Council of Australian University Librarians.
Summary of CAUL Questionnaire - Local Titles (ANU
Page updated 7 December, 1996
ANU received twenty three responses to this questionnaire: ANU;
Adelaide; ADFA; Canberra; Central Queensland; Curtin; Deakin;
Edith Cowan; James Cook; La Trobe; Macquarie; Melbourne; New South
Wales, Northern Territory; Queensland; Queensland University of
Technology (QUT); South Australia; Southern Cross; Southern Queensland;
Sydney; Western Australia; Western Sydney, Hawkesbury; Wollongong.
Q. 1. Are you still using traditional titles such as Readers'
Advisers, Lending Services Librarian, or Acquisitions Librarian?
- ANU; Adelaide; ADFA - uses "Manager" for non traditional
positions (such as Systems Manager, Manager, Publications);
- Central Queensland; Deakin; James Cook; La Trobe - uses traditional
for professionals, but a mixture for para-professionals (Library
Officer 1, 2 and 3, Short Loan Technician, ILL Technician, etc.);
- Macquarie - where they reflect the nature of the position;
- Melbourne; Queensland; QUT - some traditional titles (e.g.
Campus Librarians, Lending Services Librarians, Serials Librarians);
- South Australia - uses Liaison Librarians, Reference Librarians,
Divisional Librarians. Thinks it is important to retain "Librarian"
in these and in all management positions, unless there is a very
good reason not to.
- Southern Cross - majority, yes;
- Southern Queensland; Sydney; Western Sydney, Hawkesbury -
currently using some traditional titles (e.g. Lending Services
Librarian). Presently revising our strategic plan which may lead
to our reviewing these titles.
- Wollongong - uses a mixture, depending on need mostly associated
with the use of para-professionals in some positions (e.g. Loans
Coordinator, Acquisitions Coordinator).
- Canberra - uses Team Leader, Program Manager, Program Director.
- Curtin - uses generic up to HEGS 7 (Library Assistant, Library
Technician, Librarian, Senior Librarian, Programmer), only positions
above this level have specific job titles (Information Services
Librarian; Systems Officer, Deputy Librarian, etc.).
- Edith Cowan; Northern Territory - generally speaking, except
that we still have a "Chief Librarian" and "Reference
- Western Australia - what is traditional? Uses Manager, Cataloguing;
Manager, Acquisitions; Manager I.T.; Manager, Administration.
The Subject Librarians have titles such as Law Librarian, Medical
Librarian, Business Librarian, etc. One person's tradition is
another person's innovation.
- New South Wales - currently has a mixture; areas radically
restructured over the past five years tend to have the newer titles,
and areas where change has been less severe tend to have the older
titles. Areas with newer titles:
- (a) Senior Library Management (since the creation of the Division
of Information Services headed by the Director of Information
Services and Deputy Principal this year). Principal Librarian
(Library Strategic Planning & Policy Unit and IT ); Managers
(Collection Services Unit and Client Services Unit). There is
no University Librarian, and Collection Services and Client Services
roughly equate with the traditional technical and reader services.
- (b) Newly Centralised Units (1994) - Document Delivery/ILL
Unit and Serial Processing. The leaders of these 2 new units have
fairly traditional titles. Head (DDU/ILL), Librarian Level 7;
Serials Librarian, Librarian Level 8.
- (c) Former Technical Services (1991/92/93) - became Monograph
and Serial Processing, Collection Development (these three comprise
the former Acquisitions) and Database Development and Quality
Control, DDQC (which covers the former Cataloguing Department).
These people have also chosen fairly traditional names - Monographs
Librarian Level 8; Head (DDQC), Librarian Level 9.
- (d) Self funded services - UNICOPY (Photocopying); RAPID (Professional
information delivery). These titles were selected for their upmarket
note. UNICOPY has a Head, who is a non-librarian, and RAPID a
Coordinator, who is a Librarian Level 8, in charge.
- (e) New project positions - mostly relating to technology,
e.g. Web Coordinator, Datasets Coordinator, Public Web Access
Coordinator. "Librarian" has not been used in the titles,
although some of the positions have been filled by Library staff.
This is probably the way of the future here.
Q. 2. Do you plan to change these titles in the near future
(or have you recently changed them) to titles such as Information
Adviser, Information Manager, Director Lending Services, Manager,
Information Services, ...?
- Edith Cowan - changed several years ago.
- La Trobe - yes, for para-professionals, but no for professionals.
- Melbourne - in past one or two years has had a change in some
titles suchas Manager - Orders Section; Director - Information
Services; Curator - Rare Books.
- Northern Territory - except for those mentioned above, and
will probably change "Reference Librarian" when we can
think of something suitable.
- Queensland - currently in process of restructuring; as part
of this, Branch and Section Head positions will be renamed as
Manager, X. All senior positions (some Level 9, others Level 10)
will be called Manager. Will use "Coordinator" for some
positions. Still use "acquisitions" and "cataloguing",
but expect these will eventually go. Will retain "University
Librarian" (UL). New structure involves five direct delivery
services which equate with University's academic groupings, and
five support services, all reporting to UL. Deputy will be attached
to one of these ten, and initially will be Manager, Social Sciences
and Humanities. No specific consideration yet given to renaming
positions at levels below Managers e.g. from "Reference Librarian"
to "Information Adviser", or from "Cataloguer"
to something more generic. This may occur over next year or so.
Audio Visual Services has been renamed Multi-Media Services whichaffects
the titles of staff within the section. New structure will be
implemented shortly, and new names will accompany all senior positions.
[Queensland included a chart which shows structure, and can supply
Statements of Duty.]
- QUT - some have changed - e.g. Manager, Acquisitions Section;
Manager, Cataloguing; References Services Managers. No current
plans for further changes.
- Southern Cross - exceptions are User Services Manager (previously
Head, User Services, and before that Senior Librarian, User Services)
and Library Manager, Coffs Harbour Campus.
- Sydney - although no specific plans as yet, will probably
follow organisational restructuring next year. Although "Manager"
sounds a bit bureaucratic, I can't think of a better word to use.
(I hope I don't finish up being "University Library Manager"
though because I think "University Librarian" is a nice
- Western Australia - may make some more changes. Tend not to
give titles to the reference librarians. Considered many possibilities
in the Scholars' Centre, and in the end used Senior Reference
Librarian for level 7 position rather than any of the many titles
that, for instance, can be found in College and Research Library
News. Used Principal Librarian for the top position.
- Western Sydney, Hawkesbury - may be altered, depending on
the outcome of our strategic planning exercise.
- Adelaide; ADFA; Canberra; Central Queensland (though situation
- Curtin - titles like Director abound at Curtin and can mean
anything from HEGS 3 to the Chief Accountant. We have seen some
advantage in specialisation and the ability to demonstrate that
library jobs are specialist in nature.
- Deakin; James Cook; New South Wales - no further changes planned
at this point in time.
- South Australia - but in 1996 will be reviewing the use of
- Southern Queensland - no plans to change to 'trendier' titles.
Some titles have changed recently on an ad hoc basis to reflect
changes in jobs.
- Wollongong - no further title changes planned at this point
Q. 2 (a) If so, why?
- ANU - to reflect the changing nature of role and responsibilities
of positions, as well as the need to incorporate new, non-traditional
skills, ANU is considering altering the titles of such positions.
- Edith Cowan - at senior level to reflect emphasis on management
responsibilities and skills by use of "Manager" as job
title; in other cases to reflect a restructuring of the Library
into "faculty teams".
- La Trobe - the old para-professional titles reflected classification
levels. This is no longer the case with transfer of these staff
(but not professionals who are academically equated) to the HEW
- Macquarie - all have been under review since March 1993 when
the new Award did away with old classification names.
- Melbourne - has been reflecting on need of changing the role
and responsibilities of each position within each Division, as
well as the need to incorporate new non-traditional skills.
- Northern Territory - shared the same reason as ANU, but would
add that we wished to allow for the changed career paths which
might lead people into the positions and, of greatest weight,
to employ titles which are meaningful to our clients.
- QUT - titles have been changed to more accurately reflect
the role of the positions, often at the request of the occupants.
- Southern Cross - former at request of the previous incumbent,
to reflect changing role and responsibilities and in the light
of the Award restructuring and reclassification process; the latter
by analogy with the former.
- Sydney - similar reasons to ANU's. Also there is growing confusion
with some branch libraries which have designated level 6 people
as 'Lending Services Librarian' or 'Information Services Librarian'
when people with the same title in Fisher Library are level 9
and have much more complex responsibilities. Latter should probably
be called something else which implies their higher status, like
Manager or Director.
- Western Australia - agree with ANU.
- Western Sydney, Hawkesbury - used innovative titles in the
past (e.g. Manager, Collection Services), but reverted to traditional
titles when we became a University. Changes to titles may be needed
to reflect the changing role of positions. Will be looked at after
completion of the strategic planning process.
Q. 2 (b) If you are changing titles what will you call them
(or what do you call them if you have already done so)?
- ANU is considering changing some titles e.g. from Readers'
Adviser to Information Adviser and from Senior Librarian Acquisitions
to Manager Acquisitions.
- Edith Cowan - Manager Collection Services (acquisitions, copy
cataloguing, 'collection management' e.g. conspectus analysis,
and issues such as how to process music CDs for open access);
Faculty Librarian: (Name of Faculty) (manages and directs collection
development, information services, research and postgraduate support
for Faculty concerned). Has no equivalent for Lending Services
Librarian (loans services consist of teams supervised by Senior
Library Technicians directed by one of the Faculty Librarians).
Most Librarians in information services are members of faculty
teams - job title being 'Librarian: (Name of Faculty)'.
- La Trobe - still in the early stages of discussion as to what
titles to use.
- Macquarie - titles have changed to give an indication of the
work being done e.g. Reference & Research Manager; Data Services
- Melbourne - e.g. Managers, Directors, Curators.
- Northern Territory - has adopted a four level nomenclature:
- (a) Manager (of a Branch, which is consistent with University
usage) i.e. Manager Purchasing and Processing; Manager Library
Information Technology; Manager Lending and Collection Services;
Manager Research and Information Services; and Chief Cataloguer
- level 9.
- (b) Coordinator (of a major Section or of a key responsibility)
i.e. Coordinator Remote and Campus Service; Best Practice Coordinator;
Collection Development Coordinator; Information Skills Coordinator;
Research Services Coordinator - levels 7, 8.
- (c) Reference Librarian, Cataloguer - levels 5, 6/7; Supervisor
(of a Section or a significant responsibility) e.g. Acquisitions
Supervisors, Serials Supervisor, Short Tem Loan Supervisor, Palmerston
Campus Supervisor - usually level 5.
- (d) Officer (usually equivalent to previous LT positions)
e.g. Systems Officer, Reference Officer - levels 4, 5; Assistant
e.g. Loans Assistant - levels 1, 2, 3.
- Southern Cross - see answer to Q. 2.
- Southern Queensland - preference is to advertise a position
as HEWn, followed by a title that describes the responsibilities
of the position. Once appointed, the descriptive title applies.
- Sydney - no decision yet, but expect 'Manager' will be used.
- Western Sydney, Hawkesbury - not yet discussed.
Q. 3. Do you plan to retain the use of the word 'librarian'
for any positions e.g. Senior Librarian Acquisitions?
- ANU - this is under discussion.
- ADFA - yes, for all current professional positions; uses "Manager"
for non-Librarian positions such as Systems Manager, Manager,
- Canberra - will continue to use "Librarian" to describe
positions at UC5 and UC6 level requiring professionals; "Information
Officer" for positions at those levels requiring more technical
skill (as in Library Technician); "Information Technology
Officer" for people with professional skills in computing
- Deakin - not considering any changes to terminology at this
- Edith Cowan - yes; see above - Faculty Librarian; Librarian.
- James Cook - yes.
- La Trobe - yes.
- Macquarie - some positions will retain 'librarian' for the
present e.g. Subject Liaison Librarian.
- Melbourne - has been a trend away from the traditional title
of "librarian" which has also reflected the change in
title to division such as Information Resources Division and Arts
and Humanities Division.
- New South Wales - "Librarian" has been retained
in the names of the heads of our subject libraries, e.g. Physical
Sciences Librarian, and, in lower case, as part of classification
descriptions, e.g. librarian level 6 or librarian level 8. We
have not yet embraced calling everyone an HEW.
- Northern Territory - is still preferred for "Reference
Librarian" but causes some awkwardness when considering the
whole team which includes non-librarian reference officers and
may soon include non-librarian IT specialists. Haven't yet found
an apt term. "Chief Librarian" is enshrined in the By-laws
and also clearly differentiates my role from the Directors of
non-teaching divisions. If it were to change, I would prefer something
like "Dean of University Library", but I would like
to stay as a "Librarian".
- Queensland - as whole nomenclature has not been discussed,
this question has not been addressed. For managerial positions,
"Librarian:" will not be retained except for the position
of University Library and Deputy University Librarian.
- QUT - no current deliberations on either retaining or deleting
the word "librarian" for any specific positions.
- South Australia - definitely yes. Librarians are special people
with special understandings - let's promote that rather than resile
- Southern Cross - has not been an issue.
- Southern Queensland - not frightened by the term "Librarian".
- Sydney - would hope so, but no decision yet.
- Western Sydney, Hawkesbury - not yet discussed.
- Wollongong - yes, if the position requires a professional
Q. 4. If you are changing to different terminology are you
changing that terminology across the whole Library or only certain
- ANU - all are under consideration.
- Canberra - changes relate to the merger of the Library with
other groups to form the Information Services Division.
- Edith Cowan - certain positions which are more management
oriented (Cataloguing, Collection Services) do not have term 'librarian"
in job title.
- La Trobe - all para-professional and assistant level positions
are under consideration.
- Macquarie - all are under consideration; most will change.
- Melbourne - for the past two years had been involved in a
restructuring of all areas within the library system. Certainly
as the need for change is necessary, so will the need to look
at the terminology of each position title.
- New South Wales - will probably continue to change titles
only as necessitated by restructuring and not as a total exercise.
- Northern Territory - all except Chief Librarian as indicated
- Queensland - will change across, but currently doing senior
- QUT - terminology has been altered on a case-by-case basis,
as appropriate to changing circumstances, or in response to submissions
by interested parties. In recent years there has been no concerted
effort for an across the board change to position terminology.
- Southern Cross - will consider as the need arises.
- Southern Queensland - change a title if the responsibilities
change. No particular virtue in consistency - HEW levels give
that. It's more useful if the title describes the job.
- Sydney - would hope we can be consistent across the whole
system. It is complicated enough without having conflicting or
- Western Sydney, Hawkesbury - not yet discussed.
- Wollongong - changes to titles will occur as positions re
Q. 5 Any other comments?
- ADFA - believes the title "Librarian" accurately
reflects the qualifications required by professional positions
in the Library and is one our users are also comfortable with
and understand. Where a position is not a professional library
position we are happy to use other more appropriate titles, but
see no need to contribute further to the degradation of the recognition
accorded to our profession.
- Deakin - currently reviewing its structure in light of budgetary
constraints and changes in services due to changes in technology
and in locations of disciplines and students; are downsizing,
and new position titles may result from the restructuring. However
focus is on the structure and not on the nomenclature.
- Edith Cowan - structure designed to reflect organisational
structure, not a conscious move either away from, or towards,
- Macquarie - this whole matter generates endless debate.
- New South Wales - since upper echelon of the new division
(DIS) consists of units headed by managers and smaller units are
tending to have "coordinators" or "heads"
the day to day use of the term Librarian will probably lessen.
No one has yet asked to change subject library names, nor have
they invented a different way of describing an AALIA. Like Swinburne,
the term Librarian also has good vibes and connotations at New
- Northern Territory - while few of us object to the use of
"Librarian" and many of us are proud to describe ourselves
as a librarian, the move to generic titles incorporating clear
functional descriptions has been very useful both internally and
with our clients.
- Queensland - The Library has a recognised presence within
the University. Whilst position titles should reflect position
content as accurately as possible, there is no particular push
to abandon the word "library" or "librarian"
with the intention of having new titles signalling changing library
roles to the University. Rather, the emphasis is on demonstrating
the new roles of the Library to the University, so that the term
"Librarian" ends up with the new connotations. We have,
however, considered a variant approach with the possible new Ipswich
campus, but have not come up with suitable wording.
- QUT - issue of standardising titles throughout academic libraries,
particularly to differentiate trainees, support staff, para-professionals
and professionals seems to arise now and again, but does not appear
to have led to any form of agreement as there are great differences
in the roles of the people at certain levels in the various libraries.
At QUT we endeavour to differentiate among professionals, para-professionals
("Library Assistant" is common title), and support staff
("Assistant" is common title). There are exceptions
to these practices however, where different terminology is more
appropriate e.g. Loans Desk Supervisors. Although many management-level
positions carry a deputising role, only one - Deputy Law Librarian
- actually specifies that role in the title.
- Southern Queensland - Having not long ago changed the title
of this building from the once fashionable "Information Resources
Centre" to "The Library" (to general acclaim),
I'm resistant to suggestions that we take up another fashion that
might also be shortlived. It seems to me that the term "Librarian"
is proving sufficiently flexible to be acquiring connotations
beyond print technology, and I'm inclined to stick with it. Some
of our titles are: Associate Librarian (Collection Management),
Associate Librarian (Electronic Information Resources), Liaison
Librarian, Acquisitions Librarian, Lending Services Librarian,
Reference Services Librarian.
- Sydney - about 25 years ago I saw a promotional film by IBM
about library automation. The opening shot was a closed door labelled
'Librarian" and it opened upon a scene of incredible confusion,
books and paper strewn everywhere. The Librarian's system was
manual and hopeless and nothing could be found. IBM to the rescue.
At the end of the film, the camera went out of the same room backwards,
everything neat and shining and orderly. The door closed and we
saw that the sign had been changed to read 'Director of Information
Services'. The cynical audience shrieked with laughter to the
consternation of the IBM salesmen present. So what's in a name?
A rose is a rose is a rose and all that.
The Australian National University
7 November 1995
[CAUL Home Page] [What's New]
[Survey Register] [Conference Register]
[Highlights from the Press] [Australian University Web Sites]
[Other Web Sites] [Web Search Tools]
Send comments/suggestions/requests about this site ....