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Working at the Library: Performance and Promotion Criteria

Performance and Promotion Criteria for Yale University Librarians

Yale University librarians work in libraries across the Central, West, Medical, and Science campuses, to build, manage, and provide access to a rich and unique record of human thought and creativity. They demonstrate flexibility, creativity, and imagination in their work and adapt to and help shape a continuously evolving work environment.  Yale librarians provide consistently high quality service to the University, and help meet the needs of the local, national, and international teaching and research communities.

This document should be the cornerstone of an ongoing discussion between librarians, their supervisors, and department heads, if appropriate, that begins the first day of a librarian’s career at Yale.

I.PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS FOR LIBRARIANS                                              

  Yale University librarians are evaluated in three general areas -- "Job Performance and Professional Growth," "Service to the Library, University, and/or Community" and "Professional Contributions.”  Job Performance and Professional Growth is the most important area.  Superlative performance in either of the other two does not compensate for unsatisfactory or inconsistent performance of job duties. 

An individual's performance is evaluated in each area against representative criteria, provided below, for determining merit salary increases and promotion. The criteria are neither inclusive nor exclusive; their applicability and relative importance to any specific position will vary, depending upon the individual's rank and the nature of his or her responsibilities.


Librarians are expected to demonstrate excellence in meeting their position responsibilities, as defined by their job description and annual goals.

They are expected to grow professionally and remain current with the literature, trends, skills, and knowledge relevant to their fields.  Representative activities that demonstrate growth include, but are not limited to:

  • learning plan activities
  • reading discussion or investigative groups
  • mentoring programs
  • continuing education
  • attending conferences
  • course work towards a degree
  • auditing relevant university courses

Their accomplishments are further evaluated against the following criteria:

For all Librarians:

Job Knowledge

Demonstrates understanding of the objectives, duties, and responsibilities of the job and how they contribute to the successful work of the department and library.


Takes responsibility for fulfilling job duties, demonstrating consistently high quality work, productive output within the framework of the position, thoroughness in executing plans or projects, and the ability to coordinate a variety of activities successfully within set deadlines. 


Communicates effectively orally and in writing and ensures that key issues are addressed and important information shared in a timely manner, both inside and outside the department, as appropriate. 

Customer Service

Consistently demonstrates respect, responsiveness, and professionalism while providing superior service for customers, internal and external. 


Collaborates with others within the library and across the university to achieve common goals and forms effective working relationships with staff at all ranks.


Provides direction and motivation through open communication, modeling of best practices, and openness to change.


Acquires new knowledge and skills that contribute to individual and organizational growth, and may contribute to advancement of the profession.


Listens carefully, displays sensitivity to the views of others and encourages an inclusive environment.


For Supervisors:

Managing Employee Performance

Communicates regularly with staff members throughout the year to set goals and offer constructive feedback about performance.  Encourages, and provides advice about, development and growth opportunities.

Effective Delegation

Equitably delegates work to enable the department to accomplish its goals.

Programmatic and Administrative Leadership

Provides overall direction and vision for a unit or sub-unit, in line with the goals of the Library and University.  Creates opportunities for staff to develop and implement new ideas.  Demonstrates effectiveness in administration, including hiring, financial oversight, and conducting meetings.



Librarians are expected to contribute service to the Library.  Recognition will be given for service that falls outside of specific job responsibilities but furthers the mission of the Library.  Such activities may include active participation on committees, task forces, reading discussion groups, or investigative groups. Other contributions may involve work outside one’s immediate department in such areas as technical services, collection development, reference services, research education, or digital initiatives. Recognition will also be given to librarians who develop proposals for improving policies, processes, and services. Significant contributions to outreach activities such as exhibits, tours, open houses, and social networking can also demonstrate service to the Library.

Librarians may also receive recognition for service to the University that falls outside of their normal job responsibilities.  Such activities may include but are not limited to active participation in committees, task forces, and college fellowships.

Yale has a strong commitment to community service and provides resources for this purpose. Community service that draws upon one’s skills as a librarian may also be used to support promotion.

Librarians should choose service contributions wisely to assure that they support the missions of the Library and University.



Librarians are expected to contribute to the advancement of the library, archival, or information technology professions at the regional, national, and/or international levels. In addition, contributions to a relevant field of academic inquiry are valued. Some representative activities that demonstrate professional contributions are:

·         making substantive contributions to professional and scholarly associations; for example, doing committee work, holding office, presenting papers, or organizing or participating in conference sessions and programs

·         building productive relationships with professional colleagues outside Yale to exchange information and foster creative problem solving

·         teaching workshops or classes sponsored by academic or professional institutions and organizations

·         contributing to professional or scholarly knowledge relevant to the job, in print or electronic form

Librarians should choose professional and scholarly contributions wisely to assure that they support the missions of the Library and University.



There are five librarian ranks.  A librarian may move to a higher rank by demonstrating performance that meets the criteria for promotion.  Every librarian has the opportunity to rise to the highest rank.  Librarians should consult with their supervisors about the promotion system and its criteria early in their first year in the Library.

Rank                                                            Appointment Length

Librarian I

Two years – must apply for promotion to Librarian II

Librarian II

Three years – must apply for promotion to Librarian III

Librarian III

Indefinite – may apply for promotion to Librarian IV after three years

Librarian IV

Indefinite – may apply for promotion to Librarian V after four years

Librarian V




Candidates being reviewed for promotion must not only meet the criteria for promotion to the next rank but must also demonstrate potential to succeed at higher ranks. If a librarian is unsuccessful in securing promotion from LI to LII, or LII to LIII, her or his appointment will not be renewed. Six months notification will be given in these circumstances.

In special circumstances, consideration for promotion can be delayed for one year. Librarians and supervisors must consult with the Associate University Librarian for Administrative Services about this option.

Examples relevant to those at Librarian I rank:


Date of hire September 1, 2009.

            This Librarian I will have served two full years by August 31, 2011.

This Librarian I is therefore required to submit a dossier for review in 2011.


Date of hire September 15, 2009

This Librarian I is not required to participate in the 2011 review process. However, he or she may elect to undergo review as part of the regular review process.  


Example relevant to those at Librarian II rank:


Date of promotion to Librarian II September 1, 2009.

            This Librarian II is not required to participate in the promotion review process

until 2012.