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Burke Memorial Library: Collection Development Policy

Burke Library Collection Policy

Collection Development Policy

Burke Memorial Library

Spring Hill College

SHC Mission

Rooted in its Catholic heritage and continuing the 450-year-old Jesuit tradition of educational excellence, Spring Hill College forms students to become responsible leaders in service to others.

We offer our students a thorough preparation for professional excellence; and we strive to awaken mind and spirit to the pursuit of truth and to the ever-deepening appreciation of the beauty of creation, the dignity of life, the demands of justice and the mystery of God's love.

In our community of living and learning, we are committed to the Jesuit tradition of "cura personalis," that is, a care for the spiritual, social and intellectual growth of each person.

Through informed dialogue with the world's cultures, religions and peoples, we promote solidarity with the entire human family.

And true to the Catholic and biblical tradition, we nurture both the personal and social dimensions of faith, seeking to draw our students into a deeper and more vital relationship with God.

The Library’s Mission

The mission of the Burke Memorial Library is to support the Jesuit philosophy of learning and the liberal arts tradition that educates library users through information literacy, research, and technology. With the intent of preparing students to engage actively in the global community, the library provides access to a diverse collection of information resources and services. A place of learning, academics, and social space, the library serves as a user-centered environment.

The Collection Development Mission

The Burke Memorial Library principally acquires and provides access to materials that support the curriculum and reflect the college’s Jesuit identity and liberal arts tradition. The library  strives for excellence in advancing the College's teaching, research and service programs by anticipating information needs, providing access to resources, and promoting effective use of information by students, faculty, and staff.

In addition, the library’s Archives & Special Collections selects and preserves material of local, regional, and Jesuit significance. The library also serves the public as a selective U.S. Government depository for the 1st Congressional District of Alabama.

The Scope of Collection

The Burke Memorial Library principally acquires and provides access to materials that support the curriculum and reflect the college’s Jesuit identity and liberal arts tradition. The library  strives for excellence in advancing the College's teaching, research and service programs.

Materials are selected with a view toward supporting courses as described in the most current Spring Hill College Bulletin of Information and/or course syllabi. New course proposals require library director certification that there are adequate library resources to support the course before submission to the Curriculum Committee. Curriculum Committee membership (see Appendix) consists of two permanent library faculty positions.

The goal is not to have a comprehensive collection of subject matters, but to have a representative collection of materials including both primary and secondary sources. Such materials may include print, electronic, audio/visual and other formats as appropriate.  Generally, only one copy of a title is ordered, and the Library does not purchase textbooks, which students are expected to purchase for class use.

Collection priority has been placed on core undergraduate, English language materials that provide full access to the greatest number of users at all times.  Discipline specific and graduate curriculum are also supported. Emphasis has been placed on electronic resources; however, this is not at the exclusion of print resources.

The research interests of the faculty are supported and encouraged, but that support is provided in a measure consistent with the curriculum.

Intellectual Freedom

The Burke Memorial Library adheres to the College’s Academic Freedom policy (Faculty Manual, I-24) position governing censorship and intellectual freedom adopted by the Council of the American Library Association and published in the Association's Library Bill of Rights. Librarians are guided by these principles of intellectual freedom rather than political, religious, or personal biases in making selection decisions. Respectful of Catholic tradition, but supporting freedom of inquiry and intellectual tradition, the Library’s collections contain and will contain various opinions which apply to important, complicated, and controversial questions, including unpopular and unorthodox positions. Factual accuracy, effective expression, significance of subject, and responsibility of opinion are factors that are considered when materials are selected.

Allocation and Approval of Resources

This policy serves as a guide to library liaisons and faculty who participate in the collection development process, planning, and fair allocation of resources.  Library departmental liaisons are an integral part of the Library’s collection development program. The duties of the liaisons are to coordinate recommendations for materials to be purchased from library funds allocated to the department, school, or discipline, as well as to facilitate communication between the Library and the departments. Departmental directors may decide to approve individual faculty requests.

The Burke Library Collection Development policy is subject to pragmatic adaptations; and throughout the collection consideration of budget, space, and other practical limitations have led to variations in practice with regard both to languages and formats collected.

All materials purchased with library funds become College property, available for the use of the entire campus community.  The principle of community use also applies to materials and electronic resources leased with library acquisitions funds.  It is inappropriate to use library funds to acquire materials for the exclusive use of any group or individual. All physical materials purchased with library funds are housed within the Burke Memorial Library building; exceptions are at the discretion of the library director.

Resource Sharing and Consortial Agreements

The College provides access to collections through both ownership and formal agreements. The intent of resource sharing at the Burke Memorial Library is to extend the range of publications available to all scholars in our academic community.

The Library’s current resource sharing and consortial agreements are with the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries (NAAL), Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU), the Alabama Virtual Library (AVL), and Lyrasis. These and other consortial agreements expand access to databases and ebook collections at a greatly reduced cost and provide license management.

Reciprocal borrowing agreements are available through interlibrary loan (ILL). The Library conducts all transactions in accordance with the National Interlibrary Loan Code and Explanatory Supplement, the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, United States Code, Sections 107 and 108), CONTU Guidelines, and special interlibrary loan agreements with consortia libraries.

Librarians conduct an annual review of interlibrary loan requests to identify frequently requested and relevant materials to add to the collection.


The Library conducts regular collection maintenance; this includes weeding, shelf inventory, replacement of missing or damaged materials, and review of checked out materials.

The Burke Memorial Library has a Gift Policy (see Appendix) and accepts materials that are useful and relevant to the collection, provided there are no restrictions attached to the gifts regarding their disposition or location. Gifts can provide many valuable additions to the collection, but materials received will be evaluated using the same criteria as materials purchased. Nothing is added to the collection simply because it is a gift.

Collection Assessment

Collection assessment tools are used to determine our library resources are adequate for the curriculum. These include the MISO survey, comparative peer institution data, database statistics, catalog (usage?) statistics/reports, focus groups, interlibrary loan statistics, and review of new materials purchased.

Ongoing resource assessment in specific programs such as Teacher Education and Nursing is conducted to ensure the collections meet current and future program accreditation requirements.

Review of Policy

Collection evaluation is an ongoing process. This document is reviewed and amended periodically to address the dynamic nature of library collection needs, formats, and budgets.

Last updated: July 9, 2015

Circulation Policies: Borrowing Materials

Borrowing Policies and Time Limits For Library Collection

All currently registered Graduate Students, Undergraduates, Lifelong Learning, Friends of the Library, President’s Club Members, Clergy, Faculty, and Staff may borrow library materials.  There is a set borrowing period for each category of borrowers.  

Length of borrowing time (books):

14 Days = Undergraduates, Lifelong Learning, Friends of the Library, President’s Club, Clergy, and all others not listed below.  

28 Days = Graduates, Part-time Faculty (adjuncts), and Staff. 

One year = Faculty.  

Length of borrowing time (videos):

3 Days = All patrons (faculty, staff, students, etc.)

Book Limits:

15 books = Undergraduates, Graduates, Upward Bound, Part-time Faculty, and Staff 

4 (four) books = Clergy, President’s Club Members and Friends of the Library

Unlimited number of books = Faculty 


Books may be renewed ONLY in the library.  Students must have valid student ID or driver’s license and be CURRENT in the system to borrow and/or renew books.