Would tenure pressures in public libraries make good changes?

rudibrarian Wonders Would tenure pressures in public libraries make good changes?

To make clear my assumption here: since public librarians are not pushed to produce in the same ways that tenure track academic librarians are pushed, little time, space, resources are provided to resolving thorny issues in public librarianship. Or so it seems?


I wonder what other magic from academic libraries we ignorant peasants can learn. Perhaps we can finally master the secret of electricity or varmint-wranglin'.

Academic librarians: they're shiny and theys smells nize.


Tenure and research in ALs often leads to having ones head further up ones ass. I spent years in ALs both large and small. The "innovation" the tenure system creates is spotty and of dubious use.

Such things are also ways for an already inclined library staff to distance themselves from their patrons, what they they need and what library staff need to do to make it work.

I found rudelibrarian's blog entry to be a bit arrogant in tone, although I don't think she intended it that way--I know she's mostly philosophizing. I worked in a PL while in school and there is a lot of forward thinking & innovation that comes from library staff (all levels) that never gets recognized, mostly due to a lack of self promotion in my opinion. Not always such a bad thing either. I can't ever see tenure requirements or even a "tenure-like" requirement for PLs--I think overall it would distract from the mission of public libraries.

I am an AL, but our librarians are administrative professional staff. I'm not so certain I would accept a job that required publishing for tenure--it's just not my thing. But I also work in a university where faculty overall have a really good relationship with the librarians. I think there are many ALs out there that do not have tenure publishing requirements--we need to get a stronger voice!

And I do agree with Chuck on the result that seems to come all too often with achieving tenure, at least among librarians.

I have post an apology to rudibrarian--she's not 'rudelibrarian.' I need another cup of coffee!

Why expect the public librarians to do this kind of research? You would think that there would be some LIS faculty members who would want to do research that would have direct impact on the kind of facilities where many–if not most–of their graduates end up working. By doing so, their research could really be used to enhance the classroom learning experience of their students. Not that eye movement/screen studies and retrieval algorythms aren’t useful, but it could be argued that this type of research is a bit more removed from the everyday challenges faced by the profession–and some of those everyday challenges are worthy of being investigated, too.

Just my personal two-cents’ worth.

I posted this on the rudibrarian site, as well

I am a public library librarian, but I have seen many of my academic library colleagues struggle with the process. Non-tenured faculty spend much of their time not only documenting what they do for the tenure process, but taking on more than their fair load of work to look better to the tenure committee. The tenured librarians are on that committee, and many of them will pass work off to their non-tenured colleagues because they can - because they are in a bully pulpit position to do so. The non-tenured faculty are terrified of saying no. And every single academic librarian that I have personally had serious problems with has been a tenure done - the person is burned out, coasting to retirement, and couldn't give a crap about their job or their users any more. Introducing a tenure process anywhere where it isn't currently is a very, very bad idea. And I'd actually recommend getting rid of it in places where it is as I see it doing more damage than good, especially to the services to our users which is the whole reason we have jobs in the first place, right.?

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