Classification and Promotion:
Librarian Promotion Policies
Librarian/Archivist II | To Librarian/Archivist III
from Librarian/Archivist II to Librarian/Archivist III
promotion track for the MIT librarians and archivists serves to encourage
and recognize ongoing professional growth and leadership development.
It provides an opportunity for advancement through professional ranks
by developing increasing levels of competence and contribution within
any given Librarian or Archivist position. While promotion to Librarian/
Archivist II is an expectation of all library professionals in the
MIT Libraries, promotion to Librarian/Archivist III represents the
value the Libraries place on continuing growth and development in
areas of special expertise, breadth of contribution, and leadership
ability. The Libraries provide support for this development through
established career path guidelines, counsel from senior professionals,
and financial support for appropriate training, development, and professional
• Promotion Criteria
• Calls for Promotion Requests
• Promotion Requests
• Promotion Recommendation
• Promotion Approval
• Notification and Announcement
• Promotion Increase
• Statement of Confidentiality
to Librarian/Archivist III is an opportunity open equally to all librarians
and archivists in the MIT Libraries. Professionals at this level are
expected to take responsibility for the direction and pace of their
own careers and, for those who seek promotion within the MIT Libraries,
to do so within the context of the established criteria.
head, in consultation with the appropriate Associate Director, may
prompt an individual to consider seeking promotion to Librarian/ Archivist
III and is expected to serve in an advisory capacity to professionals
in their departments who are submitting promotion requests. However,
it is expected that pursuit of promotion to this rank will be at the
direct discretion and initiative of the staff member.
following criteria will be used to measure the professional growth
and development of candidates for promotion to Librarian/Archivist
III. These criteria are intended to serve as guidelines. Reasonable
flexibility will be exercised in weighing their comparative relevance.
While the applicability of these criteria to specific positions will
vary, depending upon the nature of the staff member's responsibilities,
it is expected that all promotion candidates will demonstrate significant
achievement within each of the criteria categories identified. Consistently
high quality job performance is a prerequisite for any promotion.
Holding the rank of Librarian/Archivist II is also a prerequisite
for seeking a promotion to the Librarian/Archivist III.
at least 5-7 years professional, increasingly complex, and successful
a breadth of knowledge of the MIT Libraries' organization and employs
that knowledge in contributing to effective interrelationships of
library functions and services.
significant expertise in a subject discipline or functional area
of librarianship or archives, and is recognized for it by staff,
users, and/or professional colleagues.
to service excellence
and implements innovations in services or processes which serve
as models for others.
areas of processes or services needing improvement and proactively
knowledge of technology and/or external trends, recognizes and champions
opportunities for enhancements to services or processes.
a willingness to take risks to affect improvements, enhancements,
and innovations in library services and processes.
contributes to departmental and cross-departmental planning, communication,
and problem resolution.
to the advancement of the Libraries' strategic directions through
leadership of key programs and initiatives, utilizing project management
skills and professional knowledge.
to a positive collegial environment by establishing and nurturing
effective work relationships, facilitating group processes, promoting
effective change, and demonstrating support of the Libraries' strategic
professional guidance and/or developmental support to other library
or archives professionals, either informally or in a formal mentoring
a member of the Institute community, contributes professional knowledge
and expertise to Institute initiatives independent of Library initiatives.
to shaping professional practice through professional organizations,
presentations, and/or writing.
to increase visibility and credibility of the Libraries both within
the Institute and beyond.
Calls for Promotion
Requests for promotion will be called for and accepted on an annual basis. An annual call from the Human Resources Administrator will be sent out in September.
Promotion requests from the candidates are due to the Human Resources Administrator at the deadline established at the time of the annual call for promotions - on or about November 15. They should be prepared in close consultation with the Department Head and Associate Director and should consist of the following:
of documentation from librarian/archivist. This letter should take the form of a self-evaluation and should be organized around the promotion criteria, demonstrating substantive achievement within each of the established criteria categories. The librarian/archivist should discuss the impact her/his development and achievements have had on the MIT Libraries and/or the profession, and describe their significance in his or her own professional career. The candidate should articulate plans for future personal development and career growth in this letter as well.
resume. A current resume should be included, which documents the professional’s career history, including any relevant prior experience; lists achievements, awards, recognitions; notes MIT library and outside professional committee service; lists publications, research, and presentations; and, notes other significant professional activities.
3. List of References.
In preparing the recommendation, candidates should consult with their Department Head in identifying appropriate references. Promotion candidates should submit information for no less than five and no more than ten references. The reference list should include both internal references (MIT Libraries' staff members at the Librarian/ Archivist III level or above) and external references (external to the Libraries' and or MIT), who can address the substance and impact of the librarian/archivist's development and/or contributions to the organization and/or the profession. Reference information should include the name and contact information (address, phone number and e-mail address) of the reference, as well as a brief description of the candidate's professional relationship to the individual.
Upon receipt of the promotion request from the candidate, the Human Resources Administrator, in consultation with the Department Head and Associate Director, will establish a deadline for the promotion recommendation materials and shepherd the process through to the review process. The promotion recommendation should be prepared by the Department Head, in close consultation with the Associate Director, and consists of the following:
of reference. Using a standard letter prepared by the Human Resources Administrator, the Department Head contacts the references via e-mail and requests a confidential reference letter in support of the librarian/archivist’s case. Of the minimum of five referees submitted, at least three letters must be received, from at least one internal reference and one external reference, in order to proceed with submission of the case to the review board.
2. Letter of recommendation from department head and supervisor. The Department Head should write a justification for promotion, which documents the high level of performance of the librarian/archivist, his or her growth as a professional, and the increasing impact she or he has had on the organization and the profession. It should address the four established criteria categories, emphasizing particularly the candidate’s professional expertise, commitment to service excellence, demonstrated leadership, and outside contributions. In cases where the Department Head is not the Supervisor, a similar letter of justification from the Supervisor or a joint letter from the Department Head and Supervisor is required. These letters of support may use information gleaned from the references.
3. Supporting material/examples of work . Upon review of the promotion package, the appropriate Associate Director may suggest that additional material such as copies of publications or other work products accompany the promotion recommendation.
An approved, standardized grid for identifying the applicant’s achievements within the framework of the four criteria categories and summarizing supporting documentation of the case must be completed by the Department Head. The grid template will be provided to the Department Head by the Human Resources Administrator.
Upon completion of these components of the promotion recommendation, they should be submitted to the Human Resources Administrator, who will schedule the promotion review and copy and distribute the promotion materials to the review board.
Department Heads and Associate Directors of the RIS and IR directorates plus the Associate Director for Administration, serve as the initial review board for Librarian/Archivist III promotion cases. The promotion candidate’s Department Head is responsible for presenting the case to the group. The Associate Director for RIS or IR under whose functional area a particular promotion candidate does not reside will be responsible for chairing that particular promotion review discussion.
The review board will assess the merit of the promotion case and, by consensus, determine whether or not to recommend the candidate for promotion. In some cases a second meeting may be required to resolve questions or to review further support documentation that may be requested by the group. The Department Head will work with the candidate in resolving these issues. In cases where promotion is not supported by the review board, the Department Head will inform the candidate of the decision and may work with them in developing their case for resubmission in a future cycle.
For purposes of a quorum at these review meetings, no more than two department heads may be absent from this meeting; no substitutes are permitted; and, attendance of the appropriate Associate Director is required.
Steering Committee serves as the final review body for all promotion cases. Once the promotion case receives the endorsement of initial review board, the Human Resources Administrator will place the case on the next available Steering Committee agenda and the appropriate Associate Director will present the case.
Notification and Announcement
Final review of promotion cases will be completed no later than March 15 and successful candidates will be notified in writing by the Director. An announcement of the promoted librarian will be sent by the Associate Director to all-lib.
In cases where promotion is not approved, a written notification will be provided by the appropriate Associate Director to the librarian/archivist, copying the department head, and detailing the reasons for that action..
Promotions will include a salary increase and, in as much as is within the Libraries’ control, will be made retroactive to January 1.
Statement of Confidentiality
Submission of requests for promotion will be held in strict confidence. Only those individuals directly involved in the preparation, recommendation and review process should be aware of submissions.
approved by Steering Committee, September 27, 2001.
Policy revised August 6, 2001.
Policy reviewed by Library Council, November 18 and December 16, 1987.
Policy approved by Steering Committee, December 17, 1987.
Policy issued, February 2, 1988.
Policy updated, February 24, 2008.
Policy updated, September 1, 2010.