At many, but certainly not all, university libraries, librarians hold rank similar to professors, and go through the same advancement processes. Here at Southern, most librarian positions are tenure track; we hold equivalent ranks as professors, and use the same Promotion and Tenure procedures as teaching faculty.
Last year, I applied for promotion, and I am happy to say that I have been promoted from Assistant Librarian to Associate Librarian (like Assistant and Associate Professor, or Librarian II and III.)
This year, I'm going for tenure. I've actually got one more year before I have to apply, but I'd like to give it a shot this year. It's a nearly identical procedure to promotion, which is actually why I did promotion last year. I figured, it was practice. First is the production of my "file". The file consists of at least one, probably more, 3 ring binders laying out what I've done here for the last 4-5 years, with documentation, letters, publications, etc., etc., etc. Then that file is reviewed by folks at the library, then the campus wide P&T committee, then the administration.
I have had, over the years, a few folks who have asked me what they can do to thank me for my help. Well, if anyone wants to write a letter saying how I helped you, and what it meant to you, I would be very pleased to include those in my file. My job is helping people, so while all the formal evaluations and publications do mean something, the real evaluation of my work should be done by you, my readers, students, and faculty.
Thanks to everyone whose help and support got me this far: other distance librarians, students and faculty, friends and family. Let's not give up on each other.
(PS. While friendly comments would make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, if you do want to give me something for my file, please send me a letter or email. Thanks.)