Operational plan

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1. Current Status/Description of Library Services – Library services
(http://library.hccs.edu) are provided to HCC students, faculty, and
staff at 9 full-service libraries, 5 electronic resources            HCC Libraries and ERC’s
centers (ERCs), and a system office at 3100 Main. Books and
media in all library collections are available to students for       Alief Bissonnet ERC (SW)
                                                                     Alief Hayes Rd. ERC (SW)
pickup and use at any of the 15 locations. Online resources,         Central College Library
which include licensed databases and free resources, are             Codwell Library (NE)
available 24/7 to the HCC community wherever they are.               Eastside Library (SE)
Resource sharing provides the HCC community with additional Katy Library (NW) (System)
                                                                     Library/LRC Support
resources from libraries who participate in the TexShare card        Missouri City ERC (SW)
program and in Interlibrary Loan programs.                           Northline Library (NE)
                                                                    Pinemont ERC (NE)
                                                                    Spring Branch Library (NW)
a. Mission Statement -- In support of the HCC mission to            Stafford Library (SW)
promote student success, the library system endeavors to            West Loop Library (SW)
                                                                    Willie Lee Gay Hall ERC (CT)
provide the most relevant human, physical, and digital resources
and services required to support, enhance, and supplement the
teaching and learning processes for the HCC community of students, faculty and staff,
and other lifelong learners.

b. Goals --
    • To provide and maintain physical facilities which are adequate to house the
    collections and provide appropriate spaces for users to be able to effectively and
    comfortably use the services and resources within the library and pursue individual
    and group inquiry.
    • To provide user-friendly and well-organized access to print, media, and digital
    learning resources necessary to support college courses, programs and degrees.
    • To provide for the efficient acquisition of library equipment, supplies, and
    furniture, and the acquisition and licensing of print and non-print resources.
    • To provide methods for faculty and student input into the formulation of library
    and collection development guidelines and procedures.
    • To review, revise and update regularly all library procedures, guidelines, and
    allocation formulas in alignment with HCC and Library Strategic Plans.
    • To provide resources which enable learners to acquire a broad exposure to various
    disciplines, cultures, and ways of understanding.
    • To ensure access to library resources and services by all students and faculty
    regardless of location and method of program delivery.
    • To provide access to an expanded range of materials through the development and
    maintenance of borrowing agreements with other institutions.
    • To provide reference and information services using a variety of relevant resource
    materials in print and digital formats, and a variety of delivery methods which include
    face to face, email, and chat.
    • To provide instruction in the use of library and other resources, research
    techniques, and information literacy which is relevant to student coursework while
    providing opportunities to obtain the skills and understanding needed for lifelong


    • To provide supplemental library use assistance and information literacy
    instruction in print and digital formats.
    • To provide competent professionals and support staff in adequate numbers to
    meet the needs of faculty and students.
    • To provide qualified American Library Association (ALA) accredited Master of
    Library Science (MLS) librarians to provide technical support, instruction, reference
    and information services.
    • To provide library staff with in-service training and other professional
    development opportunities.
    • To evaluate regularly the relevance of library materials, instruction, and services
    to the HCC community and to assess the impact of library programs on student
    persistence and success.

c. Values -- Houston Community College Libraries support the HCC Values. The
Libraries will be an inviting and healthy place to work and learn. Core values guide our
interactions with students, the internal and external communities we serve, and each
other. These principles give focus to our primary purpose of serving students and
facilitating their success as citizens in a free and prosperous society. The library is
absolutely essential to student success and lifelong learning.

Freedom – The essence of education is the cultivation of an open environment
that promotes a rigorous, untiring life-long pursuit and expression of truth and
free exchange of ideas. HCC libraries will provide free and open access without
censorship to a wide variety of resources representing a diversity of viewpoints and
Accountability – A responsible individual is committed to doing one’s duty and taking
the right actions. The HCC Library recognizes that it is the steward of the learning
resources and is accountable for fulfilling its mission.
Community-Mindedness – The bonds of our community are caring, open communication,
cooperation, and shared governance.
Integrity – Personal and community well-being demands a commitment to honesty,
mutual respect, fairness, empathy and doing the right thing at all times.
Excellence – Our will and spirit are to achieve the best in teaching, learning, community
building, and stewardship. HCC Libraries will provide the best library instruction and
resources to achieve the best in teaching, learning and community building.

d. Resources – The libraries provide print a variety of print and media resources which,
along with online resources, are discoverable and available via the Library’s homepage
(http://library.hccs.edu) and the HCC Library Catalog site (http://librus.hccs.edu).

     Types of Materials Available in the HCCS Libraries October, 2008
     Circulating books                                                       176,367
     Reference books                                                          23,908
     Media items                                                              21,168
     Magazines, Journals, Newspapers                                             642
     Electronic books                                                         30,094


     Electronic Journals                                                          17,736
     Electronic databases                                                          100+

f. Staff – The libraries (http://library.hccs.edu/about/locations.php) are staffed by 32 full-
time faculty librarians, 19 full-time library assistants, and additional part-time librarians
and staff as needed to provide adequate services at all locations

g. Survey data – A recent survey conducted online by the libraries is currently being used
to evaluate the future needs and direction of the HCC libraries as part of the strategic
planning process.
     515 student respondents, both distant and on-campus, ranked Internet resources
        (330), electronic databases (254), online reference materials (encyclopedias,
        dictionaries, etc.) (250), printed books (239), and research help offered by library
        staff (220), as being extremely important to their studies. These results
        (http://library.hccs.edu/about/results.xls) demonstrate the necessity of maintaining
        current print and digital collections, the valuable role of library staff in providing
        assistance, and the need for formalized information literacy instruction given that
        overwhelmingly, students prefer using Internet resources.
     In addition, students who visit the library daily do so most often to check their
        email and access the internet, which demonstrates the need for library computing
        facilities adequate to bridge the digital divide.
     Library services rated “excellent” by the students included circulation (check-
        out), on-site reference assistance, book requests (the request is placed directly
        from the catalog and placed in delivery to the library pickup location designated


        by the student), Get My Barcode (now replaced by the Student System login
        procedure), and off-campus access to digital resources.
       More students were “very satisfied” with almost all aspects of the library
        collections, the notable exceptions being printed books (more were “somewhat
        satisfied”) and media. Digital resources, facilities, seating, hours, security, and
        computers received more “very satisfied” ratings.
       The Library’s homepage received the highest marks of any other section of the
        survey. This was a main concern of the librarians since the link to the Library
        homepage does not appear on the front page on all the HCC college websites.
       Besides enhancing the collections, the survey choices also indicate that students
        would like to have coffee bars in the library, would participate in weekly online
        book discussions or monthly in-house book discussions, use individual study
        rooms if they were available, would prefer more help with hardware/software
        issues, and would like the capability to add tags, book reviews, ratings, and
        opinions to the library websites.

2. Background

a. When the Houston Community College System was established by HISD voters in
1971, it was organized with a district structure and was governed by the HISD Board of
Trustees. Likewise, the HCCS library system was organized with a district structure,
having a Director of Libraries, a Coordinator of Public Services, and a Coordinator of
Technical Services. Budgeting, collection development, delivery, and other functions of
the library were also centralized.

During the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s, library public services were provided in a number of
library facilities, some owned by HCCS and open day/night, others in shared facilities
owned by HISD and other school districts where HCCS conducted classes. The shared
facilities were generally operated by the owning school district during the day and by
HCCS in the evening. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, HCCS provided library services in
over 25 different sites. The services included, but were not limited to, library instruction,
reference, collection development, media, and delivery.

Library administration was housed in the Central Library, which had been moved to the
San Jacinto building in the late 70’s. Technical Services were also housed in the San
Jacinto building and were responsible for providing acquisitions, cataloging, and other
services for library sites. One of the major functions of Technical Services was
producing and distributing the union catalog for the library system. The catalog had
originally been issued in book format, and then changed to microfiche for easier updating
and production.

In 1989, HCCS became independent of HISD, as the first separate HCCS Board of
Trustees were sworn in.


Shortly after that, HCCS was reorganized from a centralized, district operation into 6
separate colleges, each with its own president and budget. At this time, the library
system continued to operate as a centralized entity.

As each college began to establish fulltime campuses which could provide students with
more comprehensive services, the part-time evening sites began to close and the number
of part-time library sites was reduced.

In 1993, the library system had begun the process of selecting and implementing an
integrated automation system. The Innovative Interfaces, Inc. system was chosen and
implementation began late in 1994. Implementation of all modules of this system would
take several years to complete.

In the spring of 1997, a major re-structuring of the library system began. The
centralized/district system moved to the “college” system, with an academic library chair
elected in each of the colleges, and Technical Services remaining as a centralized district
function. The library chairs and the Director of Library/LRC Support Services have since
served as the oversight committee for library operations, with the library chairs housed in
one of their college libraries, and Library/LRC Support Services moving form Central
College to a district office site in 1999.

b. Challenges
     Traditionally the libraries have been faced with challenges relating to staffing,
       facilities, and collections. Although these challenges persist, they are no longer
       based simply on statistical or comparative formulas, but on effectiveness and on
       paradigm shifts – most notably the shift towards digital resources and
       technologies. The shift is caused not only by the availability of new resources and
       technologies, but on a strong preference of students for using them, and on their
       increasing relevance to students’ coursework and lifestyles.

        This shift affects all aspects of library provision and use, such as the need for
        information literacy education, the need for technologically skilled staff, the need
        for technology-friendly spaces, the need for appropriate digital resources, and the
        need for a comprehensive copyright compliance program. Adding to the challenge
        is the continued need for balancing the provision of traditional resources and
        services with the provision of the new, since the shift may never be “complete”.

       Many in academic communities believe that “all use” of print, media, and digital
        resources for educational purposes is “Fair Use”. Library efforts to combat this
        misconception include the ubiquitous signs posted at photocopiers, a Certification
        in Technology basic course on copyright compliance, informational web pages,
        preaching, and a recommendation that HCC investigate membership in the
        Copyright Clearance Center. Library use of both print and electronic course
        reserves modules are monitored for compliance with Fair Use guidelines.


         Several converging factors dictate the urgent need for comprehensive District-
         wide policies and guidelines.
         o Students strongly prefer to use course materials that are both free (or at least
            much cheaper than textbooks) and digital
         o Educators may provide print or digital content that is freely available without
            realizing that it is not public domain unless specifically stated
         o Many don’t realize that HCC library materials are not exempt from the First
            Sale Doctrine, which prohibits “reproducing the material, publicly displaying
            or performing it, or otherwise engaging in any of the acts reserved for the
            copyright holder”, and which is limited only by the minimal reproduction
            rights afforded by Fair Use
         o Digital formats, especially, are easy to locate, reproduce, and redistribute
            within minutes or even seconds
         o The libraries are not the only point of possible risk; any department that uses
            or distributes software, print, media, and online digital resources bears
            responsibility for managing compliant use and licensing.

         District-wide policies and strategies would mitigate risk. The libraries recommend
         that the following be considered:
         o Formulation of a District-wide committee, which includes librarians,
             instructional faculty, Information Technology staff, and administrators, to
             formulate both informational and policy statements on intellectual property
         o Consider outsourcing copyright management by participating in the Copyright
             Clearance Center
         o Encourage the use of material with Creative Commons licensing
         o Monitor the Copyfight movement and participate in the dialogue; When laws
             prohibit sharing in ways that limit free dissemination of knowledge and
             culture, education suffers the most.

        Comparative statistics (National Center for Education Statistics, 2006) indicate
         that HCC library services such as reference and instruction are used heavily
         compared to those in our comparison groups. Circulation services are a bit below
         average, but this is to be expected with below-average collection numbers. These
         statistics compare the FTE student population by raw numbers of items circulated,
         reference questions addressed by librarians, and numbers of library/information
         literacy instruction classes taught by librarians. As proud as we are of the services
         of our librarians, we wish to do more and to reach more students. The Library
         Strategic Plan Steering Committee will address marketing strategies, while the
         Library Chairs will continue to request staffing increases.

    National Center for Education Statistics
    Data from Academic Libraries Survey Fiscal Year: 2006


                                                                            Number of
                                         Total Staff                        Reference
                            Total FTE    Per 1,000       Circulation     Transactions in a     Presentations
                             12 month     Enrolled      Transactions      Typical Week /         Annually /
         Library Name       Enrollment     (FTE)        FY / Per FTE         Per FTE              Per FTE
    Comparison Group
    Average                      4,047         4.06         29015 / 6            351 / .086        143 / .035
    State Average (TX)           4,593         8.12         55192 / 9            332 / .072        154 / .033
    National Average             3,619        14.88        34860 / 14            263 / .072        112 / .030
    Comparison Group
    Median                       2,692          3.44          5213 / 3           159 / .059         75 / .027
    State Median (TX)            2,197             5          7499 / 5           121 / .055         53 / .024
    National Median              1,581          4.97          6559 / 5            95 / .060         43 / .027
    Houston Community
    College                     26,239          2.42         60139 / 3          3471 / .132        885 / .033

        Library spending long-term has not allowed for the growth of human, digital,
         material, and library resources that keep pace with a growing population of staff
         and students. Comparative statistics from the Library Program Review,
         demonstrate that staffing and facilities maintenance expenditures necessary for
         numerous sites have not been matched by expenditures for resources or the
         facilities needed to house larger collections. At least two HCC libraries must
         weed collections in order to add current, new, materials. Library staff actually
         reach more students per FTE than the median and averages of our comparative
         groups (see recent NCES comparisons), and yet the ratios of library staff to
         student FTE has not increased.

National Center for Education Statistics
Data from Academic Libraries Survey Fiscal Year: 2006
                                                                               Books, Serial
                                                                                Back Files,        Salaries/
                             Expenditures:   Total Library                     Media, Other        Wages:
                             Books, Serial   Expenditures      Books, Serial   Materials Per      Librarians     Salaries/
                              Back Files,     Per Person        Back Files,      Person           and Other     Wages: All
                                Other          Enrolled        Media, Other      Enrolled        Professional   Other Paid
       Library Name            Materials        (FTE)            Materials        (FTE)              Staff         Staff
Comparison Group Average          $78,495          $153.02           55,483             13.7         $275,800     $179,428
State Average (TX)               $244,537          $508.60          307,065            66.85         $547,273     $423,407
National Average                 $171,823          $690.39          268,766            74.26         $576,153     $402,104
Comparison Group Median           $37,211          $143.98           43,683            16.22         $141,917      $64,209
State Median (TX)                 $41,872          $188.46           58,586            26.66         $232,901     $136,468
National Median                   $35,000          $203.97           46,730            29.55         $220,310     $121,822
Houston Community College        $435,527          $154.91          216,657             8.25       $2,171,100     $920,767

         Some progress was made after a consultant made recommendations in the 1999
         Library Plan. The plan was followed by the Colleges to Standards initiative which
         may now also be ineffective. Comparative statistics, however, are fairly objective,
         for the most part, except that we have no real comparison group in size and
         organization. Average and median figures can be utilized, however, to determine
         the differences in service and resource levels that we provide to our students
         given that we wish to be the best.


        The libraries are currently developing a strategic planning document which will
        provide further guidance for future directions and expenditures.

3. Operation/Organization of the Libraries –

a. Management -- The HCC libraries are managed by a committee of the six college
library academic chairs, and the Director of Library/LRC Support, who manages
centralized technical and automation services. The library chairs are supervised by either
the Dean of Academic Development or the Dean of Student Development at their
respective colleges. The Director of Library/LRC Support is supervised by the Vice
Chancellor of Instruction. Staff in the college libraries are supervised either directly by
the library chair, or by campus librarians.

b. Organization – Library services are provided by college libraries
(http://library.hccs.edu/about/locations.php) and by the Library/LRC Support

College libraries (http://library.hccs.edu/about/locations.php) provide:
    librarians to provide library and information literacy instruction
    circulation and reserve desk functions
    reference and information services
    materials booking services
    collection development and maintenance
    facilities to house the library collections
    librarians and staff to manage the collections
    collection security
    faculty liaisons for collection development and instruction
    web development
    training
    curriculum development
    committee participation

A Library/LRC Support Office at 3100 Main provides the college libraries with a suite of
centralized services that would otherwise be required at each location:

       acquisitions/purchasing of library materials
       administration of the library web servers and Integrated Library System (ILS)
        assistance with online reference via Ask a Librarian
       cataloging of in-house and digital resources
       delivery of materials among libraries daily
       electronic licensing of online (digital) resources
       inventory
       Guidelines & Procedures Manual maintenance
       book repair
       materials processing (labels, barcodes, security tags, pockets, covers)


       resource sharing via Interlibrary Loan, TexShare coordination services, and
        TexPress delivery services
       serials ordering/check-in/claiming
       specialized supplies
       technical support
       training
       web development
       committee participation
       library services to HCC employees at 3100 Main
       assist with public services occasionally

c. Consensus, transparency – Whenever possible changes to service and resource
offerings are decided by consensus vote taken via email, or in person at a meeting of the
entire library faculty (the Library Forum). Otherwise either the Forum or one of the
specialized library committees makes recommendations to the library chairs, who then
consider the recommendations and take action. Committee minutes, including those of
the library chairs, are published on the library homepage.

d. Colleges to Standard – The libraries have relied on Colleges to Standard, which
contained formulas for the physical, human, and technological requirements outlined in
the 1999 Library Plan and previous SACS criteria, as a measure of progress towards ideal
staffing, collection, and facility sizing. To date, some progress has been made towards
achieving the Colleges to Standard goals for collection and facility sizing. Staff increases
have primarily been accomplished by adding staff as required when new facilities are
opened. These gains have not kept pace with steadily increasing enrollment. Further
information and statistical details may be reviewed in the most recent Library Program
Review and Update (http://library.hccs.edu/lpr2006/).

e. Reporting – Libraries report progress towards goals, statistics on holdings, usage,
staffing, and other aspects of library services at the institutional, state, and national levels.
     College librarians report statistics on reference services, instruction sessions, and
        materials circulation to the library chair.
     The Director of Library/LRC Support submits monthly reports to the Vice
        Chancellor of Instruction.
     The Acquisitions Librarian reports monthly purchasing statistics to the library
     The Office Manager for Library/LRC Supports gathers and maintains statistics on
        new items and usage of several digital resources.
     The Director of Library/LRC Support maintains usage statistics on digital
        resources used on- and off-campus, and reports to the librarians at then end of the
     Statistics on all aspects of library services and spending are reported in alternate
        years to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in odd-numbered
        years (http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/pubs/als/) and to the National Center for
        Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/libraries/) in even-numbered


         years. The NCES statistics are used to draw comparison reports against
         benchmarks and similar institutions.
        Library Program Review provides the primary means of reporting progress
         towards Library goals and the Strategic Plan, and of recommending changes to
         the Library program, to the Vice Chancellor of Instruction.
        Quick statistics on library holdings are reported on the library catalog website
        Ad-hoc reporting occurs as needed. Useful reports include the most-used print and
         media resources by subject, circulation statistics, and the most-used databases.

f. Staff development – Staff development occurs at several levels.
     Librarians participate as both instructors and students of the Certification in
         Instructional Technology (http://www.hccs.edu/hccs/faculty-staff/instructional-
         media-center-imc/certification-in-instructional-technology) program
     Librarians participate as both instructors and students in the Center for Teaching
         and Learning Excellence program
     Librarians attend Faculty Association Council meetings and may serve as faculty
     Special workshops for library support staff are held 3-4 times per year. Attendees
         are awarded certificates for participation. (Librarians often attend)
     Librarians share their expertise by holding workshops to develop special skills or
         competencies, such as PHP scripting, or using the library system’s Create List
     Librarians and support staff serve on library, college, and district committees
     All library staff participate in the Performance Excellence Program (PEP)
     Many librarians participate in state and national professional organizations
     Many librarians have completed the HCC College Leadership Program, while
         many support staff members have completed the College Office Professionals
     Library staff improve their technical skills by taking HCC's Ultra On-line
         technology training courses
     Library staff who use PeopleSoft modules complete one or more UTRAIN
         modules online.

g. Faculty workload – Similar to instructional faculty, librarian faculty divide their time
between teaching/learning, college/community service, advising and professional
development. The largest portion of their time, roughly 85% is spent working directly
with students either individually or in a classroom setting. Work includes library
instruction and reference – guiding students through the research process and enabling
them to locate and evaluate the sources they need for their assignments. Additionally
every librarian serves on at least one system-wide library committee as well as on college
and other system committees. Many also serve on their delegation to the Faculty Senate.
Much of the work of the library system is handled by system-wide committees and results
in a unified approach to issues that every college has to address.


h. Technology development – The libraries are committed to providing all HCC students,
faculty, and staff, wherever they are located, access to information, assistance, and
instruction, in a variety of formats. Several library committees investigate and promote
implementation of technologies that allow greater levels of inquiry, collaboration, and
participation. Current efforts include, but are not limited to:

        Participation in the district-wide strategic technology planning community
        Development of web-based services using social networking tools such as
         Delicious bookmarks and tagging, Facebook, and user-generated content such as
         ratings and reviews, to solve problems and engage learners
        Provide materials and assistance on demand by utilizing the best technologies for
         instant, digital, communication and for providing digital content
        Ensure that in-house computer resources, instructional technology, and assistance
         are up-to-date and sufficient to bridge the digital divide
        Provide opportunity and incentives to all librarians for teaching, developing, and
         using new tools
        Utilize student survey data and other feedback to determine future directions and
         current corrections
        Evaluate the effectiveness of the current Innovative Interfaces library automation
         system based on features, business model, cost, and usability.

i. Guidelines and procedures – Library guidelines and procedures are available via the
Library homepage at http://library.hccs.edu/about/guidelines_and_procedures/index.php.
Staff procedures are available via secure login from the online catalog.

j. Planning – Due to the nature of the HCC organizational structure, one with six college
administrations, each with one or more libraries, and Library/LRC Support reporting to
the Vice Chancellor of Instruction, the library’s planning process is a multi-level one.

        On the individual college level, planning is based on college, as well as district
         goals and needs. This is accomplished by the Library Chair meeting with the
         supervising Dean, other department chairs and deans, with the college librarians,
         and with the library support staff. Planning is done with student needs and input
         in mind, which is garnered on a daily basis by interaction with students in the
         library and on an annual basis by utilizing results from such sources as the
         Community College Survery of Student Engagement (CCSSE) and the Student
         Evaluation of Instruction (SEOI). College librarians are assigned duties as liaisons
         to specific instructional departments for the purpose of dialogue with instructors
         about student and instructional needs, including collection development.

         In addition, each of the library chairs attends the college meetings of department
         chairs. Some library chairs also regularly attend college president's management
         team and administrative council meetings (again, we should ask for more
         consistency here). Along with these approaches to working with instructional
         faculty, the library chairs and librarians meet with library advisory committees at
         the colleges and discuss issues and concerns of services and needs.


        On the district level, planning is done largely by means of monthly meetings of
         the six college Library Chairs and the Director of Library/LRC Support. This is
         the primary means by which library services remain consistent throughout the
         District, and by which initiatives, guidelines, and procedures are communicated to
         library staff. Other planning is accomplished using district -wide library
         committees, such as the Library Instruction Committee, the Distance Education
         Committee, the Web Committee, and the Circulation Policy and Procedures
         Committee. Minutes of all committee meetings are posted to the library homepage
         in an effort to further communication and foster transparency.

        Planning is done twice per year at the Librarians' Forum meetings. These
         meetings include all college library chairs, the Director of Library/LRC Support,
         and all librarians from the colleges and the System Library/LRC Support

        The librarians work with instructional faculty in a number of ways in developing
         and refining library services to students and meeting instructional needs. This is
         accomplished in both formal and informal contexts. Librarians also attend Faculty
         Association Council meetings and may serve as faculty senators.

        In 2008 the Library Chairs formed the Library Strategic Planning Steering
         Committee, charged with guiding the development of a strategic plan. As a first
         step the libraries recently implemented an online survey which was completed by
         over 800 HCC students, faculty, and staff. Although the sample was small
         compared to the size of the HCC community, results seem definitive and will
         provide background information for the HCC Library Strategic Plan 2009-2012,
         which is now underway. According to data analyzed thus far, the libraries have
         noted a continued need for both print and digital formats, the need for state-of-
         the-art computing facilities, and the desire for additional spaces and services that
         could be developed as “learning commons”.

k. Central College offers the Training and Development Library on a membership basis.
6- or 12-month memberships allow businesses and other institutions to share the cost of
using the latest training videos available in many industries.

4. HCC Library Services to Students -- Library resources and services, which are
crucial to student success, are designed to offer assistance with research, instruction in
the use of all available learning resources, whether owned, licensed, or free, access to
resources and services whether students are on-campus or off, and online equivalents to
in-house services whenever possible.

a. The libraries offer HCC students, faculty, staff, and sometimes the general public,
assistance with locating, using, and evaluating the information they need effectively and
ethically using a wide variety of quality tools and resources. Reference services are
offered in person, over the phone, by email, and via chat as needed. Librarians continue


to develop online services such as email and IM assistance for our distant learners, but
find that our on-campus clientele appreciates these services as well. Printed handouts in
the libraries compliment one-on-one assistance by providing take-home instructions and
reminders. Citation assistance can be obtained in person, through library handouts and
tutorials, in the online catalog, and via a single click in almost all digital resources
licensed by the libraries.

b. The libraries offer instruction to classes, small groups, and individuals.
     Class instruction occurs at the request of instructors, and may be customized at
        many sites. Class instruction may be limited to a single class period, or may occur
        in an extended workshop, or working session format. Individual or small group
        instruction may occur by appointment or as needed, since librarians are available
        at all sites when the libraries and ERC’s are open. Instruction may cover in-depth
        research, the use of computers or other library equipment, citation assistance,
        search assistance, or any other aspect of library or network use. Librarians visit
        HCC classrooms and high schools in addition to teaching in library classrooms.

        Online tutorials and research guides are available via the library homepage to
         supplement in-house instruction and provide point of use assistance 24/7. The
         LibLine blog provides distant learners with tutorials and information to assist
         them in getting the most out of the HCC Libraries, although on-campus students
         and faculty use it, also.

        An Information Literacy Program, (http://library.hccs.edu/learn_how/infolit.php)
         which focuses on: 1) fostering the skills necessary to seek and use information
         effectively and ethically and 2) providing guidance for instructional and library
         faculty to assess the effectiveness of information literacy instruction. An
         established curriculum (LIBR 0100) based on the Association of College and
         Research Libraries (ACRL) standards has been accepted by the Academic Deans.
         As part of this effort the libraries recently received a Texas State Library grant to
         fund the development of 4 online information literacy course modules.

c. Licensed and in-house resources are made accessible to the HCC community via the
library barcode number, which is now being assigned in real time as students register so
that access can be provided by the following day with little library intervention once the
new records are loaded into the library system. The barcode number is available to them
on their online student account. Faculty and staff must still visit a library to obtain a
library card with a barcode number on it in order to access licensed resources online from

d. The libraries provide organized access to licensed digital information resources via the
homepage. Finding tools include:
     lists of resources which are organized alphabetically, by format, or by subject,
     the online library catalog which retrieves digital, print, and media resources,
        integrated within each search result,
     electronic reserves, which are also located via the online library catalog,


        FAQ search, and
        research guides.

Links to licensed resources and electronic reserves contain an embedded reference to the
Library’s proxy server, which provides the means to limit access to HCC students,
faculty, and staff only by IP range access while on-campus (no login required) and off-
campus by login with name and library barcode number.

e. Free online resources are available to anyone with internet access, but the HCC
libraries have organized selected, quality resources by subject and format that may be of
special use to HCC students and faculty. These resources are linked from the subject
pages for licensed resources as a supplement, from the research guides, and from other

The libraries also provide links to Open Educational Resources via an OER Wiki
(http://library.hccs.edu/OER) for the benefit of both faculty and students.

f. The online library catalog (http://librus.hccs.edu) is the primary finding tool for print
and media materials housed in the HCC libraries. Recent developments include the
integration of online resources, links to similar materials, RSS feeds of new materials
lists either by subject or by library, and links to Google preview, cell text-message
reminders, and multiple citation formats for individual items.


The Innovative Interfaces Integrated Library System (ILS) allows for check-out, check-
in, and renewal of in-house library materials. Other features include media booking,
online library account management, and requesting delivery of materials from one site to
another for pickup. All library circulation services require the use of a student picture ID
card with a library barcode number on the back, a library card which is provided to HCC
.faculty and staff, or a TexShare card from TexShare member institutions.

g. The libraries facilitate access to the collections of other libraries by participating in
cooperative agreements like TexShare, which provides access to the collections of
member libraries and cooperative licensing of online resources, interlibrary loan
protocols (http://library.hccs.edu/services/ill.php ) which make resources worldwide
available to HCC faculty staff and students, the Library of Texas, which facilitates
locating digital, print, and media resources. Through a contract with the HAM-TMC
Library, faculty and students at Coleman College have access to a world-class medical

h. Special projects – The libraries have assisted the Fashion Design and Fashion
Merchandising departments by providing both a public and staff interface for a database
of images and descriptions of items in their Historical Fashion Collection. The public
interface includes a search function, a scrolling fashion show of images in the collection,
and an RSS feed of new items. Students may use this database for research and

i. Course reserves are available both in-house and online. E-reserves are available to
faculty who wish to take advantage of the service. E-reserves are available to students
24/7, and require login verification to maintain copyright compliance. In-house reserves
are available at all sites, and must be requested from staff at the Circulation desks.

j. The LibLine (http://library.hccs.edu/Libline) blog was originally started as a service to
Distance Education students, but has proven useful for all library users. Tutorials, library
news, search hints, and online events, such as Common Book Discussions, are some
examples of services provided via LibLine.

k. To date, several HCC library standing committees have used social networking tools in
order to facilitate internal committee business, generally through the use of Wiki's and
blogs to collaborate on documents and projects, post meeting agendas and minutes, etc.
More recently, committees have begun to use social networking tools in order to increase
visibility and service to our users- including students, staff, and faculty. Examples of this
type of use include the addition of Delicious tags as an additional means to organize the
vast array of HCC Library resources in a visual display of clickable terms, and the
Distance Education Committee's use of MySpace and Facebook pages in order to provide
additional access points for users.


5. External Partners – Libraries have a rich history of cooperation and sharing which
allows them to offer additional resources to the HCC community and to reduce the costs
of internal processes.

a. The HCC Library TexShare membership provides access to a large suit of online
resources at a fraction of the cost of individual license through cooperative licensing
agreements. A TexShare library card agreement component to this membership allows
the patrons of member libraries access to the collections of all other members by
presenting a TexShare card from the home library.

b. The libraries facilitate Coleman College student and faculty access to the Houston
Academy of Medicine – Texas Medical Center (HAM-TMC) Library via an annual
contractual agreement. (http://www.library.tmc.edu/)

c. Amigos Library Services, a non-profit regional network serving 750 member libraries
in the southwestern U.S., provides resource sharing (interlibrary loan and cataloging via
the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC, Worldcat)), staff training, shared
purchasing power (discounts on library supplies, online resource licenses, and other
resources), and professional development services. (http://www.amigos.org)

d. The Innovative Interfaces User Group (IUG) was created in 1991, to: a. serve as a
forum to influence the development and improvement of Innovative Interfaces, Inc.
(hereafter III) products for the benefit of IUG members; b. foster and improve
relationships and communication among members, and between members and III; and c.
gather and disseminate information on the use of III products among the users of the
systems (from the bylaws). As members since 1995, when the III system was installed at
HCC, we have participated in the annual conference as budgets allow, the annual
Enhancement List survey, and the IUG listserv. (http://www.innovativeusers.org/about-

e. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides many services to Texas
libraries in addition to the TexShare services mentioned above.
(http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/librarians/) Grant administration, the Library of Texas (a single
search that functions across many library catalogs and online resources), library statistics,
continuing education, and consulting, are only a few of the services available to HCC.

f. Various local, state, and national professional memberships, such as … foster resource
and information sharing on an informal basis.

6. Evaluation of Library Resources, Staff, and Services – Library services, faculty,
and staff are evaluated via processes which are driven either by the Institution, such as
Program Review and PEP, or externally, such as by the THECB or SACS criteria, in an
effort to provide the most effective instruction and learning support possible.


a. Library faculty and staff are evaluated according to PEP and to the individual goal-
setting process on an annual basis. Feedback and coaching are provided throughout the
year as needed.

b. Libraries utilize the SACS criteria to regularly review the effectiveness of services,
facilities, resources, and staffing levels and qualifications in supporting the mission of the
libraries and of HCC.

c. Program-specific accrediting bodies, such as The Board of Nursing for the State of
Texas, which review Career and Technical programs, review library materials and
services to determine whether they are sufficient to support HCC programs, certificates,
and degrees.

d. The THECB requires compliance with SACS criteria, and specifies 10 specific areas
which must meet standards for quality.

e. Library Program Review is completed and updated on 3-year cycles. Services,
resources, facilities, and staffing are covered in detail and evaluated for statistical
comparison with other institutions, recommendations for improvements, and program
strengths and weaknesses. Library data is compared to the he SEOI, Colleges to Standard,
SACS criteria, State and National library statistics for comparison groups, the Library’s
mission and goals, and the Strategic Plan, to determine effectiveness.

f. For several years the libraries have relied on Colleges to Standard, which is based on
the 1999 Library Plan and on the previous SACS requirements, as the planning guideline
for the development of physical, human, and electronic resources. To date, some progress
has been made towards achieving the Colleges to Standards goals for collection and
facility sizing. Staff increases have primarily been accomplished by adding staff as
required when new facilities are opened, although there have been exceptions. These
gains have not kept pace with steadily increasing enrollment. Progress towards Colleges
to Standard is evaluated as part of Library Program Review, as is the continuing validity
of the standards themselves.

g. Usage statistics for books, media, and online resources are maintained and reviewed to
guide new purchases and licenses. Online user statistics are maintained via the Library’s
proxy server, while usage statistics for in-house resources are maintained via the
Innovative Interfaces circulation and media booking systems. Access logs are regularly
reviewed to determine the usefulness of web pages (and for security reasons), though are
not kept due to their extremely large size.

h. The Library recently conducted a survey of the HCC community online, the results of
which are currently being used to develop the Library’s strategic plan. The Library’s plan
to continue developing online user surveys, since the information has proven to be a
valuable planning aid – demonstrating that users increasingly prefer online resources
while continuing to use and need print materials, for example.


i. Librarians are polled annually to determine whether or not online database offerings
remain appropriate and cost-effective. These statistics are used to guide decisions to
cancel existing resources or to license new ones.

j. Informal evaluation occurs on a daily basis as library staff observe the need for
improvement, as students are being assisted, or as library users make comments either in
person or online.

k. The Information Literacy Curriculum is evaluated against the various tools available in
the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Standards Toolkit. Once
offered, the Curriculum will also be evaluated on the SEOI.

l. Monthly and annual statistical reports provide the basis for ongoing evaluation. The
Library submits data bi-annually to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
and to the Texas State Library in the intervening year. The Director for Library/LRC
Support submits monthly reports to the Vice Chancellor of Instruction, and an annual
audit report to the HCC Accounts Payable Dept.


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