At first glance, one might question the need for a statement of purpose for an academic library. "Everyone knows" why an academic library exists. However, as the academic institution to which the library is attached changes over time, so will the library; as the institution redefines its goals over the years, so must the library adapt to achieve those goals. Therefore, those responsible for the library must scrutinize it regularly and carefully to make sure that it is developing in the same directions and at the same rate as its parent institution.
The primary objective of Raugust Library is to support the undergraduate curriculum. This requires a broad subject coverage rather than an especially deep one. Depth can be attempted only in those fields where a large number of upperclassmen place more than entry-level demands upon the collection. Even this degree of depth will not encompass the research materials required by graduate level study or faculty research; certainly a comprehensive collection, containing everything available upon a given topic, is beyond the scope of this library. For faculty and upper-division research, the library will gladly make use of its extensive series of networks to locate and retrieve extramural materials.
The library also attempts to provide a variety of points of view on the subjects taught at the college. A collection that is skewed to one interpretation will not help students learn to analyze positions or synthesize arguments.
The primary clientele of Raugust Library is the undergraduate population of the college. Within this group are individuals with a wide range of reading abilities, from minimal to excellent. The library collection contains materials which are accessible at every reading level, although the bulk of the materials are in the upper high school / lower college range. Where complex materials cannot be satisfactorily reduced to a simplified level in printed form, some attempt has been made to cover these areas in video tape, audio tape, kit, cd-rom, DVD, or other non-print format.
It should be emphasized that this is not an attempt to "dumb down" the collection, but rather an effort to meet the students at their own level of ability. Far more materials are held which challenge the best students and serve as gateways for further study or graduate research.
The other major user group is the faculty. The faculty have a strong tendency to use their own personal libraries rather than the college's, except for periodicals, recreational reading, and interlibrary loan. Much of their library use involves placing materials on reserve for students in their classes.
The third user group on campus is that of administration and staff members. Although this group has accounted for the smallest number of users in the past, in recent years their requests for information and materials have grown, as their jobs have become more complex. This trend is expected to continue.
Raugust Library also has a surprisingly large body of non-college borrowers. Given the geographical problems of North Dakota, the college library has become the back-up library for the school, city, and county libraries in our area, used by over 800 people with no formal affiliation to the college. One side effect of the development of the Curriculum Library is that the collection now appeals to all age groups, from pre-readers to the elderly.
Within the subject areas taught at the college, the library collects materials only on classes actually offered. For instance, while history is taught, there are no classes in South American or African history; while chemistry is taught, there are no classes in petroleum chemistry. Therefore, the library will acquire minimal amounts of materials in these areas, sufficient only to satisfy a general curiosity or to answer questions arising in the course of research into a related field. As classes and majors are added or deleted, so are collecting areas within the library. The library will make no attempt at encyclopedic knowledge in depth.
Generally speaking, in addition to supporting the curriculum, the library will supply access to online indexing and full-text databases, which will enable the user to locate materials in electronic format or in other libraries. The library will also provide a current and broad reference collection. The library does not have sufficient funds to buy adult fiction, other than copies of materials which are taught in courses, and so will not be able to supply popular fictional reading materials, except as these are received as gifts. The discretion of the librarian will determine which gift materials are accepted.
While the library staff is most anxious to strengthen the weak sections of the collection, it is important not to do this at the expense of the sections which are already strong. A systematic approach to collection development is crucial, with each collecting area examined carefully in turn in order to assess its usefulness and value to the college. After each area has been strengthened to the degree which has been determined necessary, it must be maintained at that level and still improved, if at a slower rate. To do anything less would be to backslide. One cannot build a strong collection and expect it to stay strong if it is static.
The library will acquire materials in whatever format is most useful to the user, whether print or non-print. In addition to books and journals, the library currently holds and will continue to acquire video tapes, audio tapes, laser discs, kits, games, cds, electronic books, posters, slides, overhead transparencies, microfilm, microfiche, CD-ROM's, dvds, and computer programs. Format will only be a consideration in the purchase of materials if the library does not have the equipment to access the format.
The library now licenses and will continue to license bibliographic and full text databases in appropriate content areas. The same selection criteria will apply to these databases as to any materials bought for the library.
English will be the language of the collection effort, except for those materials which are bought specifically to support the foreign language curriculum. In addition, English/foreign language dictionaries for modern European languages will be bought and reference materials in foreign languages will be updated as needed (e.g., yearbooks and supplements for foreign language encyclopedias.)
No chronological period will be excluded from the collection.
Duplicates will be bought only in cases of extremely heavy use. This should not happen more than three or four times per year. If a gift is received which duplicates material already held in the library, the condition of the library's copy will be evaluated to see if it needs to be replaced and its circulation history will be examined to see if a second copy would be a valuable addition. Otherwise, the gift will either be returned to the donor or disposed of by the library staff.
Gifts will not be accepted for the collection which do not meet the selection requirements for books bought for the collection. If the donor still wishes to give the materials to the library, they will be disposed of through the annual book sale or in some other manner. AV materials, videotapes, computer software, and other materials involving public performance rights or licensing may not be accepted as gifts unless copyright has first been cleared or a license obtained.
Currently, only one formal cooperative collection agreement exists, between Raugust Library and the North Dakota State Library. It involves the Curriculum Library, which has been designated the state resource for children's materials. Under the agreement, Raugust Library receives about 500 children's books per year from the State Library. We bear the expense of cataloging, shelving, and lending these materials, but as they are gifts to the State Library from various publishers, we do not have any control over the selection process. This has not been a problem, as all the books have been new and of very high quality, but the program should be evaluated periodically to see if it is still meeting our needs.
There are various informal agreements with other libraries as well. The Alfred Dickey Public Library purchases what might be described as more general or popular materials, oftentimes things outside our curriculum areas, and our patrons who desire these items are referred downtown for them. Conversely, the public library sends patrons who need more scholarly materials to the college library. The directors of the two libraries do not feel that competition in these areas would benefit either library or either primary patron group. In one area, at least, the public library has a fine collection which supplements that of the college library, namely, small business administration. Their collection has grown out of the need to provide assistance to the businesspeople of Jamestown, and our students have benefited from it. It makes no sense to duplicate this collection when the public library is only a mile away from campus.
Given the geographic isolation we deal with, cooperative agreements are not easy to sustain. The only other one is very informal and involves the State Library again. This simply states that if a book is borrowed on interlibrary loan more than twice during a year, the State Library should be notified so that it can buy a copy for back-up. We have invoked this policy only twice.
NCA accreditation teams take the size and quality of the library into consideration when granting accreditation or reaccreditation to a school. They do not recognize a particular set of parameters (number of volumes/student or number of volumes/school size) nor do they have a particular set of rules defining the number of employees necessary to run a library. Rather, they attempt to ascertain that the library can support whatever programs are offered by the college.
When the nursing program is examined periodically for recertification, the library is scrutinized much more closely, at least as to the nursing holdings. Problems here would cause problems with the recertification of the program.
The State Board of Higher Education has some guidelines, albeit unstated, for the curriculum libraries at institutions which train teachers; they are not articulated as clearly as could be hoped.
The Association of College and Research Libraries of the American Library Association issues a publication, STANDARDS FOR COLLEGE LIBRARIES, which is the best yardstick for determining the overall strength of an academic library collection. In past years, the standards consisted of the “bean counting” variety: numbers of books, journals, professional librarians per student or degree area, for instance. Raugust Library has improved from a grade of C- to a B over the years by these measurements.
The most recent STANDARDS, however, do not measure the quality of a library by what it holds, but rather by the effect it has on the learning of the students. This is a difficult thing to assess. The new standards need to be applied to the library every two or three years and the results incorporated into the collection development policy.
Selection levels defined:c comprehensive complete & exhaustive acquisition of materialse excellent deep subject coverage to satisfy the research needs of upper- division undergraduatess strong broad coverage which would satisfy most lower division student needsb basic standard works containing general informationm minimal slight or no coverage
Dewey Numberby decade Description Level000 generalities b010 bibliography e020 library & info. science b030 general encyclopedic works s040 050 general serial publications s060 general organization; museology m070 journalism, publishing s080 general collections m090 manuscripts & book rarities m100 philosophy & related disciplines e110 metaphysics s120 epistemology e130 paranormal phenomena b140 specific philosophical viewpoints e150 psychology e160 logic s170 ethics e180 ancient, medieval, oriental s190 modern western philosophy e200 religion e210 natural religion s220 Bible e230 Christian theology e240 Christian moral & devotional s250 local church & religious orders s260 social & ecclesiastical theology s270 history & geography of church s280 Christian denominations & sects s290 other & comparative religions e300 social sciences e310 statistics s320 political science e330 economics s340 law b350 public administration b360 social problems & services s370 education e380 commerce s390 customs, etiquette, folklore s400 language b410 linguistics b420 English & Anglo-Saxon languages s430 Germanic languages s440 Romance languages s450 Italian Romanian, etc. b460 Spanish & Portuguese languages s470 Italic languages (Latin) b480 Hellenic (classical Greek) b490 other languages b500 pure sciences e510 mathematics e520 astronomy & allied sciences m530 physics s540 chemistry & allied sciences s550 sciences of earth & other worlds b560 paleontology m570 life sciences e580 botanical sciences s590 zoological sciences e600 technology (applied science) s610 medical sciences e620 engineering & allied operations m630 agriculture & related technologies m640 home economics & family living m650 management & auxiliary services s660 chemical & related technologies b670 manufacturers m680 manufacture for specific uses b690 buildings b700 the arts s710 civic & landscape art m720 architecture s730 plastic arts (sculpture) s740 drawing, decorative, & minor arts s750 painting & paintings e760 graphic arts (prints) s770 photography & photographs s780 music e790 recreational & performing arts s800 literature (belles-lettres) e810 American literature in English e820 English & Anglo-Saxon literatures e830 literatures of Germanic languages s840 literatures of Romance languages s850 Italian, Romanian, Rhaeto-Romanic literatures m860 Spanish & Portuguese literatures s870 Italic literatures (Latin) b880 Hellenic literatures (Greek) b890 literature of other languages b900 general geography and history e910 general geography (travel) s920 general biography & genealogy b930 general history of the ancient e940 general history of Europe e950 general history of Asia e960 general history of Africa b970 general history of North America e980 general history of South America b990 general history of other areas b
Within these areas, criteria for considering the purchase of any particular item will include, but not be limited to, the following:
In order to maintain a strong and useful collection, materials must be removed from the collection as well as added. The function of a college library is not to serve as a warehouse of old books.
Weeding must be done very carefully. The librarian should use standard and specialized bibliographies, consultations with faculty in doubtful cases, knowledge of the school and curriculum, and professional instincts and experience in deciding which books to discard.
The criteria for discarding materials from the library include, but are not limited to, the following:
Academic libraries are rarely challenged on account of the materials they collect and hold. However, it is appropriate to have a policy in place to deal with any challenge to materials held in the library.
If any patron objects to any material in the library, s/he will be asked to fill out a form and turn it in to the director. The director will then arrange a meeting with the patron during the following week to discuss the concerns raised. If the matter cannot be resolved, it will be referred to a meeting of the patron, the director, and the academic dean.
However the matter is resolved, a formal report will be made to the dean and the North Dakota Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee. The name of the patron initiating the request for reconsideration will be kept confidential in this report.
Annually, Jamestown College awards more than $7.25 million in institutional aid.
Examples of aid include:
About Us Campus Calendar Campus Map Employment Helpdesk Library MyJC Outlook Mail
6000 College Lane
Jamestown, ND 58405
Admissions: 1-800-336-2554Email: email@example.com