CAUT Policy Statement
An integral part of post-secondary educational institution governance is the Librarians’ Council which comprises all academic librarians, including administrators. Through this collegial council, librarians participate fully in library governance and are charged with making recommendations on library planning, policy, and operating procedures.
The Librarians’ Council should be mandated as a planning and policy-making body, not merely as an information-sharing committee. Discussion at the council should include any issue which has an impact on the librarians, the library, or the post-secondary educational institution as a whole.
The mandate and structure of the Librarians’ Council should be negotiated and defined in the collective agreement.
In accordance with its mandate the Librarians’ Council submits recommendations to the University Librarian, the Senate Library Committee, the Senate, the office to whom the library reports or any other post-secondary educational institution body as appropriate.
2. Duties and Responsibilities
While not limited to the following, Librarians’ Councils should consider and vote on issues and policies affecting librarians and the library, including:
- library policy; future directions of library service and operation;
- library budget proposals, prior to submission to senior administration;
- new positions; recommendations regarding the acquisitions budget;
- membership on other committees.
The Librarians’ Council should review regularly the mission, goals, objectives, and priorities of the library. The council should be charged with their implementation and periodic updating.
The Librarians’ Council should seek input from all its constituents when discussing library services.
3. Composition or Membership
The Librarians’ Council should be composed of all academic librarians, who shall meet as peers.
The Librarians’ Council must provide for the effective participation of all academic librarians.
The Chief Librarian2 should be an ex-officio member of the council, sitting as a peer with other librarians.
4. Operating Procedures
Librarians’ Councils should establish procedures to elect a chair, who should not be the University Librarian, from the council membership. The term of this position should be defined.
Librarians’ Councils should elect a secretary from their membership to take official minutes. The term of this position shall be defined.
While Librarians’ Councils are intended to operate as collegial committees, they should follow rules of order parallel to those of Senate or Faculty Council.
Librarians’ Councils should meet at least once in each academic term.
The chair should complete an annual report of the Librarians’ Council’s activities, to be forwarded to the Librarians’ Councils members, the University Librarian, the Senate Library Committee, the Senate, and the office to whom the library reports.
Approved by the CAUT Council, May 2008;
Approved by the CAUT Council, May 2014;
Approved by the CAUT Council, November 2018;
Editorial Revisions, March 2019;
Reviewed, no changes, February 2023.
1 Where archivists are integrated into the administrative structure of the library, all references to libraries or librarians should be understood to include archives and archivists.
2 The position of University Librarian is analogous to the position of Dean of a Faculty or School, and is often referred to as University Librarian, Dean of Libraries, or Director of Libraries.