Rank and tenure in the academic library

In my previous post I mentioned that academic librarians are generally satisfied with their work. I wonder how much of the happiness is attributed to the rank and tenure status of the position or simply the satisfaction of helping that hesitant student. Even though we are all “academic librarians” our various institutions and positions are very disparate. I know a lot of librarians in assorted public, academic, and special libraries and no two are alike in their job duties. I know a library is specific to its locale, clientele, mission, etc. but it seems even within one group, say academic libraries, there is such diversity.

Of the academic librarians I know, some are considered faculty at their institute, some are staff, and some are somewhere in between perhaps with “faculty status”. I wonder what role this status plays on our level of job satisfaction. The same January 31st Library Journal article I referenced before mentions that there is a “solid correlation between salary and job satisfaction levels” but what about rank and tenure issues? How does that play into satisfaction?

It is very interesting how the issue of rank and tenure for librarians in academia is so different. Is this what makes academic librarians happy librarians (rank) or does it have any effect on job satisfaction at all and to what extent, if so?

Dana Pawloski


2 Responses to “Rank and tenure in the academic library”

  1. 1 Walt Lessun March 17, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    For me, happiness comes from working with the students. I do not have tenure (annual contract at the pleasure of the college president); I do not have academic rank; salary is beneath that of similar positions in peer institutions. Yep, it’s the students.

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