Guideline UL-ACG19 Distinguished Librarians (Formerly UL-HRG19)

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose
  • Criteria
  • Nomination Process
  • Review Committee Composition/Selection
  • Timetable
  • Tenure and Review of Designation


To state the University Libraries’ procedures for nomination and selection of Distinguished Librarians in accordance with university policy (AC-10) on Distinguished Professorships. The title of Distinguished Librarian is intended to recognize outstanding Librarians for whom endowed chairs or professorships are otherwise unavailable. The number of Distinguished Librarians per college is governed by university policy AC-10.


A candidate for appointment as a Distinguished Librarian must:

  1. Be a current, full-time active member of the Libraries’ faculty holding the rank of Librarian.
  2. Not currently hold an endowed chair, professorship, or faculty fellowship.
  3. Be acknowledged leaders in their field of research or creative activity, as documented by notable contributions to research published in leading journals and/or books and creative accomplishments widely recognized for excellence; prestigious awards and citations; a substantial record of invited lectures or performances delivered at prestigious institutions; a substantial record of presentations at prestigious conferences.
  4. Have demonstrated significant leadership in raising the standards of the University and the Libraries with respect to librarianship, research or creative activity, service, and teaching.
  5. Have demonstrated sustained excellence in librarianship.


  1. The Dean will issue a call for nominations for the designation of “Distinguished Librarian.”
  2. Individuals or departments may nominate candidates.
  3. Nominations must be accompanied by at least three internal letters of support, including one from the nominee’s department head.
  4. Nominated individuals should submit a record of accomplishments in Librarianship, Teaching and Service covering no more than the most recent 5 years; accomplishments in Research should be comprehensive.
  5. If desired, nominated individuals may include a one-page narrative addressing how their record meets the criteria for the title of Distinguished Librarian.


A Distinguished Librarian Review Committee will be appointed by the Dean, on an as needed basis, and will consist of three (3) tenured members of the Libraries’ faculty holding the rank of Librarian. 


  1. September 15, nominations, letters of support, and dossier of nominees due to the Dean.
  2. October 1, the Dean forwards nomination materials to the Distinguished Librarian Review Committee.
  3. November 1, candidates selected by the Distinguished Librarian Review Committee are forwarded to the Dean.
  4. November 15, candidates endorsed by the Dean are forwarded to the Office of the President.
  5. January 15, Distinguished Librarian appointments are announced.

Per AC10, exceptions to this timetable may be granted by the Executive Vice President and Provost.


The appointment of a Distinguished Librarian will be made for a period of five (5) years, with renewal of the appointment dependent upon the Distinguished Librarian continuing the same high level of performance evident at the time of initial appointment. The title of Distinguished Librarian may be carried until resignation or retirement from the University, subject to the review process per AC-40, or until such time as the holder may be appointed to an endowed faculty position, etc. 

Effective Date: April 30, 2008
Date Approved: April 30, 2008 (Dean)
Date Approved:  April 30, 2008 (Vice Provost for Academic Affairs)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • July 2018 -- Revised 
  • February 2018 -- Categorization changed from UL-HRG to UL-ACG to reflect new PSU Academic Policy classification
  • April 30, 2008 -- New guideline

Last Review Date:  July 2018