U.C. Berkeley Library Web

Revised, October 2014

Guidelines for Preparing Self-Evaluations

The Librarians Association of the University of California-Berkeley, with the advice and support of CAPA, have developed the following guidelines for composing the self-evaluation. These guidelines, which are based on the language of the APM, should clarify and simplify the review process.

The candidate's self-evaluation is a concise narrative statement citing the most significant achievements of the review period in the four review criteria and weighs heavily in the review process. The candidate’s judgment in writing a self-evaluation and in assembling appropriate documentation is an indication of professional judgment which reviewers take into account.

The self-evaluation is most effective when it:


  1. Introductory paragraph, stating what this self-evaluation will support; merit increase, greater than standard merit increase, promotion, career status, off-cycle, or special review.
  2. Section I -- Professional competence and quality of service within the library (including attachments submitted as appendices, when appropriate)

    This section analyzes a candidate's performance; it is done in the context of a comprehensive statement of the candidate's job assignments and academic responsibilities for the  review period, including special projects.   Librarians should relate their activities to the more general goals of the Library and the University.

  3. Section II -- Professional activity outside the library
  4. Section III -- University and public service
  5. Section IV -- Research and other creative activity.
  6. The impact and benefit of achievements in Sections II-IV to the library, University, and the profession, should be highlighted. If no significant activity has occurred in a particular section, please state this under the appropriate heading.   The APM clearly states that "reasonable flexibility shall be exercised in weighing the comparative relevance of these criteria."   That means that no individual is required or expected to perform significantly in all areas at all the time, though as the librarian advances in rank, increasing attention is paid to activities in the wider library, institution and profession.

  7. Summary paragraph including goals and objectives for the next evaluation period and, taking a broader perspective, sets forth expectations regarding career direction and professional growth over the long term.


Supporting documentation should be selective, judiciously chosen and relevant to the period under review.

Merit reviews, Assistant and Associate Librarian ranks:
When the candidate and review initiator agree that a standard merit increase is warranted, documentation is normally limited to the candidate's self-evaluation and the review initiator's evaluation.The self-evaluation should not exceed 2-3 pages; supporting documentation is normally not included.

Merit Reviews, Librarian rank:
For standard merit reviews in the Librarian rank, the candidate may wish to prepare a longer self-evaluation and/or include supporting documentation. However, the self-evaluation should not exceed 3-4 pages. Professional judgment should be exercised in choosing documentation to include in the dossier.

Greater than standard merit increases and off-cycle reviews:
A candidate or review initiator may request a "greater than standard" advancement by requesting salary points in excess of the standard two or three point increase and should substantiate the request in the self-evaluation and with documentation and/or confidential letters of support.
For the duration of the current contract (at least until 2018) a librarian may not request an off-cycle review for him/herself (2013 MOU Article 4.E.2.d and "Side Letter for Academic Reviews Resulting in Actions with July 1, 2014 Effective Dates"). However, a review initiator may request an early review (interpretation from UC-AFT).

Special Reviews:
The self-evaluation is brief and supporting documentation is normally not included.

Career and promotion reviews:
For career status and promotion reviews, a longer self-evaluation is expected and should cover the candidate’s entire career; CAPA prefers no more than 4 or 5 pages.  Supporting documentation should be included as appropriate.


Please follow these guidelines carefully.  Their use will speed the review process while giving a clear picture of your professional contributions and achievements.

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