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Guidelines for the Appointment and Review of Library Administrators Outside the Bargaining Unit

CAUT Policy Statement

These guidelines are intended to clarify procedures regarding the appointment and review of library administrators outside the bargaining unit.

The principles of the CAUT Policy Statements on Academic Administrative Searches and Academic Administrators Outside the Bargaining Unit apply to the appointment and review of library administrators.

Library administrators are analogous to deans and associate deans of academic faculties. Procedures for the appointment and review of library administrators should therefore be the same as those used in the institution for appointments at that level.

A search committee should be constituted according to institutional practice for similar committees and should be broadly representative of the major constituencies within the academic institution. The library3 should be represented by professional librarians whose numbers constitute the majority of the selection committee. Other major constituencies may include senior academic administration, students, faculty and library support staff, and each constituency should have the right to name its representative(s) to the committee.

Whenever possible, the Committee should be appointed at least one year in advance of the date when a new library administrator is expected to take up their appointment. In no case should acting library administrator appointments last longer than two years.

The Committee should set the formal qualifications required for the position as well as any special criteria. Such qualifications must include recognized credentials in library science, appropriate experience in librarianship and demonstrated competence in library administration. Just as it is recognized that a dean of an academic department must possess considerable education and experience relevant to their academic department, so too is it essential that persons qualified to fulfil the role of library administrator must possess considerable education and experience in the discipline of academic librarianship. Administrative experience alone, whether associated with a library, academic institution, or any other employment, does not qualify a candidate for consideration or appointment to a library administrator position.

The position should be advertised, and nominations solicited in the CAUT Bulletin, University Affairs (Universities Canada), major library and academic journals, relevant professional electronic discussion lists, and in libraries and academic institution library schools. The advertisement should specify the qualifications required for the position, the term of the administrative appointment, eligibility for its renewal, and eligibility for continuing appointment as a professional librarian.

Representatives from institutional constituencies outside the library should be given the opportunity to meet with all candidates interviewed. The Committee should ensure that sufficient time is made for the professional librarians and support staff to meet formally and informally with candidates interviewed. Feedback to the Committee from all of these groups should be considered before the selection is made.

Approved by the CAUT Council, November 1995;
Approved by the CAUT Council, May 2003;
No changes, March 2008;
Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2013;
Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2018;
Editorial revisions, September 2023.

1 Library administrators are analogous to the position of Dean or Associate Dean of a Faculty or School, or Vice President, and may be referred to as Chief Librarian or Associate Chief Librarian, University Librarian or Associate University Librarian, Dean of Libraries or Associate Dean of Libraries, or Director of Libraries or Associate Director of Libraries, or other equivalent titles.

2 Terms of appointment and review for University Librarians should also apply to their Associates and Assistants, or equivalent positions.

3 Where archivists are integrated into the administrative structure of the library, all references to libraries or librarians shall be understood to include archives and archivists.