Academic Status of a Librarian: Status means the social position or rank in relation to others and its relative importance. The status of the profession depends upon the rules that reflect the entry qualification for the new aspirants that want to join the profession, their future career prospects, the level of training needed, amount of experience required. After getting a job it also depends upon the position held in the administrative hierarchy of the institution, level of responsibility vested, amount of salary drawn, tenure, voting privileges within or outside the institution, vacation, sabbatical leave, sick leave, retirement benefit, social privilege and so on.
At present in India the status of the librarian is somewhat confused and uncertain. However, some academic librarians in colleges and universities are considered as faculty, and they hold similar academic ranks as professors. The following points will throw some light on the overall position of the librarian as an academician in different academic institutions.
a) Entry Qualification: At present the entry qualification for the post of librarian at college is on par with that of the lecturer i.e. Master degree with minimum of 55% marks in Library Studies, Library Science, Library and information Science and, in some cases, a Master’s degree in another field, SLET/SET/NET and at university level, it is similar with that of the head of different departments.
b) Rank in the Administrative Hierarchy: He works at the top level of administrative hierarchy, next to the principal and vice principal at college level and alone with the top administrator such as Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Controller of Examinations in the University level. In case of universities, the librarian is directly responsible to the vice chancellor of the university or in colleges to the principal. The librarian is also a member of a University’s Academic Council.
c) Responsibilities: He/she acts as a boss or chief executive and is responsible for all the administrative functions of the library. He helps not only the students but also the teaching staff. Besides, he / she can be termed as the teacher of the self-education practice, who complements and supplements the classroom teaching.
d) Salary and Grade: The salary and grade of a qualified librarian is at par with the teaching staff of the respective institution. In college, lecturer grade is given to the librarian, in Universities the grade of the librarian is equivalent to professors.
e) Condition at Foreign Countries: In the United States and Canada, generally, the trend is to provide academic status to the librarians working in colleges and universities.
In India, in Karnataka, the Karnataka Government passed a resolution for the librarian to be treated on par with a teacher on 21st July 2006. Of course this is due to the efforts of the Karnataka State College Librarians’ Association and fde credit goes to the Minister for Primary and Secondary Education Shri. Basavaraj Horatti and Shri D H. Shankarmurthy respectively.
Further, each individual working in an organization wants a feeling of group belongingness, as the public librarian are group among government officer, the librarian in research laboratories are group among scientist so the academic librarian wants to grouped alone with the faculty member of the institution.
So in conclusion if we count the academic and professional qualifications of librarian, they are same as that of teaching staff, so the status should also be the same.