Standard 5

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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
Archives Multimedia Lab Interns
SAIL Media Services Rotating Teaching Faculty
Curriculum Room CCAM (live 2009)
AT Lab
Remote Services: Networked resources, off-campus program instruction, Summit, ILLiad Library Classrooms


Standard 5.A - Purpose and Scope

Standard 5.B - Information Resources and Services

Standard 5.C - Facilities and Access

Standard 5.D - Personnel and Management

Standard 5.E - Planning and Evaluation

Supporting Documentation

See Supporting Documentation for Standard Five