Dear Annoyed Librarian,
I've just accepted a tenure-track job at Dungheap State University and I just wanted to write to tell you how excited I am! I now have faculty status! I'm a real member of the faculty! Faculty status is a huge boost to my self-esteem, because now all the other professors will take me seriously. This means I get to publish stuff, and I also have an important voice in the governance of my university. Also, once I get tenure, my academic freedom will be protected!
So what do you think of that, Annoyed Librarian!
Pleased as Punch
Why, oh why can't librarians just be happy to be librarians? Congratulations on your appointment to the tenure track. It must be very exciting for you. I'm glad it provides a boost to your self-esteem. I've heard of people who need such boosts, though I've never had a problem there myself. There are, however, some things you should be aware of.
Definitely keep telling yourself that you're a faculty member. You have faculty status, and nothing says "I'm really important to this university" like having faculty status. Just keep repeating "I'm a faculty member, too," and maybe someone will actually believe you.
As you will eventually realize, faculty status is divided between the teaching faculty and the non-teaching faculty (or whatever you happen to call it in your library). You can remember this distinction more easily by noting the division between real faculty and pseudo-faculty. You are pseudo-faculty.
As hard as it may be for you to believe, the real faculty will never accept you as real faculty. I don't accept you as real faculty, and I'm merely a lowly librarian. So you can imagine what the real faculty think of you. Try telling the professors of physics or economics or philosophy that you're a real professor, just like them!
You see, real professors have PhD's in relevant scholarly fields (I'm of course not counting the "professors" in education or social work or library science or anything like that). Often they actually had to work hard and study for years and learn a lot of stuff to earn that PhD. (Perhaps you also have a PhD, but probably not in librarianship, and if you do have a PhD in librarianship, you will be taken even less seriously.) You, on the other hand, managed to complete one of the least intellectually rigorous master's programs around, except of course for the M.Ed. and M.S.W. programs.
And real faculty are ideally engaged in research and teaching, in either increasing the knowledge in their field or in helping to pass it on to the younger generation or both. You're not engaged in any of that. You might think you're increasing the knowledge in your field, but yet another shoddily conducted case study of your chat reference pilot just doesn't cut it as serious research.
Most importantly, real faculty are on the academic calendar, which means they have their summers and holidays off, and in fact only have to show up to teach and attend committee meetings and hold office hours. They have a lot of autonomy and freedom. You, of course, are a regular 9-5 employee who might get a month's vacation and a "research" day once a week or so. Until you get tenure, you'll have to show up and actually seem to be working, just like the glorified office clerk the real faculty take you for. After you get tenure, you can stay home a lot more, but you'll still be considered a glorified office clerk.
But, you'll say, I have to publish! Just like the real faculty! Yes, that's true, you will have to publish. And you don't really have the time to do much research. And your most likely poor training in either social science or humanistic disciplines means that you won't be able to write anything worth reading. Your poor training and requirement to publish are, of course, what help to make the quality of library literature the poor mess that it is.
And I have tenure! Yes, if you're fortunate, you'll have tenure. And that's very important to protect your academic freedom. You need protection when you express your controversial views about introducing folksonomies into OPACs. This is radical stuff! No, of course you don't need to protect your academic freedom. But tenure is very important to protect your own job when you get so burnt out from doing such boring work that you decide to stop working when you're 45.
Thus, as far as I can tell, you have all of the burdens and none of the benefits of the real faculty. The only people who take the faculty status of librarians seriously are the librarians, and not even all of them.
The Annoyed Librarian