Policy on Librarian Merit Awards

All Librarians in the bargaining unit are eligible for consideration for merit awards.  Merit awards shall be given for recognition of exceptional performance of the duties and responsibilities set forth in Article 21 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Temple University of the Commonwealth System of Higher Education and Temple Association of University Professionals (TAUP), American Federation of Teacher, AFL-CIO Local 4531.  The guidelines are issued by the Dean of University Libraries in consultation with the Academic Assembly of Librarians’ (AAL) Merit Committee, a library-wide salary advisory committee whose members are selected by the AAL and the Dean of University Libraries (hereafter “the Committee”).  This document will guide the process of applying for and awarding merit salary increases.  The sources for this document include the TAUP contract, the new merit guidelines issued to the university by President Hart on Mary 31, 2007, and the AAL’s Process of Contract Renewal, Regular Appointment, and Promotion.


The merit application should emphasize the totality of a librarian’s performance within one fiscal year, to be consistent with the guidelines for merit now used by the faculty.  When necessary for clarification or support for an achievement in the fiscal year under consideration, developments during the fall semester of the next fiscal year may be included as supporting documentation in the application.


Nominations for merit awards may be made by librarians themselves, colleagues, supervisors, and/or Temple. Uniform written guidelines governing the process of nomination and criteria for recommending librarians for merit awards shall be distributed by Temple to all librarians and their supervisors each year.  The commencement of the nominating process shall be announced by Temple to all librarians and their supervisors.


All nominations for merit awards should include:

  • a supporting statement in narrative format describing the candidate’s achievements and performance
  • the annual report for the year under consideration
  • a current CV
  • a position description
  • the previous two years’ Librarian Annual reports
  • an evaluation from the candidate’s supervisor(s), and
  • any supporting documentation that the candidate believes will strengthen the application, including, but not limited to, copies of publications, planning documents, acknowledgements of accomplishments from faculty or colleagues at other institutions, or peer recommendations may be submitted as part of the nomination. If work on a particular committee or committees is an essential part of your merit application, it would also be a good idea to get a recommendation from your committee chair.  This is not a requirement, however.

Nominations will be submitted to the office of the Dean of University Libraries and shared with the Committee for their consideration.  The Committee will forward to the Dean of University Libraries all documentation received for each candidate together with a written recommendation on the award of merit, the level of merit recommended for each librarian, and the reasons for that recommendation.  An electronic copy of the written recommendation should be provided.

After consulting with the supervisors and the library-wide salary committee, the Dean of University Libraries or other designated head of the University Libraries shall prepare a list of recommendations for merit awards, the reasons for which they are recommended, and the number of merit units for which each person is recommended. Each librarian recommended for merit by the Dean of University Libraries or other designated head of the University Libraries shall be notified of the recommendation at the time it is forwarded to the Provost or other designated University officer. Librarians who are not recommended for merit shall receive a letter of notification.

The list of librarians proposed for merit awards and the amount of each merit award recommendation shall be forwarded by the office of the Dean of University Libraries to the Provost or other designated University officer for review and final decision. Librarians who have been awarded merit awards shall be informed of the number of merit units and the reasons for which merit is being awarded by the Provost or other designated University officer no later than May 1st. TAUP shall be provided a list of librarians receiving merit awards no later than May 1st. Decisions on the award of merit pay awards by the Provost or other designated University officer shall not be subject to grievance or arbitration.

All original documentation will be forwarded to the Provost’s Office for inclusion in the University’s official personnel file.  A copy of the documentation will be retained in the personnel files maintained in the University Libraries’ administrative office.



The merit narrative is intended to complement the Annual Report and should not repeat it. The goal of the narrative is to provide context to explain why the applicant’s work in the year under consideration is meritorious. Examples of relevant context would be:

  • Challenges

○     for instance: new skills acquired, complexities of the task that would not be apparent to the committee, staffing changes

  • Personal attributes displayed

○     for instance: initiative, collaboration, productivity

  • Impact of the work

○     For instance: on the library, its patrons, the local or global community, consortial relationships, the profession at large

It is recommended that the narrative be a maximum of 5 pages. Applicants should be careful to only describe work that was substantially performed in the year under consideration.



As stated in the contract, merit awards shall be given principally for exceptional performance of the librarian’s duties and responsibilities including consideration of the following criteria:

  1. outstanding effectiveness of performance as a librarian
  2. significant continuing professional growth as demonstrated by scholarly activities such as continuing education, participation in professional activities, contributions to the profession, and publication of reports, articles or other works pertinent to university libraries and librarianship
  3. effectiveness of service to the library and/or Temple


  1. Effectiveness of Job Performance

Outstanding performance as it relates to the Librarian’s position description.  Overall professional performance must be of high quality and quantity.  The candidate should demonstrate successful application to library work/librarianship of any or all of the following skills:

  • organization of work
  • planning
  • decision-making
  • judgment
  • adaptability
  • supervisory ability (where applicable)
  • written and oral communication
  1. Continuing Professional Growth

Including any or all of the following:

  • publications: including book reviews, reviews of the literature, articles in library or subject journals, bibliographies, and monographs, but not written materials for “in-house” distribution such as instructions for using specific areas or materials, guides for student or faculty assistance in using the library, and “guides to the literature” which are meant for distribution to library patrons. These materials are considered as part of job performance.
  • continuing education, including workshops or course completion. The candidate must prove the activity’s relevance to his/her professional position and/or academic librarianship.
  • substantive participation in state, regional, and/or national professional associations and organizations
  • public presentations, lectures and teaching assignments by the candidate, including presentations to professional groups, participation in panel discussions, and teaching a subject-oriented course. Teaching a section of the library instruction course and lectures on specific library functions or collections are considered as part of job performance
  • learning best practice in areas relevant to Temple’s libraries through attendance at professional or scholarly meetings, visits to other libraries, or through other means and sharing the results with colleagues to improve service and process at Temple and to inform best practice at Temple.
  1. Effectiveness of Service

Contribution of librarians to the betterment of the Library/University through non-assigned work within the system, schools or the University, including any or all of the following:

  • unique or valuable contributions to Temple University at any level and to the community
  • service on Collective Bargaining Unit committees and elective positions and University committees. The candidate must prove that he/she has made major contributions through services to the Library or University
  • service on committees of the AAL, in AAL elective positions, and on Library committees

Approved by the Dean of University libraries: November 2007

References: TAUP Contract

Appendix A: timeline

Appendix B: nomination form

Appendix C: supervisory evaluation form

(Appendices are located on the Libraries Shared Drive: Main Campus>AAL>Merit>Policy and Application Documents)

Revised: 11/16/2009, 5/25/2018