Staff Resources

Appointment and Promotion of Librarians


Librarians in the Central University Libraries may hold any of the following ranks: Librarian I, Librarian II, Librarian III, and Librarian IV.

Method of Appointment

Initial appointments of librarians are made by the Dean of SMU Libraries in consultation with the supervising librarian. Librarians are appointed to the rank appropriate to their qualifications. Relevant education and experience are taken into consideration.

Librarian I

This rank is assigned to entry-level librarians who have the required educational background but little or no pertinent experience in a comparable position elsewhere.

Librarian II

Appointment at this rank is granted to librarians with the required educational background who have demonstrated significant professional contributions as a Librarian I or equivalent at SMU or in a comparable position elsewhere.

Librarian III

Appointment at this rank is granted to librarians with the required educational background and a substantial and successful record of experience as a Librarian II or equivalent at SMU or in a comparable position elsewhere.

Librarian IV

Appointment at this rank is reserved for those librarians who have integrated superior job performance at SMU or in a comparable position elsewhere with a significant record of contributions to library/information science or academia.



Librarians will be evaluated for promotion based on three categories: job performance, professional activities, and service. Evidence of quality performance of assigned responsibilities must be central in all considerations of promotion. No amount of participation in professional activities, academic attainment, scholarly activities, or service can compensate for less than high quality job performance.

Promotion to a higher rank requires a record of successful fulfillment of criteria at the lower level. The criteria identified below indicate what librarians are expected to have achieved in order to attain the described rank. The underlying criteria for promotion are sound performance in the assigned job, evidence of significant development or potential for development, and flexibility in the context of a changing work environment.

Ranks and Criteria for Promotion

Librarian II
At this rank, librarians are expected to enhance basic skills, build upon their expertise and abilities developed as a Librarian I, add new areas of position-related expertise, and exhibit an overall understanding of the libraries' operations and how they interrelate. In addition, a Librarian II should continue academic activities and pursuits and begin to contribute to the profession in areas such as service on library or university committees, professional activities, or research.

Librarian III
Librarians at this rank are expected to have mastered their particular areas of responsibility and must continue to increase their job-related expertise. Additional factors required of this rank may include: adhering to high standards of service; demonstrating leadership abilities in library or university committees; assuming leadership roles with library staff; engaging in outside professional activities; and/or furthering research and academic achievements. A Librarian III may be expected to assume responsibility for supervision of other librarians, library specialists, curators, IT specialists, and student assistants and may be assigned managerial responsibility for major departments. Librarians at this rank will attain recognition for their abilities at the local, regional, or national level.

Librarian IV
A Librarian IV furthers the image and mission of SMU's libraries while setting standards of performance and scholarship which other librarians and staff should emulate. Promotion to this rank reflects exceptional merit and an overall evaluation of excellence. A continued record of professional service outside the libraries must be maintained.

Procedures and Documentation

The required documentation for promotion consideration and a timeline are identified below. Individuals who are considering applying for promotion must confer with their supervisor and the Assistant to the Dean. Candidates can also consult with the Assistant to the Dean before submitting a letter of intent or at any time during the process of compiling documentation.

The following components are to be included in the promotion packet:

  1. Personal statement of achievement and philosophy of librarianship
  2. Personal and professional goals for the next 3-5 years
  3. Current resume
  4. Letters/statements of support (2-3 minimum) from colleagues, faculty, or library users, as appropriate. (To ensure confidentiality, please have these sent directly to the Assistant to the Dean by the initiator.)
  5. Letters of recommendation from supervisor and/or Assistant Dean (also to be sent confidentially to the Assistant to the Dean)
  6. Professional/scholarly activities – Summary description of activities and relevant copies of any of the following: publications, presentations, book reviews, teaching activities, continuing education (courses and/or workshops taken, degrees or certificates attained), consulting activities, software/media programs created, fellowships, honors, awards, and any other items deemed relevant
  7. Service – Information about membership in Libraries, university, community, or professional committees/organizations. Letters or documents related to such service may be submitted, as appropriate.
  8. Any other documentation, as appropriate

The competed packet should be submitted in paper form to the Assistant to the Dean. The packet should be in a binder with a table of contents and each section separated by tabs. All letters of support will be compiled by the Assistant to the Dean and added to the packet.


At this time, added compensation for promotions is as follows:

  • Librarian II: $3,000
  • Librarian III: $4,000
  • Librarian IV: $5,000

Added compensation is normally in addition to salary increases.


August 15 

Candidates send letter of intent to Assistant to the Dean by this date (can be a brief letter or e-mail simply stating the intent to apply)

Candidates begin compiling required documentation identified above
October 20 Documentation packet submitted to Assistant to the Dean by this date
October 21-31 Leadership Team librarians meet to review promotion applications
November 3 Recommendation(s) of promotion sent to Dean of SMU Libraries by this date
November 10 Final decision is made by this date. Recommendations are submitted to the Provost by the budget deadline as set by the University. If promotion is denied, the supervisor and the Dean will write a report summarizing the reasons for denial.* Once the Provost confirms the promotion(s) (generally in early spring), the Dean will notify the candidates of the decision. All candidates, whether they are granted or denied promotion, should be notified at the same time.
June 1 New salary and rank go into effect

* Candidates denied promotion are welcome to re-apply annually.

Send all correspondence to:

Cindy Ruppi
Assistant to the Dean
PO Box 0135
Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX 75275