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Smathers Libraries Career Development Handbook

V. Professional Development Program

University of Florida Libraries provide staff with a diverse development program that includes a range of formal and informal activities designed to encourage communication, expand skills, address professional issues and generally heighten the work experience. Participation in any growth opportunity requires the approval of the appropriate supervisor and/or department chair.

1. Growth Opportunities.
Librarians are responsible for their professional development and must demonstrate professional achievement through scholarly or professional accomplishments to attain tenure and promotion. The Libraries will play a collaborative role in helping untenured Librarians reach their goals.
  • Early in their career, librarians should shape a professional plan that focuses on their areas of specialization and that will help them achieve the three criteria requirements for accomplishing tenure and promotion: 1) Professional responsibility and working relationships; 2) Professional development and scholarship; 3) Service to the Library, the University, and the Profession.
  • Department chairs and Library Human Resources can offer sound guidance concerning career direction and help untenured librarians find a mentor or mentor program.
  • Experienced library faculty can help untenured librarians refine ideas for publication or for grant proposals and provide advice and guidance about how to become involved in professional activities.
  • Librarians are encouraged to participate actively through membership and committee appointments in state and national professional organizations.
  • University of Florida’s Division of Sponsored Research can assist library faculty in identifying sources of grant funding and in developing research proposals to funding agencies.

1.1  Research Assignments (Agreement: Article 9).
To support progress toward tenure and promotion, librarians may engage in research assignments that demonstrate evidence of outstanding achievement in the area of professional development and scholarship.
  • For example, librarians might identify a research topic or problem, perform research, and publish or present the results in a peer-reviewed publication or at a state or national conference.
  • Librarians may negotiate research time with their chair or supervisor and could be granted up to 10% release time per month during a semester. The research project will be included in the librarian’s annual assignment.
  • When the librarian wishes to take more than 10% research time, they must negotiate the release time with their director and fill out the Research Proposal Form. In the Research Proposal Form and in their Annual Assignment, the librarian will formalize the agreement and outline their research intentions and product.

1.2 University Coursework (Agreement: Article 22.2).
Library faculty may take up to six semester hours tuition-free per term.
  • Flex time can be arranged for most positions with approval of the appropriate supervisor and/or department chair.
  • Fee waver applications

1.3 Skills Courses.
Librarians are encouraged to attend courses, workshops or institutes aimed at increasing various types of skills; e.g. computer or information technology skills.
  • The Libraries, the University’s Division of Human Resources, and the Faculty Support Center offer courses that are well publicized throughout the year.
  • Local, regional and national organizations also offer relevant courses.

1.4 Committee Assignments.
Librarians are expected to participate actively on planning, advisory, decision-making and other types of Library and University committees.
  • Librarians are eligible, as faculty, to serve in the University Senate and on most University committees. Each year librarians are given an opportunity to serve voluntarily on University committees or to nominate other faculty members. Numerous library-wide or departmental committees (e.g. search and screen committees, policy committees, coordinating committees, or ad hoc problem solving committees) and administrative groups at various levels offer librarians opportunities to become more involved in and provide service to the Libraries.
  • Librarians interested in serving on committees to which librarians are nominated (versus being elected) are advised to pursue nomination by discussing their interest with department chairs or other appropriate persons.

1.5 Professional Travel (Agreement: Article 21.1).
Librarians are encouraged to broaden their knowledge of issues and expand their educational horizons, and to contribute to librarianship through professional organizations by:
  • Presenting papers, serving as organizational officers, working on committees, serving as panel moderators or members, and by attending workshops and meetings related to librarianship or an appropriate subject discipline.
  • Limited travel funds are available through the Libraries to help support these staff development purposes. (See Appendix 16 for further information on the staff development travel program.)

1.6 Professional Development/Sabbatical Leave (F.A.C. 6C1-7.029(7), Agreement: Article 22.1/22.3).
  • Non-tenure accruing staff may be eligible for professional development leave for the purpose of occupational renewal, planned travel, study, formal education, research, intellectual enrichment, writing or other experience of career value.
  • Some library personnel use this opportunity to complete major research projects that have resulted in well-regarded publications.

1.6.1 Leave Program for Tenured Faculty.
Tenured librarians may apply for professional development leave, as determined by the University, for one semester at full pay or one or two semesters at one-half pay.
  • Leaves may be for two semesters at half pay or for one semester at full pay or equivalent for six or twelve months for twelve-month faculty.
  • Full time tenured faculty members with at least six years of full-time service at the University are eligible for these leaves.
  • The Sabbatical Committee, representatives from the Libraries, determines approval for one semester at full pay. The Director of the University Libraries approves request for two semesters at one half pay. (See Appendix 17 for details on Leave Procedures.)

1.6.2 Leave Program for Assistant-In, Associate-In, and Lecturer.
This category of non-tenure earning faculty may apply for professional development leaves for two-semesters at one half pay or for one semester at full pay or its equivalent for six months, or twelve months for twelve month faculty.
  • Full time non-tenure eligible faculty members with at least three years of full-time service to the University are eligible for these leaves, except for the two-thirds pay leave for two semesters.
  • Eligibility for the two-thirds pay leaves requires twelve or more years of continuous University service without compensated leave. The Director of University Libraries determines approval for these leave

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