- 1 Standard Five: Library and Information Resources
- 2 Introduction
- 3 Standard 5A
- 4 Sufficiency of Information Resources and Services (5.A.1)
- 5 Sufficiency of Core Collection and Related Resources (5.A.2)
- 6 Education Program Drives Resources and Services (5.A.3)
- 7 Standards
- 8 Supporting Documentation
Standard Five: Library and Information Resources
Supporting the Academic Mission of the College
Library and information resources at the Evergreen State College support students as they learn to reason and communicate about freely chosen inquiries whose outcomes remain to be discovered or created (Smith, Standard 2). Library and information resources at Evergreen must therefore balance the open-ended demands of free inquiry with the need for stability, security and efficiency in systems and services. Historically, the Library has been well funded when compared to many public baccalaureates, in recognition of the extraordinary demands of open-ended inquiry and independent study. All library and information resources are shaped by the primary mission of teaching and of providing state-of-the-art facilities for academic programs and individual students in this interdisciplinary, liberal arts curriculum. Strong collaboration among library, computing and media staff, faculty, and administration assures the development of the library and information resources as centers for teaching and learning.
The Founding Vision of the Library: Any Medium, Any Location
When the founding Dean of Library Services, James Holly, wrote his “Position Paper No. 1,” he proposed a model which he called the generic library, in some ways anticipating the concept of today's virtual library. “By generic I include man’s [sic] recorded information, knowledge, folly, and wisdom in whatever from put down, whether in conventional print, art forms, magnetic tape, laser storage, etc. By generic, I also eliminate physical boundaries such as [a] specific building or portion limited and identified as ‘the library.’” Holly's vision motivated many aspects of library, media and computer services but proved in many ways untenable because of technical and budgetary constraints and because the college community expressed traditional longings for a bounded space. Today, laptops and networked data are ubiquitous, and most students expect to access information resources, regardless of medium, remotely. Technology as well as community values have caught up with Holly’s founding vision, and Evergreen's library and learning resources now include all media, distributed to almost any location. At the same time, the physical library has expanded its role as a social and intellectual space and now provides an increasingly hospitable center for learning and gatherings of all kinds. A $22 million remodel connected previously disparate areas and created a more cohesive information technology wing, providing one central entrance for the Library, Media Services, the Computer Center and the Computing and Communications offices.
Functions and Facilities Covered in Standard Five
Reflecting these developments, Standard Five considers information resources and services from several disparate administrative units: Library Services, including Media Services (administratively part of the Academic Division); Academic Computing (administratively part of the Finance and Administration Division); and the Computer Applications Lab (administratively part of the Academic Division, with a historical role supporting the science curriculum). The phrase "library and information resources" in Standard 5 should be understood to refer to these units collectively, while comments about separate areas will use more specific language such as the Library, Media Services, CAL or Academic Computing.
The following table provides a schematic representation of the functions involved in Standard 5:
|Collections and Holdings||Facilities, Labs and Technology Support||Human Resources|
|Periodicals||Computer Center||Library Faculty|
|Books||CAL||Library & Media Services staff|
|Government Documents and Maps||Photo Services||Information Technology staff|
|Databases and Digital Resourceds||Digital Imaging||Library Dean and Administrative Support|
|Rare Books||Digital Imaging||Student Staff|
|SAIL||Media Services||Rotating Teaching Faculty|
|Curriculum Room||CCAM (live 2009)|
|Remote Services: Networked resources, off-campus program instruction, Summit, ILLiad||Library Classrooms|
Sufficiency of Information Resources and Services (5.A.1)
Throughout this study library and information resources will be found to be strongly linked via face-to-face collaboration and consultation with faculty, staff and students. These interconnections, within a flat organizational structure, assure constant feedback and redevelopment of services and facilities. Library funding generally compares very well with public institutions and correlates strongly to average funding for private liberal arts peers, peers with whom our use statistics compare favorably. An external assessment performed by Edutech described budgetary support for information technology as comparable to that of institutions with similar missions. There are no comparable institutions for studying the large activity of cross-curricular media services, however advocacy from both the cross-curricular perspective of the library and from the specific needs of the media faculty help insure support. Rapid expansion in information technology access and aspirations have lead to changes in personnel allocation and expertise and will continue to make increasing demands on a staff and faculty already stretched in many areas.
Holdings and Equipment, see 5.B.1
Personnel, see 5.D.1
Evaluation of Budgetary Support, see 5.D.6
Sufficiency of Core Collection and Related Resources (5.A.2)
Broad institutional support for cross-curricular library and information services has historically generated sufficient institutional budgetary support for core collections and facilities. During the study period, the power of networked consortia for collective purchasing and resource sharing has resulted in greater support for the intensive work by individual students formerly more difficult to support effectively.
Education Program Drives Resources and Services (5.A.3)
Strong connections to the curriculum inform all library and information services. An entirely distinctive library rotation system deeply connects the library and teaching faculty in the shared project of curriculum and program planning. Teaching alliances between media services professionals and media faculty determine the character of media services. A strong liaison system connects Academic Computing instructors and services with teaching faculty. See Teaching and Instruction 5.B.2
Information technology planning and governance are discussed in Area 5 (Planning and Governance) of the Edutech Information Environment Review. The study notes that planning is collaborative and responsive to academic needs, and could be strengthened through a stronger role for ITCH (IT Collaborative Hive).