing and problem solving.” </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Scholarship </li></ul><ul><li>“ The major emphasis of my scholarship has centered on …” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have focused my research and writing on …” </li></ul><ul><li>“ As the lead author, I was responsible for …” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Since my appointment as … in the University Libraries, I have conducted research and published in the areas of …” </li></ul><ul><li>“ With my new position in the Libraries, my research agenda is changing to include …” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My research has a direct relationship to my practice of librarianship and to my service activities. “ </li></ul>
  32. 32. <ul><li>Scholarship (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>“ My publications are significant contributions to the national discussions about …” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My research on … will be an important contribution to the literature of current … issues.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The major purpose of my research and scholarly interests is to use the knowledge gained for practical applications that will help serve the information needs of library users more efficiently and effectively. I seek to apply research insights to daily practices so that library users are served to their satisfaction and we use our resources in the most economical way.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have built a record of sustained, significant activity based on the scholarship of …” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I built my expertise in …” </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Service </li></ul><ul><li>“ Service to the profession is documented at the national, regional, and local levels. …” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The impact of my activities at the local, regional, and national levels has enhanced the public image of …” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I feel that I have made “continued, significant contributions to the library profession” with these service activities.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have been extremely active in providing service to the University, to the University Libraries, and to several professional organizations.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ As … I serve the information needs and assist faculty, staff and students with various administrative, public relations, and research assignments.“ </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have promoted the resources and services of …” </li></ul>
  34. 34. <ul><li>Service (cont.) </li></ul><ul><li>“ As a faculty member of the … University Libraries, I have been actively involved in a number of committees.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Cataloging is a dynamic discipline, continuing education and attendance at conferences are especially important for sustaining expertise in the profession.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My local and national service demonstrate my commitment and contributions to the Libraries and the profession.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My service philosophy as an academic librarian has focused on the mission of the … to support excellent academic instruction, student learning, and faculty research and scholarship.” </li></ul>
  35. 35. <ul><ul><li>Examples from cover letters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ I feel that I have made significant contributions to both the university library and the campus community.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ These accomplishments combined show a record of dedication and commitment to the field of librarianship and to … Library.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ My librarianship, my research agenda, and my service activities are all interrelated and they strengthen and inform each other.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I would very much like to continue building upon my professional activities in academic librarianship, and feel that I have met the requirements of excellence in teaching, research and service.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have excelled in assigned areas of responsibility, have built a strong record of scholarly creative activity, and have been very active in service to the University Libraries, the profession, and the public.” </li></ul>
  36. 36. Related articles <ul><li>Bolin, M. K. 2008. A typology of librarian status at land grant universities. Journal of Academic Librarianship 34 (3): 220-230. </li></ul><ul><li>Crump, M., C. Drum, and C. Seale. 2008. Establishing a pre-tenure review program in an academic library. Library Administration & Management 22 (1): 31-6. </li></ul><ul><li>Fennewald, J. 2008. Research productivity among librarians: Factors leading to publications at Penn State. College & Research Libraries 69 (2): 104-116. </li></ul><ul><li>Henry, D. B. and T. M. Neville. 2004. Research, publication, and service patterns of Florida academic librarians. Journal of Academic Librarianship 30 (6): 435-451. </li></ul><ul><li>Hill, J. S. 2007. Technical services and tenure: Impediments and strategies. Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 44 (3/4): 151-178. </li></ul><ul><li>Hill, J. S. 2005. Constant vigilance, babelfish, and foot surgery: Perspectives on faculty status and tenure for academic librarians. Portal: Libraries and the Academy 5 (1): 7-22. </li></ul><ul><li>Lee, D. 2007. On the tenure track: Strategies for success. College & Research Libraries News 68 (10): 626-9. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>Miller, B. H., et. al. 2005. Jumping through the hoops: Serials librarians’ reflections on tenure, reappointment, and promotion experiences in academia. Serials Review 31 (1): 39-53. </li></ul><ul><li>Neville, T. M. and D. B. Henry. 2006. Support for research and service in Florida academic libraries. Journal of Academic Librarianship 33 (1): 76-93. </li></ul><ul><li>Palmer, P. and C. Matz. 2006. Promoting writing among nontenured faculty: Seven up, seven down. College & Research Libraries News 67 (6): 372-4. </li></ul><ul><li>Spencer, B. and J. McClure. 2008. Promoting faculty success: Ten ways to reinvigorate your library’s faculty organization. College & Research Libraries News 69 (2): 92-5. </li></ul><ul><li>Spires, T. 2007. The busy librarian: Prioritizing tenure and dealing with stress for academic library professionals. Illinois Libraries (online) 86 (4): 101-108. http://www.sos.state.il.us/publications/pdf_publications/lda1045.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>Tysick, C. and N. Babb. 2006. Writing support for junior faculty librarians: A case study. Journal of Academic Librarianship 32 (1): 94-100. </li></ul><ul><li>Welch, J. M. and F. L. Mozenter. 2006. Lossening the ties that bind: Academic librarians and tenure. College & Research Libraries 67 (2): 164-176. </li></ul>
  38. 38. “ Love yourself, get outside yourself and take action. Focus on the solution; be at peace.” (Sioux) <ul><li>Thoughts? </li></ul><ul><li>Comments? </li></ul><ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>Thank you! Youtube video used by permission. Quotations taken from: Guy A. Zona, “The Soul Would Have no Rainbow if the Eyes had no Tears : and other Native American Proverbs,” Simon & Schuster : New York, N.Y., c1994.

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