Standard 5.A

From selfstudy
Revision as of 17:07, 12 April 2008 by Pederses (Talk | contribs) (The Founding Vision of the Library: Any Medium, Any Location)

The primary purpose for library and information resources is to support teaching, learning, and, if applicable, research in ways consistent with, and supportive of, the institution’s mission and goals. Adequate library and information resources and services, at the appropriate level for degrees offered, are available to support the intellectual, cultural, and technical development of students enrolled in courses and programs wherever located and however delivered.

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 against 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 (students engaged in almost 1300 independent contracts in 2006/07). 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, which in some ways anticipated 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. 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

Teaching Labs and Technology Support

Human Resources



Government Documents and Maps

Databases and Digital Collections

Special Collections: SAIL; Curriculum Room; Children’s Literature; Rare Books


Remote Services: Internet, Tacoma campus, off-campus programs

[This table needs considerable expansion & reorganization]

Computer Center


Photo Services

Digital Imaging

Multimedia Lab

Media Services

CCAM (live 2009)

AT Lab

Library Classrooms


Library Faculty (rotating in from teaching faculty)

Paraprofessionals and other library career staff

Media and Information Technology staff

Library Dean and Administrative Support

Student Staff


5.A.1 The institution’s information resources and services include sufficient holdings, equipment, and personnel in all of its libraries, instructional media and production centers, computer centers, networks, telecommunication facilities, and other repositories of information to accomplish the institution’s mission and goals.

Library funding generally compares very well with public institutions and much less well with private liberal arts institutions with whom our use statistics compare favorably. An external review of computing resources, including those in Media, was performed by Edutech. The report 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 an already extended staff and faculty throughout library and information resources.

Description of Facilities, see Major Facilities and Areas 1 & 2 of the Edutech Technology Peer Review Report

Holdings and Equipment, see 5.B.1

Personnel, see 5.D

Evaluation of Budgetary Support, see 5.E

5.A.2 The institution’s core collection and related information resources are sufficient to support the curriculum.

Broad institutional support for cross-curricular library and information services has historically generated sufficient institutional budgetary support for 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.

Collection Development, see 5.B.1 & 5.B.5

5.A.3 Information resources and services are determined by the nature of the institution’s educational programs and the locations where programs are offered.

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 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).

Planning and Evaluation, see 5.E