(By Delegates Mezzatesta and Manuel)

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to make a study of the need for providing faculty status for full- time professional librarians in state institutions of higher education.

Whereas, Full-time professional librarians in this state do not have faculty status; and
Whereas, Faculty status for librarians in colleges and universities is a recognized, long-standing standard of the Association of College & Research Libraries, the major division of the American Library Association that publishes standards for academic libraries; and
Whereas, The faculty status standard is part of an agreement among the American Library Association, the American Association of University Professors and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Since joint acceptance of the standard in 1971, most academic librarians across the country have become faculty; and
Whereas, Professional librarians hold the degree Master of Library Science, the recognized terminal degree in their field. Many have completed additional graduate study in subject fields; and
Whereas, Librarians function as faculty because they teach students on a daily basis and are available to them for consultation and advice. Students who work with librarians are more likely to succeed in college; and
Whereas, The arguments for the faculty status of librarians on a functional basis are stronger than ever, because librarians are skilled in using new information technologies, and play a critical role in teaching students the appropriate use of computerized information resources; and
Whereas, The existing "system" of employing librarians in West Virginia's state colleges is irregular, uneven and unfair. Most of our college librarians are employed as "classified employees" -- at a pay grade well below other professionals with less educational qualifications, and without chance of promotion. On some campuses some librarians are faculty members, while others are employed in the legal category of "Other," reserved usually for sports coaches; and
Whereas, The West Virginia Library Association and other groups of librarians have tried to work with Central Office officials on this issue for over five years, unsuccessfully. The faculty status bill introduced in the 1998 legislative session is the fourth such attempt at reform; and
Whereas, Four fifths of West Virginia's academic librarians are women, consistent with the national pattern. The failure of the West Virginia State College System to address this issue is discriminatory; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to review, examine and study the need for providing faculty status for full-time professional librarians in state institutions of higher education, and to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding the same; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 1999, on its finding, conclusions and recommendation, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.