The Librarians Association of the University of California (LAUC), founded in 1967, is a statewide organization of all librarians employed at least half time by the University. Membership is automatic and entails no dues. In 1971, the Association was authorized to use the name of the University, and in 1975 LAUC was formally recognized as an official unit of the University. The formal objectives of LAUC are: to advise the University on professional and governance matters, to make recommendations concerning the UC librarians' rights, privileges and obligations, and to promote full use of UC librarians' professional abilities.
The LAUC statewide organization is composed of an Executive Board, including the President, Vice-President/President-Elect, Secretary, immediate Past President, and the chairs of the ten campus divisions. The Executive Board meets about six times each year. Larger assemblies, to which each division sends delegates in proportion to the size of its membership, are held in the fall and spring. The assembly hears reports from guest speakers, the President and the chairs of committees, discusses current issues, and debates and voted on resolutions and recommendations. At the divisional level the LAUC-R organization is composed of an Executive Board, including the Chair, Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, Secretary, Delegate, Alternate Delegate, and immediate Past Chair.
Perhaps LAUC's most important function is the advice it provides to the system-wide, campus and library administrations on the best course for the University's libraries. LAUC has provided leadership in such crucial areas as: cooperative collection development and resource sharing during a period of retrenchment; the impact of new information technologies on libraries; enhanced bibliographic access to diverse collections and service to diverse users.
LAUC has five standing committees, each with representatives from all ten campus divisions: the Committee on Committees, Rules and Jurisdiction, which oversees the bylaws of the Association; the Committee on Cultural Diversity; the Library Plans and Policies Committee; the Professional Governance Committee; and the Research and Professional Development Committee. LAUC has a representative to the System-wide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee (SLASIAC) and the LAUC President acts as an ex-officio member on the Academic Senate University Committee on the Library (UCOL). LAUC is also represented on the System-wide Operations and Planning Advisory Group (SOPAG) for system-wide committees for such areas as public and technical services, collection development, personnel, and regional libraries.
LAUC annually administers a research program with funding provided by the Office of the President. Since 1980, this program has supported over 220 projects. Among the products of the LAUC research program are the following publications: “The Use of Books within the Library.” Sustainable Agriculture for California: a Guide to Information. Michael Tippett: a Biobibliography. Reference Tools for Fine Arts Visual Resources Collection. The program has also supported several research and instructional activities related to the changing California Digital Library system and scholarly communications. In addition, librarians may receive research grants from their local divisions as well.
Librarians are academic appointees at the University of California. Academic status is the sum of the privileges, rights, and responsibilities accorded to librarians as professional employees (1) whose work is closely related to the teaching and research functions of the University. (2) Academic status includes but is not limited to: the freedom to perform a range of functions within the profession, a choice of avenues for professional development, performance evaluation based on activities relevant to the profession, review by one's peers (3), and job security as stated in University policies and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
All LAUC members participate in a peer review process. Late in the Fall, the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor issues the Call to Review for the Librarian Series (The Call) for merit increase or promotion. The review initiator (supervisor) evaluates the job performance of each librarian. It is the responsibility of each librarian to keep a record of all professional activities to include in the review records.
Each year LAUC-R elects a committee for peer review, the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on the Librarian Series (CACLS). CACLS reviews the documentation, agrees or disagrees with the recommendation, and forwards its report to the Executive Vice Chancellor. After making the final decision, the Executive Vice Chancellor informs the University Librarian of the action. The University Librarian notifies the librarian under review of the final decision.
All members are encouraged to attend the bi-monthly LAUC-R general membership meetings. Agendas and minutes of the previous meeting and documents to be discussed are distributed to members in advance of each meeting. Additional membership meetings may be called by the Chair as important issues arise that require discussion by all LAUC-R members. Members may also attend the LAUC Statewide Assemblies. LAUC members can become more involved in local and statewide activities by volunteering for committee assignments and running for office. Members make known their interest by filling out the LAUC-R committee interest form that is distributed in the summer of each year.