Since the first moment librarians were granted tenured faculty status in the academic arena, questions have been raised by university and library administration, faculty members in other departments, and non-academics as to why they were given the opportunity to achieve such a prestigious rank. Not only did the majority of tenured/tenure track faculty librarians not have the standard doctorate degree possessed by most other tenured/tenure track faculty, but there were also questions surrounding the librarians’ purported lack of teaching and their ability to perform original research as required for those tenure and promotion standards set by the academic institution. Sadly, this perception is due not only to incorrect external opinions about what academic librarians do and how they serve their profession but also to various internal library misunderstandings of what it means to be a tenured/tenure track faculty member. As a result of this misunderstanding, some librarians are unable to communicate what it means to be a librarian with tenured faculty status and thus the importance of academic freedom for their profession as a whole. This paper describes some key challenges tenured/tenure track faculty librarians face within their academic institutions as they attempt to grapple with what it means to be a librarian with tenured/tenure track status.
 American Association of University Professors, “Tenure,” 2011. www.aaup.org/AAUP/issues/tenure/
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