Collections: Libraries provide access to collections sufficient in quality, depth, diversity, format, and currency to support the research and teaching missions of the institution.
5.1 The library provides access to collections aligned with areas of research, curricular foci, or institutional strengths.
5.2 The library provides collections that incorporate resources in a variety of formats, accessible virtually and physically.
5.3 The library builds and ensures access to unique materials, including digital collections.
5.4 The library has the infrastructure to collect, organize, provide access to, disseminate, and preserve collections needed by users.
5.5 The library educates users on issues related to economic and sustainable models of scholarly communication.
5.6 The library ensures long-term access to the scholarly and cultural record.
"The Standards include performance indicators, which are intentionally library-centric. Outcomes, however, should be user-centric, preferably focusing on a specific population and articulating specifically what the user is able to do as an outcome of the performance indicator. "
- ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education
Performance Indicator 5.1 The library provides access to collections aligned with areas of research, curricular foci, or institutional strengths.
Performance Indicator 5.5 The library educates users on issues related to economic and sustainable models of scholarly communication.
"Many academic institutions use benchmarks to identify their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to similar institutions. For example, benchmarking can be used to demonstrate whether an institution or its library is funded or staffed at levels comparable to similar institutions in a geographic area, with a similar enrollment, or with other related characteristics."
- ACRL Standards for Libraries in Higher Education
All ACRL information taken from:
Association of College and Research Libraries. (2018). Standards for libraries in higher education.
11.1 The institution provides adequate and appropriate library and learning/ information resources, services, and support for its mission. (Library and learning/information resources) [CR]
Rationale and Notes: To provide adequate support for the institution’s curriculum and mission, an institution’s students, faculty, and staff have access to appropriate collections, services, and other library-related resources that support all educational, research, and public service programs wherever they are offered and at the appropriate degree level. The levels and types of educational programs offered determine the nature and extent of library and learning resources needed to support the full range of the institution’s academic programs. Qualified, effective staff are essential to carrying out the goals of a library/learning resource center and the mission of the institution, and to contributing to the quality and integrity of academic programs.
The purpose of this Core Requirement is to ensure that an institution offers adequate and appropriate library collections, services, and other related learning resources to support the mission of the institution. If the institution has research and/or public service missions in addition to its educational mission, the standard applies to those aspects of library and learning/information resources as well.
The levels and types of degrees offered by an institution determine the nature and extent of library-related resources needed to support the full range of its academic programs. In order to adequately support the institution’s curriculum and mission, an institution may arrange for its students and faculty to have convenient access to the library/learning resources of another institution or to library-related resources that are shared by a consortium of institutions. In any case, it is expected that the institution provide adequate and appropriate library collections, learning resources, and related services at all locations, including off-campus instructional sites and branch campuses, as well as programs and courses offered through distance and correspondence education.
NOTES: Institutions should include information on learning/information resources housed in the library, other locations, or offered over a network, as appropriate (e.g., curriculum labs, specified reading rooms, computer labs, IT help services, writing centers, online learning management systems). If this information is instead presented in Core Requirement 12.1 (Student support services), that should be clear in the narrative of both standards. Physical facilities and the condition of such facilities (as opposed to contents within the building) do not need to be addressed in this standard, but should be addressed in Standard 13.7 (Physical resources).
Details on how library collections, resources, and services are assessed and results used to make improvements should be found in Standard 8.2.c (Student outcomes: academic and student 11.1 110 services). Some of that information also may appear in this standard if it helps to establish the adequacy and appropriateness of current collections, services, and other related learning resources.
Access to library collections and services is specifically included in Standard 11.3 (Library and learning/information access). Thus in Core Requirement 11.1, the emphasis should be on an enumeration of collections, resources, and the types of services offered. Ease of access should be part of Standard 11.3, not the current standard. There will be some duplication of discussion between these two standards.
Questions to Consider
Reference to SACSCOC Documents, If Applicable
SACSCOC policy: Distance and Correspondence Education
Cross-References to Other Related Standards/Requirements, If Applicable
All SACSCOC information taken from:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. (2018). Resource manual for the principles of accreditation: Foundations for quality enhancement. [3rd ed.].
Retrieved from https://sacscoc.org/pdf/2018%20POA%20Resource%20Manual.pdf