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THE ACADEMIC LIBRARY

By Salvacion M. Arlante
The mission of the academic library is to contribute to the goals of the college or
university of which it is a part and to the wider scholarly community. Those goals pertain to
teaching, learning, research and public service in some combination.
The enduring, traditional, and widely accepted function of the academic library is to
provide bibliographical and physical access to books and other information sources required to
support the diverse missions of our various academic and research institutions.
The character and quality of an institution of higher learning are shaped in large measure
by the nature of its library holdings and the ease and imagination with which those resources are
made accessible to members of the academic community.

RESOURCES
The essentials that are fundamentals to successful operation of the library and the
coordination of its program with the teaching and research program of the institution may be
presented under eight headings:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)

Resources for instruction, research and extension;


A competent library staff;
Organization of materials for use;
Adequate space and equipment;
Integration of the library with administrative and educational policies;
Integration of the library with the community, state, regional, national and international
library resources;
7) Adequate financial support;
8) A workable policy of library government
Environmental Scanning
When building resources of an academic library, environmental scanning is undertaken.
Environmental scanning is a very useful concept and process for any manager at any
level. It is a process for gathering information about activities, trends, relationships,
competitors, potential dangers, and any other factors in the environment that could impact
the organization. (Evans & Ward, 2007).
Some common variables to consider:

Customers User behavior and needs are the foundation upon which one should build
information services.
Competitors/market Libraries and information services face competition from one
another as well as from other services.
Functioning source/s funding is crucial for effective information and library service
and knowing what factors are affecting the source is the key to successful planning.

Suppliers Two key categories of suppliers are firms that provide information materials
(jobbers and publishers, for example) and those that handle library and information
service technologies.
Labor issues Ongoing concern is the availability of qualified people for positions in
information services.
Legal/ regulatory factors legal concerns for libraries and information services is
copyright.
Economic trends Economic factors affect information services in two primary ways:
what one can buy with available funds, and how much money will be available to spend.
Technology
Political changes/trends
Sociocultural factors values, attitudes, demographics, historic context, and customs of
the society in which the organization operates. All the factors have obvious implications
for information services.

ON LIBRARY COLLECTION
A distinguished collection of books is the sine qua non of great academic or research
library. There are other important factors but we should not forget that books are subsidiary to
the root element that gives the library its name liber, the Latin word for book.
As the primary goal of the library is to select, collect, organize, and provide access to all
varieties of information for users, library programs should be developed with that goal in mind.
The library shall select and acquire materials in all formats (consider electronic formats) to the
level required to support academic programs. It is common practice to use the term books
generally to cover the vast array of things that make up a research librarys collections.
Electronic formats cover e-books and online subscriptions to databases.
LIBRARY COMMITTEES TO INVOLVE FACULTY (subject experts) and librarians
(literature specialists or subject bibliographers) should actively develop and strengthen library
collections in support of curricular offerings, research and information needs of the academic
community.
The academic library should hold BIBLIOGRAPHIC TOOLS for both current and
retrospective materials such as standard catalogs, subject bibliographies, periodical indexes,
abstracts and some machine-readable files. Likewise, the academic library must maintain the
following current awareness services: acquisitions lists, list of ongoing researches, list of
periodicals, list of university publications, readers interest files and referral lists. In-house
indexes, in-process files, information files, shelf-lists must all be maintained.
USER EDUCATION is usually integrated in freshmen orientation courses. The
institution may also offer reference and bibliography courses in the general education program.
FACILITIES
1) Building resources

Ideally, the library should be housed in one or more buildings adequate to its roe
within the institution and should reflect a coherent planning effort.
2) Equipment
The library should provide directional, informational and reference services.
These services include not only the answering of questions and providing
instruction on the use of the library but also the provision of printed, graphic or
electronic media. The academic library must hold multi-media equipment to
provide services designed for all levels of users: audio-visual equipment,
projection aids, microcomputers, video, microforms and photographic equipment
and facilities.
FINANCIAL RESOURCES
The library represents a major capital investment. As such, it requires ongoing annual
investment to retain its value. The sources of funding vary greatly in accordance with the style of
the parent institution. Academic libraries usually get an annual appropriation generated from
library fees collected from students. Other sources of revenues are fines, penalties, library energy
fee, grants and institutional subsidy and audiovisual fee to supplement the book fund.

HUMAN RESOURCES
The library is on dependent on human resources skilled in the knowledge-based
disciplines to achieve its goals. People select, acquire, process, and arrange the librarys
collections; they provide access to information contained in those collections and they direct its
activities and provide its services.
The library should be staffed in such a way as to meet the institutions expectations. The
numbers required are determined by the programs offered, the extent of services, and the hours
during which the service is offered. While there are no absolute requirements, it is clear that the
level of service is determined by the availability of staff.
The staff should include librarians and other professionals support staff, clerks, and
students to provide services at the appropriate levels. The staff should incorporate the needed
skills and academic training to meet the academic needs of the university and to provide
management support.
What service means:

Any person who enters the library building, calls us on the phone, or enters our
Website is a patron.
A patron should be made to feel like the most important person in the world when
they have contact with us.
Our building, our actions, our speech, and our attitude communicate our level of
concern.

ROLE OF THE ACADEMIC LIBRARIAN


The academic librarian has a distinct role in the successful achievement of the goal of the
college or university of which he is part.
The librarian as a TEACHER is a based on his role as reference specialist, information
specialist and bibliographer. He stands as an expert in retrieving information by means of
catalogs, indexes, reference books and more recently, modern technology. He also acts as
provider of information and referral services. As subject specialist, responsibilities include
selection and collection development, library instruction (including formal courses), liaison with
users and technical services, research assistance and bibliographic services, current awareness
and use of machine-readable databases and helping to improve bibliographic control of the
collection.
The role of the librarian as LEARNING and FACILITATOR for self-directed learning
is parallel to that of a subject specialist but to the content tend to be less curriculum and
discipline-based.
The librarian acts as a HELPER and EDUCATIONAL COUNSELOR:
-

Advise faculty on available resources in special subject areas


Provide resources on teaching units and resources for classroom use
Assist in locating materials
Compile bibliographies
Develop in-service training programs
Provide referral service
Develop orientation program for new students
Assist faculty in compiling reading lists or syllabi
Provide individualized reading list
Participate in team teaching
Coordinate with faculty in book selection
Assist in selecting reading materials
Provide training programs for faculty as well as orientation program for new
faculty
Provide reading guidance through conference with individual student, instructor
and guidance counselor

LINKAGES/COOPERATION
The birth of interlibrary cooperation in the form of consortia, networking, inter-lending,
resource sharing, cooperative acquisition, shared or cooperative cataloguing is a welcome
consequence in this era of rapid information explosion where libraries are faced with shrinking
budgets and increasing users demands for fast, reliable, accurate and up to date information.
Most cooperative arrangements are in the form of interlibrary loans, resource sharing on
limited basis, staff-in-service training and use of bibliographic tools for reference, acquisition,
cataloging and classification purposes.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
The modes of library have dramatically changed with the advent of information
technology. Among these developments is the introduction and acceptance of microforms as
storage of information and the use of audiovisual in user education as new information media.
Computers further revolutionized library processes and delivery of vital services. Another
existing phenomenon is the successful interfacing with telecommunications that allows
networking and remote access of online databases.
Another development which accelerated acceptance of the use of computers in libraries is
the recognition of management of the role that timely and accurate information plays in their
work thus leading to fuller support of information stores and to an increasing demand for
computer-literate librarians.

HYBRID LIBRARIES
The hybrid library was designed to bring a range of technologies from different
sources together in the context of a working library, and also to begin to explore
integrated systems and services in both the electronic and print environments. The
hybrid library should integrate access to allkind of resourcesusing different
technologies from the digital library world, and across different media. (Rusbridge,
1998).
The hybrid library is used for libraries that have both physical collections and
digital collections. They consist of a combination of traditional preservation efforts
such as microfilming and new technologies involving digital projects.

DIGITAL LIBRARIES
Libraries in which collections are stored in digital formats (as opposed to print,
microforms, or other media) and accessible by computers. The digital content may be
stored locally, or accessed remotely via computer networks. A digital library is a type
of information retrieval system.

LEADERSHIP
Leadership for today is a collaborative activity. It generates the opportunity for all
members of an organization to engage in visioning and motivating one another to meet the
challenges of a continually changing environment. The outcome is that the organization moves
forward to achieve its goal of fulfilling the information needs of the community it serves.
Leaders require specific characteristics and skills to make this happen. (Evans & Ward, 2007).
Significant words in this definition:

Collaborative
Opportunity
Engage

Visioning
Motivating
Changing
Operating environment
Goal
Community
Characteristics
Skills

Making the right decisions, taking action at the right time, and building trust with the
community have always presented challenges, but the way these can be accomplished continues
to change dramatically. One example is the impact of new information and communication
technology, which enables organization to reduce back-office tasks and thus cut overhead costs.
Leadership also undertakes marketing library resources and services. Having services
that no-one knows about is as good as having no services at all. (Chen Hernon, 1982). Web
marketing is marketing that utilizes the Internet as a communications and distribution channel to
increase the Librarys visibility and web presence (not just library website). It is effective as it is
immediate, that is, timely information with real time delivery, can reach new patrons where they
are. Web marketing is interactive and allows two-way communication and can develop
relationships and bond. This can make libraries become relevant and visible. There are available
tools using Web 2.0. Web 2.0 is just a tool, and like every other tool, it has its place, its strengths,
and its weaknesses. This, however, is an answer to most and many library transactions.

EVALUATION OF ACADEMIC LIBRARIES


The procedures for evaluating the academic library may be considered under seven
headings:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)

Administration
Book collections
Staff
Finance
Library use
Reference services
Buildings and equipment

ADMINISTRATION

In evaluating administration of the academic library, consideration should be given to such


factors as:
a) Evidence that the librarian and staff have a clear understanding of the objectives of
the library
b) The existence of a definite statement of the responsibility and authority of the
librarian in the matters of control

c) The efficiency of the librarys administrative organization


d) Evidence that the major policies and procedures in technical processes and public
services have been clearly formulated and are thoroughly understood by the staff
responsible for carrying them out
e) The efficiency of budget and accounting procedures
f) The existence of close and cordial relationship between the library, administration and
faculty

BOOK COLLECTIONS

Some methods of evaluating book collection are:


a) Checking the book collection against standard lists
b) Checking the reference collection against selected lists of reference books such as
those developed by and for the major accrediting agencies
c) Faculty appraisal of the book coolection through systematic study of bibliographic
and standard lists
d) Maintaining records to furnish a continuing description of borrowings by students and
instructors of each department
e) Study of student and faculty failure to secure books they need from the library
collection during a given period
Six (6) bases of departmentalization of library collections:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)

Function
Activity or process
Clientele
Geography
Subject
Form of material

EVALUATING PERIODICALS

1. Periodicals are important in the college library for several reasons:


1.1.1 Supply reading collateral to students courses
1.1.2 Provide general and recreational reading
1.1.3 Keep the faculty informed of developments in their fields
1.1.4 Furnish research material for the more mature students and faculty
2. For the evaluative analysis of periodical collection, there are periodical guides, similar to
the classified list of periodicals for the college library which may be used for checking
purposes.
3. The periodical collection must also be evaluated for completeness of back files for the
purpose of instruction and research.
Accessibility of book and periodical collections is another measure of evaluating library
service.

STAFF

There are two things of first importance in the evaluation of the staff:
1) The ability of the staff to do work assigned, and;
2) The conditions under which the staff works.
Factors to consider:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Education and training


Appropriate experience
Personal qualities
Attitudes toward work and service
Participation in administrative committee work
Staff size in relation to amount and kind of services rendered and the number of hours
the library is open

FINANCE

The quantitative measurements available for judging the adequacy of the financial spport of
the library include the following:
a. The total expenditure of library service in relation to:
1. The total expenditures of the college for educational purposes
2. The service load of the library
3. The expenditures of other college libraries of similar size, type and function
b. The per capita expenditures of the library for specific purposes, such as books and
services
c. The distribution of library expenditures for specific purposes, such as books and
services

LIBRARY USE

Circulation: The most important measure of the effectiveness of a library is the extent to
which it is used.
a. Judging the effectiveness of library service based on use or circulation statistics has
its limitation. However, circulation statistics may be used to establish norms for
college library use.
1. One such norm is average per capita home circulation recorded over a period of
time.
2. A second such norm is average per capita home circulation based on statistics of a
number of college libraries.
2.1
A comparison of the per capita circulation of two week books will permit
a library to locate its rank in student use.

2.2

A low ranking may indicate:


2.2.1 Lack of essential books and journals
2.2.2 Restricted access to books
2.2.3 Textbook methods of teaching

b. The popularity of Xeroxing parts of books for study and research would also affect
circulation figures.

REFERENCE SERVICE
a. Various methods of measuring the effectiveness of reference service ranged from
keeping quantitative records of different types of reference questions and of readers
served to special studies of the adequacy of reference collections and the amount of
time devoted to the varied operations of the reference department.
b. In spite of the limitations of statistical records for evaluating reference service, many
college libraries do keep regular statistics of the questions asked at the reference desk:
1) The type of record kept varies from a gross count of all questions asked to a more
selective record.
2) The statistics may be further refined to show how many inquiries were received
from students, faculty, administrators, and non-campus users.
3) A count and sometimes listing of typed bibliographies prepared by the reference
staff in response to specific inquiries is frequently kept.
4) A record of unanswered questions has value in building up the reference
collection.
5) Records of inter-library loan afford and additional measure of one part of the
reference departments work.

BUILDING AND EQUIPMENT

In judging the building and equipment, one must consider the effectiveness of such feature
as:
1. Suitable site centrally located with reference to classroom buildings
2. Provision for a growing collections of books with possibility for future expansion
3. Sufficient reading space for study, reference and research and general reading
purposes with provisions for future expansion
4. Proper arrangement, space and relationships among areas devoted to loan desk
service, card catalog, book stack, bibliographical tools, work rooms in which books
are cataloged and prepared for the shelves.
5. Administrative and workroom space for the acquisition and preparation of books
6. Small conference rooms adjoining service departments for working quarters and for
consultation with readers by the staff of the departments
7. Special facilities such as carrels, seminars rooms, and similar facilities placed as
conveniently as possible to the book stack collection
8. Suitable lighting in reading rooms, working quarters, and card catalog areas

9. Storage and exhibit facilities for special materials, such as finely printed and rare
books, map collection and other materials
10. Special provision for audio-visual, computer services, photocopying services
11. Booklifts and elevators
12. Air conditioning and sound proofing
13. Facilities/ installations for automated library processes
14. Other facilities as adequate toilet facilities, storage and receiving rooms, and janitor
space
Academic libraries should provide library quarters for the exclusive use of the library with
adequate space for the office of the librarian and staff, readers and collections. Whether
occupying the building of its own or only a part of a building, it should be strategically located.
The library should be accessible to the students and faculty.
1. The reading room should have a seating capacity of not less than 10% of the total
enrolment computed at 1.86 sq. m. or 20sq. ft. per reader.
2. There should be a space provisions for work areas of the library personnel computed
at 50 sq. ft. or 4.6 sq. m. of floor space per staff member
3. Standard library furniture and equipment should be provided for storage and retrieval
purposes of library materials
4. Shelving space to accommodate 7 books per linear foot should be provided. Shelves
should not be more than 6 feet high
5. Space provision for hardware facilities (cyber nooks, data centers, etc.)

LIBRARY COOPERATION IN ACADEMIC LIBRARIES


Most cooperative programs are directed toward the achievement of one or more of three
major goals:
1. Improving bibliographical access to library materials
2. Improving physical access to library materials
3. Engaging in cooperative collection development
1. Bibliographic access is achieved through:
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4

Standardization of bibliographic data


Authoritative serials database
Union lists and union catalogs
Cooperative cataloging utilizing computer technology and producing computerbased bibliographic databases

2. Physical access is achieved through:


2.1
2.2
2.3

Interlibrary lending
Regional networking
Direct access through telecommunications, photocopying service, special delivery
or communications, such as telefacsimile

3. Cooperative collection development


3.1
Cooperative acquisition
3.2
Universal Serials and Book exchange (USBE)
3.3
Shared or cooperative purchasing
With Evaluation Results, you can now Redesign your library.

LIBRARY CONSORTIUM/A:
A formal association of libraries usually restricted to a geographical area, number of
libraries, type of library, or subject interest, which is established to develop and implement
resource sharing among members and thereby improve the library services and resources
available to their target groups. Some degree of formalization of administration and procedures is
required.