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Penn State University Libraries

Policies and Guidelines




  • Purpose 
  • Cross References


These guidelines will apply to the peer review of credit instruction by library faculty in the regular classroom setting offered through the Library Studies Program or courses taught through other colleges.  Credit courses that are independent study, by appointment and/or otherwise organized outside regular class periods will not require peer review.

  1. Notes on frequency of evaluation:  The overall goal for the number of peer reviews is to ensure that, in the case of library faculty teaching credit courses on a regular basis (at least one course annually), four or five peer reviews of credit instruction are included in a candidate’s sixth-year review dossier to show appropriate representation and progression through the previous six years.  For library faculty teaching less frequently, we should strive to include two to four peer reviews in the sixth-year dossier.  All peer reviews that are conducted must appear in the sixth-year dossier.  Library faculty teaching courses through other colleges will normally have peer reviews conducted by a faculty member in that college in addition to a library peer review.  The total number of peer reviews in the dossier in these cases will therefore be greater.  Note:  Full-time classroom faculty typically do not have more than six peer reviews in their sixth-year dossier, and since library faculty do not carry a full load of credit instruction, the number of peer reviews should reflect that.

  2. The first person listed in each category will be the responsible party for ensuring that the reviews are conducted according to guidelines and procedures.

  3. The primary evaluators for peer review of credit teaching by library faculty are other tenured Penn State library faculty of rank equal to or higher than the candidate’s who have taught a credit course (either at Penn State or elsewhere).  However, at the discretion of the administrator/academic officer and the candidate, any tenured Penn State teaching faculty of rank equal to or higher than the candidate’s may conduct the review.  This could include faculty in other colleges, campuses and programs, or library faculty who have significant teaching experience, but have not taught credit courses. The Head of Library Learning Services will maintain a list of tenured Penn State library faculty at the associate or higher rank, who have taught a credit course (either at Penn State or elsewhere).

  4. Both the candidate and the administrator/academic officer may put forward names for reviewers.  Both must agree on the selection of the reviewer.

Other notes: 

  • Training/mentoring for peer reviewers will be provided by the Office of Library Learning Services to reviewers prior to the reviews.
  • Candidates who wish to make a response, complaint or comment on their peer review may do so.  This document may be placed in their file, but may not be included in their dossier.  (Per the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs)
  • A Checklist for conducting peer reviews according to procedure will be provided to the candidates and the reviewers by the Department of Library Learning Services.


Other Policies/Guidelines in this manual should also be referenced, especially the following:

Guideline UL-ING01 Peer Review of Credit Teaching Effectiveness
Form: Peer Review of Credit Teaching Effectiveness Checklist Request resource in an alternative format

Effective Date: May 2001
Date Approved: May 7, 2001 (Dean's Library Council)
Date Approved: February 28, 2001 (Library Faculty Organization)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • August 2007 - Revised; Instructional Programs to Library Learning Services
  • May 7, 2001 - New guideline

Last Review Date:  August 2007