Faculty status, tenure, and professional identity have been long-lasting issues for academic librarians for nearly forty years, yet there is little agreement on the benefits of faculty status. This paper examines faculty status and tenure for academic librarians and presents the results of a survey inquiry into professional identity, current and expected roles, views on faculty status and tenure, and personnel status of academic librarians in the New England area. The study affirms that 45 percent of the respondents have some combination of faculty status, tenure status, and faculty plus tenure status, and that 65 percent of academic librarians do not have tenure. While all academic librarians perceive strong professional development support, only those with faculty status and tenure (and librarians involved with new and emerging areas of study) see themselves having more career advancement and development opportunities. This research concludes that librarians’ professional identities are closely matched with five traditional roles. Four new or emerging roles, which may be referred to as “educator,” “teacher,” “information professional,” and “facilitator of learning,” reveal significant differences across personnel status.


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pp. 533-565
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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