Consulting Policy for Librarians 

Consulting Policy for Librarians

DISCLAIMER:  If there is a discrepancy between this electronic policy and the written copy held by the Policy owner, the written copy prevails.


The purpose of this policy is to assist Librarians in understanding the responsibilities and freedoms associated with the provision of consulting services.


“Consulting” is defined as service to individuals, units, agencies, or organizations, both inside and outside the University, which:

  1. is not included in the Position Accountability Statement;
  2. uses essentially the same professional skills and expertise that is used for their position in the library;
  3. may or may not involve direct financial compensation to the librarian.


This policy applies to all librarians holding an appointment as a professional librarian, whether continuing or temporary, in the McMaster University Library system.


There is a variable degree of personal flexibility in discharging the responsibilities of each librarian position. Consulting is conducted on personal time and will not interfere with the performance of commitments or responsibilities within the Library system.


Compensation for consulting is a personal matter between the two parties.


The University’s name, facilities, services or supplies are not to be used in the course of consulting unless following full consultation, the librarian has received the approval of her or his supervisor, and arrangements have been made to secure appropriate remuneration to the University.


  1. It is not normally necessary for a librarian to make prior disclosure of minor consulting commitments. It is, however, expected that a librarian will consult in advance with his or her supervisor when prospective consulting work may disrupt or change her or his normal working schedule in more than a very limited way.
  2. Each librarian shall annually submit a complete report of consulting activities for the immediate past year to her or his immediate supervisor at the time of the annual performance review.


It is agreed that a librarian will not:

  1. undertake consulting which prevents the satisfactory discharge of his or her University responsibilities;
  2. use the University’s name, funds, facilities or services without prior approval and an agreement to secure appropriate remuneration to the University;
  3. disclose any confidential or proprietary information about the activities or operations of the University;
  4. undertake consulting work that creates a conflict of interest with the University. If in doubt, the librarian will consult his or her supervisor, and, if necessary, the University Librarian or the Director, Health Sciences Library and Computing Services.

Library Negotiations Committee – November 12, 1997
Approved by the Board of Governors – March 27, 2002