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AAUP Publishes New Guidelines on Librarians

January 14, 2013

The American Association of University Professors has updated guidelines for librarians to reflect their changing roles as teachers and researchers. The joint Statement on Faculty Status of College and University Librarians now includes language on technology in the library and recommends that institutions adequately compensate librarians for the 12-month cycles in which they typically work.

It also recommends that colleges and universities involve librarians in governance issues, such as curriculum development, said Deanna Wood, a reference librarian and associate professor of reference at the University of New Hampshire who helped draft the updated guidelines. That way, students won’t enter the library to do research and find “there’s nothing there to support it.”

The revised statement also reaffirms an earlier version’s call to consider librarians involved in teaching and research as faculty members and lauds their role as independent guardians of intellectual and academic freedom. Wood said while she and many fellow librarians at public land-grant universities are tenured faculty, the practice is rarer at private universities. It’s unclear what percentage of librarians are tenure-track faculty nationwide, she added.

A joint committee of AAUP and Association of College and Research Libraries members drafted the updates to the original, 1973 guidelines, which were approved by both groups last year.

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Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

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