Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


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Although much has been written over the years about whether or not professional academic librarians should have faculty status, there has been far less in the literature concerning the ambiguity of faculty status. In this paper, faculty status is defined according to the American College and Research Libraries’ “Standards for faculty status for college and university librarians”. Various studies and situations are examined in order to cover the spectrum of faculty status that exists in academic libraries in the United States, however this is not meant to be conclusive, but point out that there is no definition consistently applied. Faculty status is more of a continuum for librarians rather than a dichotomy, a matter of degree rather than a simple yes or no. Ramifications for the different “flavors” of faculty status are discussed as well as for non-faculty professional statuses, when appropriate. This paper is intended to assist new academic librarians in making appropriate choices in their careers as professionals as well as clarify the definition of faculty status for the profession at large.