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Statement of Mission, Objectives, and Materials Selection Policy for Perkins Library, Doane University




Certain assumptions about the role of the library in the academic environment underlie this statement of the ways in which Perkins Library will support the mission of the University*:

  1. The Library is of paramount importance to students and faculty in fulfilling the educational mission of the institution. The centrality of the Library to the educational mission must be understood and supported by those responsible for allocation of instructional resources.
  2. The Library should reveal the general scope of the learned and creative world and foster broad interests among its users. The extent of the Library’s holdings must be reasonable in proportion to the needs served.
  3. The Librarians and classroom instructors need to work closely together in planning the development and employment of the Library to achieve their educational objectives.
  4. The Librarians should be active participants in teaching and learning, not merely custodians of books and other materials. They must demonstrate their competence using criteria comparable to other faculty and staff, take sufficient responsibility and have available funds sufficient to facilitate optimum functioning.
  5. The physical surroundings of the Library must be conducive to use by persons with different learning styles. Factors such as shelving, seating, lighting, and arrangement of materials must be judged on the basis of their serviceability in making the Library a comfortable place for study.

*(Thanks for much of this thoughtful statement go to Eckerd College whose “assumptions” were made available to the library world in ACRL’s CLIP NOTES #5.)

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Doane University Library’s mission is to provide exceptional academic resources in a creative, inclusive, and collaborative learning environment, where engaged library faculty and staff support the Doane community in their pursuit of intellectual inquiry, information literacy and the ethical use of information. The Library functions to support the University’s mission.


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  1. To select and acquire or provide timely access to as much as possible of the recorded knowledge of mankind as is consistent with the current and anticipated instructional needs of its users.
  2. To process and organize the materials with speed, accuracy, and economy.
  3. To instruct patrons in utilizing the resources of the Library, and to provide user access to needed information located elsewhere in order to foster a spirit and competence for lifelong learning.
  4. To make the collections available to current patrons while at the same time guaranteeing availability of materials to future users through binding, microformatting, climate control, etc.
  5. To cooperate with other organizations for the advancement of scholarship and the effective utilization and delivery of resources.
  6. To be guided by best practices of library and information science, including but limited to:
  • Section VI of this document -- “An Adult Forum for the Exchange of Ideas” -- and its “Procedures” for dealing with censorship issues;
  • Support for the “Library Bill of Rights” (see Appendix A);
  • Compliance with the “Privacy” policy of Perkins Library and the stated confidentiality of library records, Revised Statutes of Nebraska, 1943, 84-712.05;
  • Support the “Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries,” endorsed by the ACRL Board of Directors, June 29, 1999 (see Appendix C); 
  • Support the “Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education,” 2000, ACRL.  Information Literacy is the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information.

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  1. The budget for Perkins Library shall provide for the payment of salaries, payroll taxes, retirement contributions, health insurance, student assistants, instructional supplies, library materials, binding, telephone and other office supplies, equipment rental or purchase, maintenance agreements or repair, travel, printing, postage, and any other accounts as determined by the Librarian, the Academic Dean, the Business Officer, or the faculty Information Liaison Committee. 
  2. Standards for College Libraries, 1995 in “Commentary upon Standard 8.2,” recommends that, “depending upon local factors, between 35% and 45% of the library’s budget is normally allocated to acquisition of resources. The Library materials budgets shall consist of the divisional library materials budgets and a separate general materials budget administered by the Director of the Library, the Collection Development Librarian, or other professional staff librarian.”Sound practices of planning and control require that the director have sole responsibility and authority for allocation of the library budget and initiation of expenditures against it.
    1. In keeping with the best thinking of the library profession, the librarian’s materials budget shall include not less than thirty and not more than forty-five percent allocated to the Director of the Library or the Collection Development Librarian for library purchase of general periodicals and standing orders, and for the acquisition of special materials not confined to one subject area, or to meet needs not otherwise adequately met by Divisional Allocations. It is here that the goal of “extending the teaching of the College” may be met.
    2. A divisional library materials budget shall comprise the remaining funds. As stated in the Doane University Faculty Handbook, the Information Liaison Committee is given the authority to recommend methods of fund allocation for the ensuing year.
    3. In order to get materials spent for the use of the present year’s students, to assure that collections are not built over the 24-hour period prior to a single budgetary due date, and to minimize erosion of the following year’s budget by unfilled orders, it is recommended that the majority of materials orders be in the hands of the librarian by March 15, beginning as early as July or August prior to the academic year.
    1. The Director of the Library has over-all responsibility for the development of the library collections, but the building of an adequate materials collection must depend upon use of the specialized knowledge of all members of the academic community, and part of the responsibility for developing a strong and well-balanced collection is shared by the groups below.
      1. The advice and active participation of faculty members is necessary, and it shall be the responsibility of the members of each discipline to recommend purchase of the best materials in support of their various disciplines, with reference always to their courses as they are or will be taught at Doane University.
      2. Because the librarians are in the best position to observe the overall growth and development of the collection and because the Director of the Library is ultimately responsible for the quality and balance of the total collection, the professional library staff shall use the general library allocation to select materials in all subject areas.
      3. While many of the books added to the library are selected by the faculty, recommendations for materials from students of the College should be encouraged. Serious suggestions will be considered carefully and an effort made to include all worthwhile pertinent titles in subsequent book orders.
    2. In order to reach the goals reflected in the “Statement of Objectives” with relation to acquiring an excellent collection, certain guidelines should be observed in recommending titles for purchase.
      1. Major consideration should be given to the accuracy and authority of the material under consideration, the reputation of the author and the publishers, and the social and/or artistic merit of the work as a whole. Evaluation shall be based both upon reviews in professional literature of the disciplines and upon the judgment of the faculty and library staff. Standard selection aids such as “Choice” reviews on cards, annual “Best Books of ….” Lists, and selections from basic collections such as “Books for College Libraries” are routed to faculty in order to provide comprehensive coverage with a minimum of overlap.
      2. Primary attention shall be given to acquisition of materials which support those areas taught at this college in relation to mission 1 of the “Statement of Objectives” which bids us strive “to select and acquire or provide timely access to as much of the recorded knowledge of mankind as is consistent with the current and anticipated instructional needs of its users.”
      3. Persons making selections should keep the present holdings in mind in order to avoid unnecessary or duplicate materials and acquisitions in their subject areas. Duplicate title requests will be returned for faculty information.
      4. A philosophy of appropriateness of materials can come only with understanding of the different kinds of libraries and what people logically seek from each type. Therefore, Perkins Library shall collect the following classes of materials for clearly understood reasons and in logical proportions.
        1. Archival materials: Perkins Library shall collect only those archival (primary source) materials which have to do with development of Doane University and with the United Church of Christ as it pertains to Doane. All other materials in this category would be directed to their appropriate and logical repository, i.e., the setting to which a researcher logically would be drawn. (See also, Section IV, B, 8, “ARCHIVES: a policy on Selection and Management of College Records.”)
        2. Secondary source materials: this category makes up the bulk of the acquisitions of this library, certainly in the form of monographic works and other forms of information specifically not primary. c.    Tertiary source materials: by their very nature – indexes, abstracts, and other guides to materials – are expensive. In order to support its teaching responsibilities, Perkins Library shall supply these as representative prototypes for the instruction of basic research techniques. Justification of their cost beyond their use to teaching library shall be weighed carefully in terms of proximity to large research libraries, the appropriateness to the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree and access to functional interlibrary loan networks.
    3. All materials purchased with monies from the library materials budgets will be housed in Perkins Library and under the control of the Director of the Library.

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    1. Most of the materials purchased shall be handled as a matter of standard library routine. Some special problems in maintaining a growing, well-organized collection should be noted. The Director of the Library and/or the Collection Development Librarian shall be responsible for the following items, and in consultation with various department heads, shall keep the collection as fully functional as possible.
      1. Reference: Materials deemed necessary or suitable for reference purposes shall properly be the responsibility of the professional library staff. The Director of the Library in consultation with appropriate others shall determine the final disposition of all materials added to the collection and may designate any title to be placed in the Reference area.
      2. Replacement copies: The replacement of books previously acquired by the library but later lost, stolen, or damaged will be the responsibility of the Library Director in so far as funds allow.
      3. Weeding: Materials will be weeded by the Director of the Library or other designated professional staff with the approval of the discipline faculty concerned. As stated in the ACRL, Standards for College Libraries, 1995, “No title should be retained for which a clear purpose is not evident in terms of academic programs or extra-curricular enrichment.” Specific attention should be paid to such items as:
        1. duplicate copies of older works
        2. ephemeral books no longer in demand
        3. older editions of works replaced by later editions
        4. obsolescent works in such fields where currency is extremely difficult to maintain, unless the work is being retained as an example of the history of a particular disciplinee.    
        5. any book badly worn or defaced, which may be replaced.
    2. Certain types of materials acquired by the Library present additional problems in acquisition or in handling, and it is best that a definite policy concerning these items be established. The most important groups are listed below.
      1. Periodicals: magazines, journals, or similar serial publications that faculty members wish to suggest for the library may be purchased from library funds. Additions to the holdings should be made on the basis of the following criteria.
        1. importance of the recommended titles to the curriculum of this College;
        2. ability of the discipline’s students to understand and make use of the materials presented;
        3. number of journals received in the same subject area;
        4. availability of adequate access to the contents through reliable indexes; and
        5. intention to maintain the journal over a consecutive period of years.
      2. Standing Order Monographic Series: Titles in series to be published sequentially may be purchased from library funds and placed on special order with the publisher to assure that the library will receive ALL the titles in a given set.
      3. Textbooks and Curriculum Materials: Generally elementary and secondary textbooks will be acquired, if at all, through the Education Division budget for placement and use in the Curriculum Lab. College level texts of a general survey nature will be avoided as much as possible.
      4. Children’s Books: Responsibility to acquire a collection of books of juvenile literature lies with the Education Division budget.
      5. United States Government Documents: Because the library is an official selective depository for the United States Federal Depository Library Program, all current documents are acquired free of cost. Only those documents that were published in previous years, those not sent on deposit, necessary duplicates or privately-published parts of depository sets will be purchased.
        1. A basic collection available for immediate use will be selected consisting of all titles listed in Appendix A of the “Federal Depository Library Manual.”
        2. Basic catalogs, guides, and indexes, retrospective and current, considered essential to the use of the collection, including non-governmental reference tools, will be acquired.
        3. Frequently used materials and those which support the mission of the library shall be selected consistent with the current and anticipated instructional needs of its users and the library’s function to support and extend the teaching of the College.
        4. In addition, items of specific value to the surrounding community in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing and commercial enterprise, health matters, homemaking, careers, and other Government information needs, as identified by local library surveys will be selected and made available to the public through this library, and in cooperatively placed deposits at the Public Library, Municipal Hospital, or other appropriate controlled locations.
        5. Close cooperation in matters of selection, weeding, and interlibrary loan will continue with other depositories in Southeast Nebraska. All decisions will be made in accordance with the statements of collection development policy articulated in Chapter 5 of the “Instructions to Depository Libraries,” Section 2 of the ‘Federal Depository Library Manual,” and Section 4 of the “Guidelines for the Depository Library System.”
      6. Paperback books: The type of binding available on a book shall not determine whether a book is to be purchased. It is the policy, however, to purchase paperbound books when they are available in order to save money. If there is found to be such heavy use of a paperback title that it requires replacement, consideration can, at that time, be made to re-bind, pre-bind, or replace in hard cover.

      7. Non-book materials: Microforms, multi-media kits, recordings, slides, transparencies, videotapes, DVDs, digital materials, etc., as long as the hardware to use them is located on campus, will be acquired by the library as needed to support the curricular needs of the College. Because of cost, interlibrary loan should be used to borrow those materials which will not have repeated use in subsequent semesters. The services of the Media Center and Curriculum Lab should be kept in mind when determining the need to purchase. Such materials shall be subjected to the same criteria of selection as apply to materials printed in “traditional” formats.

      8. Archives: “Policy on Selection and Management of College Records.” (Adopted November 1, 1979, reaffirmed….)
        1. The Doane University Archives, a division of the library under the direction of the librarian and the archivist, is the repository for records having research or historical or legal value and includes records transferred to its custody.

        2. The College Archives also contains professional and personal manuscripts of the academic and administrative staffs and records of faculty and student organizations that may be given to the College for preservation and use.

        3. Non-current Doane University institutional records of permanent, historical, legal, or administrative value shall not be discarded or destroyed. Records of this nature should be transferred to the custody of the Archives, or to the vaults in the Business Office or Archives as appears to be necessary. Records of confidential nature may be so marked and sealed for a specified length of time.

        4. Records produced by any agency or employee of Doane University in the transaction of College business become College property. Records shall be defined as, and may include, all documents, correspondence, accounts, files, manuscripts, publications, photographs, video or audio tapes, computer disks or files, drawings or other material bearing upon the functions of the College or its officers and employees. The Intellectual Property Ownership Policy passed by the faculty in April 2007 shall take precedence. All other records may be moved to the College archives.

        5. A Library/Archives staff member shall accompany patrons to the Archives to assist in locating materials. Use of the materials from Doane University Archives is restricted to the physical library building. Exceptions may be made by the staff member in charge in the case of well-known patrons with a legitimate need to remove the material to another building, in which case circulation should be for the shortest practicable time period.

        6. In order to preserve Doane’s written heritage, documents, letters, and other papers of enduring value should be committed to alkaline permanent paper.

      9. Foreign language materials: With the exception of materials acquired primarily for use of students and faculty in the study of modern languages, books and other materials printed or recorded in languages other than English will not be purchased. Exceptions to this policy will be foreign language dictionaries for reference use and other foreign language material which might be determined to be appropriate by the librarian in consultation with the faculty concerned.

      10. Out-of-print books: Efforts will be made to locate and obtain out-of-print titles requested by faculty. Such requests shall be sent to a used-book dealer for searching. However, there should be recognition that costs of o.p. materials and reprints, in many cases, are prohibitive and final decision for the purchase should be made in consultation with the Library Director.

      11. Multiple copies: One copy of each title shall be purchased unless multiple copy purchase has been cleared with the Director of the Library. It is not the intent of the library to eliminate multiple copies, but to avoid any unnecessary expenditures. Multiple copy purchasing expends funds that could be used for additional titles needed in the collection. Problems of periodic heavy use can be solved by the reserve system and interlibrary loan if necessary, or multiple copies might be purchased from division budgets.

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    1. The College Library is frequently offered books and other materials as gifts.  Although many excellent and important items have been added to the collection in this matter, some of what is offered is of no value to the library. Because this can often involve public relations, space and relevancy problems, a clearly stated policy on the matter of gifts and donors is necessary.
      1. No definite commitment to accept gifts for the library shall be made by anyone except the President of the College or the Director of the Library.
      2. All such offers made directly or indirectly to others should be referred to the library director.
      3. The Director of the Library shall have the prerogative of refusing to accept materials which s/he believes do not contribute to the purpose of the Library or that cannot be accommodated suitably at the time. However, the materials may be accepted if the donor is willing to allow them to be added to the ongoing book sale, which in a direct way benefits the library with the funds generated; or if the donor will allow unneeded journals to be added to the annual Duplicate Exchange lists to benefit some other college.
    2. With regard to gifts accepted, several points shall be made clear to the donors.
      1. The library director shall determine the classification, housing, and circulation practices of all gift items, just as with purchased materials.
      2. The Director of the Library retains the right to dispose of all duplicates and unneeded materials as is determined to be appropriate, whether through Duplicate Exchange, by donation to more appropriate archives and special collections at Doane or elsewhere, by sale to benefit Perkins Library, or by other means.
      3. All donations are tax deductible. Doane University, however, can assume no responsibility for determination of the value of the gift beyond suggesting appraisers to the donor.
      4. All donations are considered outright and unconditional gifts to be used at the library’s discretion.

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    1. The Library Committee and staff support the Library Bill of Rights and the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries. (Appendix A) (Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries obtained from: American Library Association)
    2. Because of the status of Doane University as an independent college governed by its own Board of Trustees, criticisms of library-owned materials or attempts at censorship which originate outside the corporate structure of the College will not be considered.
    3. In order to evaluate the criticism of persons or groups legitimately related to the college who might wish to suggest censoring materials in the college library and to establish guidelines for the acquisition of materials of potentially controversial nature, the following shall be the policy of this library.
      1. In an effort to support the obligation of the College to be a forum for the free exchange of all ideas in its pursuit of knowledge and truth, the Library shall make available to students and faculty those books and other materials which offer the widest possible variety of viewpoints, regardless of the popularity of those viewpoints or of the popularity or unpopularity of their authors.
      2. In areas where there is honest disagreement concerning the truth or wisdom of particular issues, ideas, or beliefs, the Library shall make an effort to see that the printed, visual, or recorded points of view of the best spokesmen of all sides of the issues, ideas, or beliefs are represented in its holdings.
      3. Selection of materials for the library shall be based only on the criteria stated in Section III regardless of the frankness of language or controversial manner an author may use in dealing with subjects of religion, sex, or other possible emotional issues which could be considered controversial.
    4. In handling criticism of materials or attempts at censorship certain basic procedures shall be observed.
      1. Serious question of the materials by any person or group legitimately within the Doane Corporation in an effort to eliminate certain items must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Library using the “Request for Reconsideration of Materials” form available at the Circulation Desk.
      2. The Director of the Library shall reply verbally, or in writing, to the persons or group within ten days quoting or referring to the above policy.
      3. Persistent or repeated objections to library materials from any person or group shall be referred to the Library Committee.
      4. No item is to be removed or restricted because of a complaint except in accordance with these policies.

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    1. Because Perkins Library recognizes that its circulation records and other records identifying the names of library users with specific materials and/or Internet use are confidential in nature (under the Revised Statutes of Nebraska, 1943, 84-712.05), no such confidential information shall be made available to any individual or office of the College, agency of state, federal or local government, or to any individual not specifically authorized by the Director of the Library for legitimate business purposes, except:
      • where the person whose confidential information is to be released consents; or
      • pursuant to such process, order, warrant or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigating power; or
      • as specifically authorized by the Director of the Library for legitimate business purposes.
    2. The Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 (“USA Patriot Act”) became law on October 26, 2001. The legislation overrides state library confidentiality laws. Moreover, any costs incurred by the library in any search through patron records, even under court order, shall be chargeable to the agency demanding such search.
    3. A “Procedure for Compliance” with requests for confidential information is available to staff at the Circulation Desk.

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    1. The selection of vendors for the purpose of buying library materials shall be left to the discretion of the Director of the Library.
    2. Materials will be ordered from publishers or jobbers giving the best service, speed, accuracy and economy.

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    1. The policies stated above may be changed at any time upon a two-thirds vote of the Information Liaison Committee. (See Faculty Handbook, “Faculty Standing Committees.”)
    2. Proposals for any policy change should be submitted to Committee members in writing at least one month prior to the meeting in which the proposed change is to be submitted.


__________________________________________ Chair, Library Committee __________________________________________ Director of the Library

Date: _____________________________  

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Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

  1. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
  5. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 28, 1948 Amended February 2, 1961, June 27, 1967, and January 23, 1980 Inclusion of “age” Reaffirmed January 23, 1996 by the ALA Council

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The Library provides access to the Internet and its resources but the contents of the Internet are not covered by the Materials Selection Policy of this Library.

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Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries:

  1. An interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights A strong intellectual freedom perspective is critical to the development of academic library collections and services that dispassionately meet the education and research needs of a college or university community. The purpose of this statement is to outline how and where intellectual freedom principles fit into an academic library setting, thereby raising consciousness of the intellectual freedom context within which academic librarians work. The following principles should be reflected in all relevant library policy documents.
    1.  The general principles set forth in the Library Bill of Rights form an indispensable framework for building collections, services, and policies that serve the entire academic community.
    2. The privacy of library users is and must be inviolable. Policies should be in place that maintain confidentiality of library borrowing records and of other information relating to personal use of library information and services.
    3. The development of library collections in support of an institution’s instruction and research programs should transcend the personal values of the selector. In the interests of research and learning, it is essential that collections contain materials representing a variety of perspectives on subjects that may be considered controversial.
    4. Preservation and replacement efforts should ensure that balance in library materials is maintained and that controversial materials are not removed from the collections through theft, loss, mutilation, or normal wear and tear. There should be alertness to efforts by special interest groups to bias a collection through systematic theft or mutilation.
    5. Licensing agreements should be consistent with the Library Bill of Rights, and should maximize access.
    6. Open and unfiltered access to the Internet should be conveniently available to the academic community in a college or university library. Content filtering devices and content-based restrictions are a contradiction of the academic library mission to further research and learning through exposure to the broadest possible range of ideas and information. Such restrictions are a fundamental violation of intellectual freedom in academic libraries.
    7. Freedom of information and of creative expression should be reflected in library exhibits and in all relevant library policy documents.
    8. Library meeting rooms, research carrels, exhibit spaces, and other facilities should be available to the academic community regardless of research being pursued to subject being discussed. Any restrictions made necessary because of limited availability of space should be based on need, as reflected in library policy, rather than on content of research or discussion.
    9. Whenever possible, library services should be available without charge in order to encourage inquiry. Where charges are necessary, a free or low-cost alternative (e.g., downloading to disc rather than printing) should be available when possible. 
    10. A service philosophy should be promoted that affords equal access to information for all in the academic community with no discrimination on the basis of race, values, gender, sexual orientation, cultural or ethnic background, physical or learning disability, economic status, religious beliefs, or views.
    11. A procedure ensuring due process should be in place to deal with requests by those within and outside the academic community for removal or addition of library resources, exhibits, or services.
    12. It is recommended that this statement of principle be endorsed by appropriate institutional governing bodies, including the faculty senate or similar instrument of faculty governance.

Approved by ACRL Board of Directors: June 29, 1999 Adopted July 12, 2000, by the ALA Council

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