St. Ambrose University Library: St. Ambrose University: Policy Manual 1997  -- Currently under revision - please contact the library for the most recent policies.


Mission and Goals

Selection Policies

Statement & Policies | Gifts | Archives & Special Collections | Reconsideration of Materials | Challenged Materials
Library Bill of Rights
Freedom to Read | Intellectual Freedom Statement | Freedom to View
Book Budget Funds | Non-Print | Periodicals | CD-ROM
General Policies | Documentation List | Priority of Cataloging | Searching OCLC | Audiovisual & Media Materials | Reference |
Archives and Special Collections

General Policies | Lending Rules | Recovery of Overdue, Missing or Lost Items | Notice of Law Governing Concealed Library Materials | Confidentiality of Library Records: ALA and SAU | Confidentiality of Library Records: Iowa Law

Reference & Information Services

Goals | Services | Reference Staff Collection Development Resposibilities | Interlibrary Loan Policy | Fax Service Policies |
Computer Use Policies | Information Resource Terminals | General Use Terminals

Media Services
Media Policies | Service Goals
Building Use Policies
Users | Ambrose Room | Bulletin Board | Conference Room | Food Restriction | Group and Individual Study Room Use |
Media Program Room | Public Address System | Security | Disaster Plan
Personnel Policies

General Statement | Professional Staff | Paraprofessional Staff | Student Assistants
Forms and Letters Used With Policies

Request for Reconsideration of item in the Collection | Response To Request For Reconsideration of Item in the Collection
| Gift Acknowledgement | Consignment of Books, Papers, Documents | Library Collection Order Form | Periodical Request Form |
Multimedia CD-ROM Purchase Request Form | Standard Overdue Notice | Form Letter Sent to Long Term Delinquent Users | Form Letter Sent to Delinquent Graduating Seniors

This Policy Manual was reviewed and updated as of February 1997. The manual was originally created in 1986. Many of the policies have remained the same. However, library service offerings, charges for specific services, and library hours are subject to ongoing review and revision.
St. Ambrose University Library is essential to the educational mission of St. Ambrose University.  Our mission is to select, organize, and maintain print and electronic resources that support the curriculum and information needs of our campus community.  We provide library instruction and an environment that encourages study, intellectual and cultural endeavors, and personal growth.  Our responsibilities include providing a leadership role and actively participating in the campus and library communities.  revised 2005
Our primary clientele is the St. Ambrose University student body, faculty, and staff members. They are encouraged to make use of the library under the policies, rules, and guidelines that have been established throughout this manual. Under the established policies, adult community residents may also use the facility as long as that use does not negatively impact our primary St. Ambrose University users.
Because academic libraries develop a collection supporting the curriculum of the institution, materials of interest to children are not included. Youth under the age of 16 must be accompanied and under the close supervision of a responsible adult, preferably one of their parents, and are welcome to use the library as long as library policies, rules and guidelines are followed. Unsupervised youth will be asked to leave.
Although classes may from time to time meet in various spaces in the library, the facility is not a classroom building.
To fulfill our mission, our major goals are as follows:
1. to provide and maintain a secure facility, which includes a trained staff, sophisticated electronic equipment, and a collection of books, journals, media and computer accessible programs.
2. to continually develop, in collaboration with faculty, the collection of resources that support the curriculum of the university.
3. to provide maximum access to that collection through cataloging and through the provision of appropriate retrieval sources, both manual and computer-based.
4. to teach our students basic and advanced library research skills.
5. to anticipate and prepare for changes in the information needs of our clientele.
6. to represent our university to the Quad Cities and to the library community as a service organization.
7. to cooperate with a variety of library related organizations including, but not limited to the following:

River Bend Library System (Quad-LINC automated circulation system) Iowa Private Academic Libraries
State Library of Iowa Bi-State Academic Libraries (Bi-SAL)
American Library Association S.E. Region (division of State Library of Iowa)
Association of College & Research Libraries Iowa Library Association (National and Iowa Chapter) OCLC (Online Computer Library Center)
Iowa OCLC Users Group
To accomplish these goals, the library recruits and trains a staff of professionals and paraprofessionals, provides them with an effective working environment, and promotes their growth and development.


Statement & Policies | Gifts | Archives & Special Collections | Reconsideration of Materials | Challenged Materials

In the spirit of the Mission Statement of St. Ambrose University, the SAU Library established the following policies as a guideline for the acquisition of materials for the collection:
The chief goal of the SAU Library, in keeping with the University's mission statement, is to make available to the faculty and students a collection of materials that will enrich and support the curriculum and meet the educational needs of the students and faculty served.
The library will be guided by the principles stated in the BELIEFS OF ST AMBROSE UNIVERSITY: "The University believes, therefore, that people today, as always, need the opportunity for systematic exposure to general, professional and career education in an atmosphere where academic freedom is clearly recognized and cherished.
The library will be guided by the principles set forth in the American Library Association documents titled LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS , FREEDOM TO READ STATEMENT, INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM STATEMENT, and the RIGHT TO VIEW STATEMENT.
A portion of the library materials budget will be spent in support of faculty research needs, i.e., interlibrary loan, computer searches, specific material purchases, etc.
To provide a methodology for acquiring monographs, serials, and other materials to support the teaching and research functions of the colleges and to enhance the cumulative academic resources of the local community.
The collection development policy statement is a flexible guideline, necessarily subject to constant review and informed revision. The direction of the library's growth must be responsive to immediate and/or projected needs or changes.
Collection building in subject areas is a faculty responsibility. Faculty subject specialists are aware of their teaching needs and better able to evaluate individual titles to be added to the collection.
Department Chairpersons, who are appointed by the University Administration, are responsible for the final decision of the purchase of materials by faculty in the department.
The professional staff of the library is responsible for the selection of reference materials, cross-disciplinary titles, recreational reading, faculty research materials, standing orders and professional items.
No new programs should be instituted without provision by the university of adequate funds for the purchase of needed library materials. Adequacy will be determined after consultations between the Library Director, the Provost, and the faculty representatives of the new courses to be offered.
Books, serials, microforms, non-book and other forms that may develop should be given full consideration for purchase. Microforms will be purchased when practical and satisfactory. The current practice is to purchase microfilm of selected periodical titles using carefully established guidelines. Selected books, college catalogs, and other resources which are part of the reference collection and are available in non-book form may be purchased in whichever format is deemed appropriate.
For the circulating collection, it is the policy to avoid the purchase of text books per se. Multiple copies of any title are not purchased except in specific circumstances such as for temporary reserve, reference, and for special collections.
Collection development agreements are in place among the Bi -State Academic Libraries (Bi- SAL) libraries. Similar agreements are in place with the membership of River Bend Library System libraries. It has been agreed that it would be illogical for SAU Library to begin to develop large new subject strengths, purchase extremely costly monumental sets or back files of serials, or acquire rare materials if access to these titles is within the local area However, the other libraries in the consortium cannot be viewed as surrogates to enable us to escape our own educational and research obligations to our university community.
The Library Director, in consultation with the Provost, establishes the budget amounts for each department. Chairpersons are asked to report to the Library Director their needs for budget increases in support of new programs or special materials needs. Budget amounts are based in part on current enrollment figures in each discipline, number of faculty, and newly approved educational offerings requiring library budget enhancement, or imperatives to fill gaps for specific class use. All budgeted amounts are subject to evaluation within the framework of the total materials budget.
Definitions of levels of collections accepted by academic libraries and approved by SAU Library Staff:
1. General Collection
A general collection is one which serves to introduce and define the subject and to indicate the varieties of information which are available, including some dictionaries, encyclopedias, selected editions of the important works of major authors, historical surveys, biographies, and serial publications presenting the basic scholarship in the field.
2. Instructional Collection
An instructional collection is designed to meet all teaching needs within its scope and should include a wide range of basic works, complete collections of the works of important authors, yearbooks, handbooks, a wide range of representative serials, and the fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to its subject(s).
3. Comprehensive Research Collection
A comprehensive research collection is adequate for the independent research of both graduate students and faculty, and includes all current publications of research value as well as retrospective publications deemed desirable by the faculty. Such a collection includes all of the important or useful works in the field and the important editions of them, as well as an extensive body of critical and biographical works, documents, complete files of serials, and extensive bibliographical resources.
4. Exhaustive Research Collection
An exhaustive research collection includes, insofar as possible, all relevant publications of research value including such marginal materials as manuscripts, archives, and ephemera.  The current policy of SAU library is to support collection development, levels one and two fully and level three to the best of our financial resources. Level four is reserved for major university libraries serving not only master's level, but multiple Ph.D. programs, and in-depth faculty research.


It is the policy of the SAU Library to gratefully accept donations of materials as long as the donor understands that the library professional staff reserves the right to determine the usefulness of each item to our collection. The library staff must be free to add the books to the collection if desirable or dispose of them as they deem appropriate.
The library DOES NOT establish a value for items donated. The donor, in consultation with his/her tax advisor or lawyer, must establish a value for income tax purposes.
Our policy is to acknowledge receipt of gifts without establishing a value for items donated. It is our policy to send a GIFT THANK YOU LETTER .
Our policy regarding the transfer of ownership of original papers, documents and rare books is to secure the donor's signature on a CONSIGNMENT OF PAPERS FORM in order for ownership of the intellectual content as well as the physical document to be legally transferred to the university.
Unsolicited materials/gifts mailed or delivered to the library will (generally) not be added to our collection. Exceptions will be made if the item(s) meet(s) our selection criteria.
TOP | Selections Policies | Selections Policies

It is the policy of SAU library to acquire and maintain a collection of materials which require special treatment and handling. The space where these materials are located is called Archives and Special Collections and is temperature and humidity controlled. It is the policy of the library to maintain close supervision of access and use of these materials.
The Archive division of the collection is defined as materials which include items produced by or are specifically about St. Ambrose University or its predecessor names.
Special Collections is defined as those materials which are unique due to age, rarity, value, condition or historical importance.
TOP | Selections Policies | Selections Policies

St. Ambrose is a private university related to the Catholic Church in the USA and governed by its own Board of Directors. It is the policy of the library to listen to and acknowledge criticisms which come from users directly connected to the university concerning library owned materials. However, the library is under no obligation to respond to criticisms which come from individuals with no specific connection to the university.
A person who may object to specific books or other library materials shall be requested to complete the form, REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION, available from the Library Director.
The library welcomes comments and criticisms of its collections. However, no citizen in a democracy has a right to prevent another from reading a specific book by demanding its removal from the library's shelves, and there should be no book that is absolutely inappropriate for an academic library. [The Board of Directors of St. Ambrose University] "declares as a matter of firm principle that no challenged library material shall be removed from [this] library under putative legal or extra-legal pressure, save after an independent determination by a judicial officer in a court of competent jurisdiction and only after an adversary hearing, in accordance with well established principles of law". (Intellectual Freedom Manual, ALA, 1992, p54)
SAU Library, as a matter of policy directly related to controversial material, subscribes to the INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM Statement espoused by the American Library Association.
SAU Library also subscribes to and uses as a guide in matters of controversial material the American Library Association FREEDOM TO READ statement.
TOP | Selections Policies | Selections Policies

The SAU Library has established the following procedures for handling complaints concerning materials. Complaints concerning the inclusion of specific titles or items in the collection will be handled in the following manner:
The complainant will be asked to fill out a detailed form specifying the reasons for asking that the item be removed from the collection.
The completed form will be reviewed by the person or department that selected the item in order to review the original purpose for the purchase. The objection will be considered in terms of the library's materials selection statement, the principles of the Library Bill of Rights and opinions of the various reviewing sources used in materials selection.
A verbal and written report may be given to the complainant.
Any objections and the complainant's response to the report will be forwarded to the Library Director.
The complainant may file a REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION if the initial response noted above is not satisfactory.
The formal review will be conducted by the university Provost.
Complaints concerning services will be handled in a similar manner.


Freedom to Read|Intellectual Freedom Statement|Freedom to View

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
  1. Books and other Library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the Library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free access to ideas.
  5. A person's right to use a Library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.
Adopted June 18, 1948;  Amended February 2, 1961, June 27, 1967, and January 23, 1980, by the ALA Council
TOP | Library Bill of Rights | Library Bill of Rights


The freedom to read is essential to our democracy. It is continuously under attack. Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove books from sale, to censor textbooks, to label "controversial" books, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries. These actions apparently rise from a view that our national tradition of free expression is no longer valid; that censorship and suppression are needed to avoid the subversion of politics and the corruption of morals. We, as citizens devoted to the use of books and as librarians and publishers responsible for disseminating them, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of the freedom to read.
We are deeply concerned about these attempts at suppression. Most such attempts rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary citizen, by exercising critical judgment, will accept the good and reject the bad. The censors, public and private, assume that they should determine what is good and what is bad for their fellow citizens.
We trust Americans to recognize propaganda, and to reject it. We do not believe they need the help of censors to assist them in this task. We do not believe they are prepared to sacrifice their heritage of a free press in order to be "protected" against what others think may be bad for them. We believe they still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression.
We are aware, of course, that books are not alone in being subjected to efforts at suppression. We are aware that these efforts are related to a larger pattern of pressures being brought against education, the press, films, radio and television. The problem is not only one of actual censorship. The shadow of fear cast by these pressures leads, we suspect, to an even larger voluntary curtailment of expression by those who seek to avoid controversy.
Such pressure toward conformity is perhaps natural to a time of uneasy change and pervading fear. Especially when so many of our apprehensions are directed against an ideology, the expression of a dissident idea becomes a thing feared in itself, and we tend to move against it as against a hostile deed, with suppression.
And yet suppression is never more dangerous than in such a time of social tension. Freedom has given the United States the elasticity to endure strain. Freedom keeps open the path of novel and creative solutions, and enables change to come by choice. Every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of our society and leaves it the less able to deal with stress.
Now as always in our history, books are among our greatest instruments of freedom. They are almost the only means for making generally available ideas or manners of expression that can initially command only a small audience. They are the natural medium for the new idea and the untried voice from which come the original contributions to social growth. They are essential to the extended discussion which serious thought requires, and to the accumulations of knowledge and ideas into organized collections.
We believe that free communications are essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture. We believe that these pressures towards conformity present the danger of limiting the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend. We believe that every American community must jealously guard the freedom to publish and to circulate, in order to preserve its own freedom to read. We believe that publishers and librarians have a profound responsibility to give validity to that freedom to read by making it possible for the readers to choose freely from a variety of offerings.
The freedom to read is guaranteed by the Constitution. Those with faith in free people will stand firm on these constitutional guarantees of essential rights and will exercise the responsibilities that accompany these rights.
    We therefore affirm these propositions:
  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those which are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.

    Creative thought is by definition new, and what is new is different. The bearer of every new thought is a rebel until that idea is refined and tested. Totalitarian systems attempt to maintain themselves in power by the ruthless suppression of any concept which challenges the established orthodoxy. The power of a democratic system to adapt to change is vastly strengthened by the freedom of its citizens to choose widely from among conflicting opinions offered freely to them. To stifle every nonconformist idea at birth would mark the end of the democratic process. Furthermore, only through the constant activity of weighting and selecting can the democratic mind attain the strength demanded by times like these. We need to know not only what we believe but why we believe it.

  2. Publishers, librarians and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what books should be published or circulated.

    Publishers and librarians serve the educational process by helping to make available knowledge and ideas required for the growth of the mind and the increase of learning. They do not foster education by imposing as mentors the patterns of their own thought. The people should have the freedom to read and consider a broader range of ideas than those that may be held by any single librarian or publisher or government or church. It is wrong that what one who can read should be confined to what another thinks proper.

  3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

    A book should be judged as a book. No art or literature can flourish if it is to be measured by the political views or private lives of its creators. No society of free people can flourish which draws up lists of writers to whom it will not listen, whatever they may have to say.

  4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

    To some, much of modern literature is shocking. But is not much of life itself shocking! We cut off literature at the source if we prevent writers from dealing with the stuff of life. Parents and teachers have a responsibility to prepare the young to meet the diversity of experiences in life to which they will be exposed, as they have a responsibility to help them learn to think critically for themselves. These are affirmative responsibilities, not to be discharged simply by preventing them from reading works for which they are not yet prepared. In these matters taste differs, and taste cannot be legislated; nor can machinery be devised which will suit the demands of one group without limiting the freedom of others.

  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgment of a label characterizing the book or author as subversive or dangerous.

    The ideal of labeling presupposes the existence of individuals or groups with wisdom to determine by authority what is good or bad for the citizen. It presupposes that individuals must be directed in making up their minds about the ideas they examine. But Americans do not need others to do their thinking for them.

  6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.

    It is inevitable in the give and take of the democratic process that the political, the moral, or the aesthetic concepts of an individual or group will occasionally collide with those of another individual or group. In a free society individuals are free to determine for themselves what they wish to read, and each group is free to determine what it will recommend to its freely associated members. But no group has the right to take the law into its own hands, and to impose its own concept of politics or morality upon other members of a democratic society. Freedom is not freedom if it is accorded only to the accepted and the inoffensive.

  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, they can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good one.

    The freedom to read is of little consequence when expended on the trivial; it is frustrated when the reader cannot obtain matter fit for that reader's purpose. What is needed is not only the absence of restraint, but the positive provision of opportunity for the people to read the best that has been thought and said. Books are the major channel by which the intellectual inheritance is handed down and the principal means of its testing and growth. The defense of their freedom and integrity, and the enlargement of their service to society, requires of all publishers and librarians the utmost of their faculties, and deserves of all citizens the fullest of their support.

We state these propositions neither lightly nor as easy generalizations. We here stake out a lofty claim for the value of books. We do so because we believe that they are good, possessed of enormous variety and usefulness, worthy of cherishing and keeping free. We realize that the application of these propositions may mean the dissemination of ideas and manners of expressions that are repugnant to many persons. We do not state these propositions in the comfortable belief that what people read is unimportant. We believe rather that what people read is deeply important; that ideas can be dangerous; but that the suppression of ideas is fatal to a democratic society. Freedom itself is a dangerous way of life, but it is ours.
This statement was originally issued in May of 1953 by the Westchester Conference of the American Library Association and the American Book Publishers Council, which in 1970 consolidated with the American Educational Publishers Institute to become the Association of American Publishers.
Adopted June 25, 1953; revised January 28, 1972, January 16, 1991, by the ALA Council and the AAP Freedom to Read Committee.
A Joint Statement by:
American Library Association
Association of American Publishers
Subsequently Endorsed by:
American Booksellers Association
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
American Civil Liberties Union
American Federation of Teachers AFL-CIO
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith
Association of American University Presses
Children's Book Council
Freedom to Read Foundation
International Reading Association
Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
National Association of College Stores
National Council of Teachers of English
P.E.N. American Center
People for the American Way
Periodical and Book Association of America
Sex Information and Education Council of the U.S.
Society of Professional Journalists
Women's National Book Association
YWCA of the U.S.A. 

TOP | Library Bill of Rights


An Interpretation of The Library Bill of Rights

The heritage of free men is ours.
In the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution, the founders of our nation proclaimed certain fundamental freedoms to be essential to our form of government. Primary among these is the freedom of expression, specifically the right to publish diverse opinions and the right to unrestricted access to those opinions. As citizens committed to the full and free use of all communications media and as professional persons responsible for making the content of those media accessible to all without prejudice, we, the undersigned, wish to assert the public interest in the preservation of freedom of expression.
Through continuing judicial interpretations of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, freedom of expression has been guaranteed. Every American who aspires to the success of our experiment in democracy who has faith in the political and social integrity of free men--must stand firm on those Constitutional guarantees of essential rights. Such Americans can be expected to fulfill the responsibilities implicit in those rights.
We, therefore, affirm these propositions:

  1. We will make available to everyone who needs or desires them the widest possible diversity of views and modes of expression, including those which are strange, unorthodox or unpopular.

    Creative thought is, by its nature, new. New ideas are always different and, to some people, distressing and even threatening. The creator of every new idea is likely to be regarded as unconventional--occasionally heretical--until his idea is first examined, then refined, then tested in its political, social or moral applications. The characteristic ability of our governmental system to adapt to necessary change is vastly strengthened by the option of the people to choose freely from among conflicting opinions. To stifle nonconformist ideas at their inception would be to end the democratic process. Only through continuous weighing and selection from among opposing views can free individuals obtain the strength needed for intelligent, constructive decisions and actions. In short, we need to understand not only what we believe, but why we believe as we do.

  2. We need not endorse every idea contained in the materials we produce and make available.

    We serve the educational process by disseminating the knowledge and wisdom required for the growth of the mind and the expansion of learning. For us to employ our own political, oral, or esthetic views/standards for determining what materials are published or circulated conflicts with the public interest. We cannot foster true education by imposing on others the structure and content of our own opinions. We must preserve and enhance the people's right to a broader range of ideas than those held by any librarian or publisher or church or government. We hold that it is wrong to limit any person to those ideas and that information another believes to be true, good, and proper.

  3. We regard as irrelevant to the acceptance and distribution of any creative work the personal history or political affiliations of the author or others responsible for it or its publication.

    A work of art must be judged solely on its own merits. Creativity cannot flourish if its appraisal and acceptance by the community is influenced by the political views of private lives of the artists or the creators. A society that allows blacklists to be compiled and used to silence writers and artists cannot exist as a free society.

  4. With every available legal means, we will challenge laws or governmental action restricting or prohibiting the publication of certain materials or limiting free access to such materials.

    Our society has no place for legislative efforts to coerce the taste of its members, to restrict adults to reading matter deemed suitable only for children, or to inhibit the efforts of creative persons in their attempts to achieve artistic perfection. When we prevent serious artists from dealing with truth as they see it, we stifle creative endeavor at its source. Those who direct and control the intellectual development of our children--parents, teachers, religious leaders, scientists, philosophers, statesmen--must assume the responsibility for preparing young people to cope with life as it is and to face the diversity of experience to which they will be exposed as they mature. This is an affirmative responsibility that cannot be discharged easily, certainly not with the added burden of curtailing one's access to art, literature, and opinion. Tastes differ. Taste, like morality, cannot be controlled by government, for governmental action, devised to suit the demands of one group, thereby limits the freedom of all others.

  5. We oppose labeling any work of literature or art, or any persons responsible for its creation, as subversion, dangerous, or otherwise undesirable.

    Labeling attempts to predispose users of the various media of communication, and to ultimately close off a path to knowledge. Labeling rests on the assumption that persons exist who have a special wisdom, and who, therefore, can be permitted to determine what will have good and bad effects on other people. But freedom of expression rests on the premise of ideas vying in the open marketplace for acceptance, change or rejection by individuals. Free men choose this path.

  6. We, as guardians of intellectual freedom, oppose and will resist every encroachment upon the freedom by individuals or groups, private or official.

    It is inevitable in the give-and-take of the democratic process that the political, oral and esthetic preferences of a person or group will conflict occasionally with those of others. A fundamental premise of our free society is that each citizen is privileged to decide those opinions to which he will adhere or which he will recommend to the members of a privately organized group or association. But no private group may usurp the law and impose its own political or moral concepts upon the general public. Freedom cannot be accorded only to selected groups for it is then transmuted into privilege and unwarranted license.

  7. Both as citizens and professionals, we will strive by all legitimate means open to us to be relieved of the threat of personal, economic, and legal reprisals resulting from our support and defense of the principles of intellectual freedom.

    Those who refuse to compromise their ideals in support of intellectual freedom have often suffered dismissals from employment, forced resignations, boycotts of products and establishments, and other invidious forms of punishment. We perceive the admirable, often lonely, refusal to succumb to threats of punitive action as the highest form of true professionalism: dedication to the cause of intellectual freedom and the preservation of vital human and civil liberties.

In our various capacities, we will actively resist incursions against the full exercise of our professional responsibility for creating and maintaining an intellectual environment which fosters unrestrained creative endeavor and true freedom of choice and access for all members of the community.

We state these propositions with conviction, not as easy generalizations. We advance a noble claim for the value of ideas, freely expressed, as embodied in books and other kinds of communications. We do this in our belief that a free intellectual climate fosters creative endeavors capable of enormous variety, beauty, and usefulness, and thus worthy of support and preservation. We recognize that application of these propositions may encourage the dissemination of ideas and forms of expression that will be frightening or abhorrent to some. We believe that what people read, view, and hear is a critically important issue. We recognize, too, that ideas can be dangerous. It may be, however, that they are effectually dangerous only when opposing ideas are suppressed. Freedom, in its many facets, is a precarious course. We espouse it heartily.

Adopted by the ALA Council, June 25, 1971.  Endorsed by the Freedom to Read Foundation, Board of Trustees, June 18, 1971.

TOP | Library Bill of Rights | Library Bill of Rights


The Freedom to View, along with the freedom to speak, to hear, and to read, is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In a free society, there is no place for censorship of any medium of expression, therefore these principles are affirmed:
  1. To provide the broadest possible access to film, video, and other audiovisual materials because they are a means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.
  2. To protect the confidentiality of all individuals and institutions using film, video, and other audiovisual materials.
  3. To provide film, video, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of a work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.
  4. To provide a diversity of viewpoints without the constraint of labeling or prejudging film, video and other audiovisual materials on the basis of the moral, religious, or political beliefs of the producer of film maker or on the basis of controversial content.
  5. To contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public's freedom to view.
This statement was originally drafted by the Freedom to View Committee of the American Film and Video Association (formerly the Educational Film Library Association) and was adopted by the AFVA Board of Directors in February 1979. This statement was updated and approved by the AFVA Board of Directors in 1989.

Endorsed by the ALA Council January 10, 1990
TOP | Library Bill of Rights | Library Bill of Rights

It is the policy of SAU Library to use the following rationale for the management of the materials collection:
Separate collections: It is the policy of SAU Library to discourage the development of separate, discipline specific collections in the belief that our users are best served by a fully integrated and therefore easily accessible collection of materials.
Mending--The upkeep of our circulating collection is important to the health of the library. Materials which are identified to need repair will be handled by the Technical Services Department. LTA staff will determine which items can be handled in house. Simple mends are completed by LTA staff in a timely matter. Items which have been determined to require more extensive repair are completed as staff expertise permits. Evaluation of those items requiring additional expertise will be assessed by the reference librarians for possible professional rebinding. Fragile materials may be placed in Special Collections at the discretion of the director.
Discarding and storage, two commonly used techniques for relieving overcrowding in shelving facilities are both employed to accomplish the same end, more room on the shelves for newly acquired material. Discarding represents a permanent loss to the collection, storage only a temporary one. In carrying out either of these operations, it is our policy to minimize both the permanent and the temporary loss to the collection. In our discarding and storage policies, we seek to minimize both bibliographic and intellectual loss.
SAU Library policy for storage of materials: In the event that storage of materials becomes necessary, it is the policy of the library to use the guidelines established in this policy manual to select materials for storage.
Storage rationale: Storage should be carried out on the assumption that those materials will eventually be returned to the open shelves when practical. Materials which can be discarded with minimal bibliographic or intellectual loss should be discarded rather than stored.
The library recognizes two types of storage each of which permits a different level of accessibility. 1) Dead storage: books are stacked in random order which means that for all practical purposes a book cannot be retrieved. 2) Retrievable storage: books are shelved in call number order on reasonable shelving which will allow material to be easily accessible.
Policy for discard of materials: Discard policy must emphasize whenever possible the removal of material which does not represent the loss to the collection of a unique work. Each of the following categories represents an increasing level of bibliographic and intellectual loss to the collection.
  1. Gift books, since they are uncataloged and not paid for by university funds may be discarded with the least cost in money and staff time. All gift books which are duplicates of already held material, barring special circumstances, are to be discarded. Gift books which are a republication of books already held will be retained only if they represent a significant change from the edition already held.
  2. Books physically deteriorated beyond the mending powers of the staff will be evaluated for rebinding, reorder, or discard.
  3. Independent and complete titles may not be weeded without faculty permission. They represent a unique work whose withdrawal would mean the total loss of a work from the collection.

Book Budget Funds|Non-Print| Periodicals| CD-ROM

All materials purchased for the library will support the mission of the University, needs of specific courses, or issues important to the education of the students at SAU. All purchased materials will be cataloged and housed in the library.
Department book budget amounts are negotiated by the Library Director and Provost and are based on past acquisition history and requests submitted annually by department chairpersons to the Library Director (usually in late fall). Funds may be used for the purchase of books, media programs, and videos, etc. To expedite book processing and increase the successful acquisition of "books in stock", the Director and the Provost have determined that 50 % of the department's book budget shall be spent before the final day of the first semester of the school year, with the remainder expended prior to the end of the second semester on the date specified by the Library, normally mid-April. An exception: new departments to the University which receive a single lump sum budget increase for collection development may spend this budget at any time within the year of allocation.
All materials/book orders will be processed as received. Materials/books will be ordered until all departmental budget funds are expended.
Although information is becoming available in a large variety of formats, it is the policy of the library to use book budget funds primarily for the purchase of books. This is to ensure that the library is providing the best selection of current information in print. The ordering of non-print materials (videotapes, audio tapes, CD-ROMs, multimedia CD-ROMs, etc.) is based on criteria specified herein.
Management of the departmental library books/materials budget and prioritization of the book orders rests within each department. The policy of the library is that a LIBRARY COLLECTION ORDER FORM for materials must be signed by the department chairperson or an authorized representative before items will be purchased. Unsigned order forms will be returned to the Chairperson for an appropriate signature. Where there is a choice between paper bound and cloth bound editions, acquisitions will order the paper bound unless otherwise instructed. The library encourages faculty members to base material/book selections on independent reviews, such as those found in the CHOICE cards (which contain descriptive reviews of books), New York Times book review etc., rather than relying on publisher's promotional literature. The library relies on faculty members' knowledge of leading writers and issues in their field for book ordering decisions. It is Library policy to route CHOICE cards specific to each discipline (where available) to Department chairpersons several times during the school year for distribution to faculty members of the department to assist them in their analysis of materials/books.
TOP | Aquisitions | Aquisitions

Requests to acquisitions for the purchase of videotapes will be reviewed by the head of media services, and if it meets purchase criteria, media services will purchase videotapes/audiotapes out of the media services budget. Otherwise, departmental funds will be used. Ordering and rental procedures for other media formats, are outlined in the section of this manual devoted to MEDIA SERVICES.
Ordering new periodicals is the responsibility of the reference/serials librarian. A periodical subscription new to the SAU library's holdings will be placed with the library 's jobber only after a PERIODICALS REQUEST FORM has been filled out, the item has been approved and signed by the department chairperson, and the reference/serials librarian has determined that there are funds available. A new periodical should not duplicate an item which is currently available in the SAU library either in print or online. Requests for back file periodicals (issues published prior to the beginning the SAU collection) may be paid for out of the requesting Department's book budget and may be ordered after approval by reference/serials librarian. These orders are processed by Acquisitions.
All continuations (those books produced on a quarterly, annual (yearbooks), biennial, or other regular basis) are charged against the assigned department's budget on a yearly basis. New continuation books are ordered through completion of the LIBRARY COLLECTION ORDER FORM process upon approval of the reference/serials librarian. Evaluation of continuations will be completed by library staff on a periodic basis to determine the appropriateness, currency, and value of each title to the overall collection development policies of the library. Departments may review the continuations charged to their budget for ongoing purchasing and may elect to discontinue a title at any time.
TOP | Acquisitions | Acquisitions

CD-ROM products are handled in two ways. Orders for music and/or spoken word CD-ROMs are handled through completion of the LIBRARY COLLECTION ORDER FORM process. Orders for multi-media or other format CD-ROMs will be handled as follows:
An order for a multi-media CD-ROM product must be accompanied by the MULTI-MEDIA CD-ROM REQUEST FORM. The purchase of CD-ROM titles replacing traditional books as circulating items is discouraged. The library staff welcomes recommendations for CD-ROM products that, by their nature, would be a part of the reference collection, i.e., directories, encyclopedias etc. The library staff also welcomes suggestions for CD-ROM products which have the potential for wide distribution via the network. The form must be signed by the department chairperson or authorized representative and accompanied by relevant documentation. Before ordering, library staff will evaluate the product for inclusion in the library's collection and for compatibility with current library owned computer equipment, systems and software. If the product meets the compatibility requirements and the library's guidelines for purchase, an order will be placed. If the product does not meet the compatibility requirements and the library's guidelines for purchase, the MULTI-MEDIA CD-ROM REQUEST FORM will be returned to the department chairperson with an explanation.
Prior to an order being placed, the library will explore return policies with the distributor. During the negotiated trial period the library staff will evaluate the product for compatibility with library computer equipment, installation requirements, additional software and/or equipment requirements. During this trial period, library staff will make a final evaluation of the merits of the product compared to the SAU library collection. The requesting faculty shall also examine the product to assure that it meets their needs. If after evaluation, the product does not meet the needs of the faculty, the library, or the University, it will be returned to the appropriate location. In light of the evaluation process that must be accomplished for each title requested, (appropriateness to the library's mission and equipment capabilities), the library staff reserves the right to make the ultimate decision regarding the purchase of CD-ROM titles.
Library staff assumes no responsibility to install multimedia or troubleshoot CD-ROM'S brought in by their owners.
TOP | Acquisitions | Acquisitions

Cataloging Policies

General Policies | Documentation List | Priority of Cataloging | Searching OCLC | Audiovisual & Media Materials | Reference
Archives and Special Collections

St. Ambrose University acknowledges that the library, serving its academic programs and Catholic philosophy, has goals, requirements, criteria, and standards that differ from a library serving a public clientele. SAU also acknowledges the importance of the correct and accurate bibliographic representation of the materials housed in its library in order to provide accessibility to the materials in the library's collections. In recognition of this, it has been determined that the access standards set for this academic institution can best be met by internal control of the library's cataloging processes. As such, the following shall apply.
All materials cataloged at the library will be in accordance with the latest edition of the Anglo- American Cataloging Rules. Classification of materials will be according to the Library of Congress Classification. Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) shall be the subject authority. Where appropriate, the latest edition of "ALA Filing Rules" shall be the filing authority.
The library will apply the most current cataloging rules and the interpretation thereof, classification schedules, subject headings, and filing rules whenever possible. The library will acquire and maintain the sources necessary to keep current with interpretations and/or changes. These sources include but are not limited to those listed in the "Documentation List" of Cataloging Policies, Section B.
Original cataloging of materials at the library will follow the "Anglo-American Cataloging Rules"--Second edition (AACR2), or its successor, minimum "second level of description" (1.0D2) rules. Original cataloging will meet full "third level of description" (1.0D3) whenever possible. Originally cataloged materials will be added to the OCLC Online Union Catalog at Level I input standards. OCLC online record(s) will be used to produce shelf list cards and will provide the MARC record input for the local automated online public access catalog.
The library shall use available cataloging copy, either online through the OCLC Online Union Catalog or other standard sources (e.g.. LC Cataloging in Publication, NUC, etc.) whenever possible, instead of creating original cataloging. All other cataloging copy used by the library in lieu of original cataloging shall meet the same standards as those set for original cataloging.
The library shall maintain an automated catalog to provide access to, and bibliographic control over, the library's collection. This automated online catalog is a cooperative effort with other area libraries and is managed by the River Bend Library system. All newly received books, media, etc., whether originally or copy cataloged, will be added to the online catalog. Retrospective Conversion of items not in the online catalog will be added to the OCLC Online Union Catalog and to the local online catalog as an ongoing project until all remaining items have been added.
The library's main card catalog has been closed since 1990 and replaced by the automated online catalog. The main catalog of all library holdings was divided into Author, Title and Subject catalogs, filed separately. The Title catalog shall be retained as a public access catalog located near the reference desk for access to items not yet included in the automated catalog. The Author and Subject catalogs will be kept in storage until such a time that they are no longer needed.
Shelf List catalog is arranged in Library of Congress classification number order and provides an inventory of the library's holdings. This catalog shall continue to be maintained and updated, but is not a public access catalog.

TOP | Cataloging Policies | Cataloging Policies

NOTE: The Technical Services Department of the library shall use the most current editions of the following in order to achieve and maintain quality cataloging standards.
Anglo-American Cataloging Rules. OCLC based online HELP file(s) or OCLC Manuals:
Cataloging: User Manual
Books Format
Sound Recordings Format
Serials Format
Audiovisual Media Format
Maps Format
Manuscripts Format
Bibliographic Input Standards
Name-Authority: User Manual
Name-Address Directory: User Manual
Country of Publication Codes
Geographic Area Codes
OCLC Participating Institutions arranged by OCLC and NUC Symbol, Network and Institution
OCLC Basics: An Introduction to Searching and Terminal Use
LC Classification Schedules.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
ALA Filing Rules
Library of Congress Rule Interpretations
OCLC Technical Bulletins
BCR/OCLC Tech Memo
TOP | Cataloging Policies | Cataloging Policies

New Materials (i.e., materials purchased and paid for out of departmental accounts) shall be cataloged first. It is assumed that these items, having been recommended and selected by faculty, are in greatest demand and most significant in improving the overall quality of the library's collection.
Gift Materials, when they represent the addition of new titles or later editions of previously held titles, will be cataloged as the volume of new materials permit. Exceptions may be made for individual titles determined to be in high demand and/or upon recommendation of a member of the faculty.
Reclassification of remaining Dewey Decimal classified items located in Special Collections will take place as time and staff availability permit.


Items for which an acceptable online record is found will be cataloged online during the initial search, and shelf list cards will be produced at that time.
Items for which only a sub-standard record or no record can be found in the OCLC Online Union Catalog will be searched for again at a later time. If, at that time, no acceptable record can be found on the OCLC Online Union Catalog, the cataloger will create original cataloging for the item.
If an acceptable record cannot be found on the OCLC Online Union Catalog during the initial search and the item is determined to be in high demand, or upon specific request by a member of the faculty, the cataloger will create original cataloging for the item. The cataloger may also do original cataloging after the initial search if he/she determines that it is doubtful any other OCLC member library will catalog the item within the next month.
After successfully finding an acceptable record, or completing an original cataloging record, the record will be copied to an export file to send to River Bend Library Systems for inclusion in the library catalog database.
TOP | Cataloging Policies | Cataloging Policies

It is the policy of this library that all cataloging of audiovisual and/or other media materials be of a standard and quality consistent with the cataloging of printed library materials. The cataloging of audiovisual and/or other media materials will be fully integrated into the automated public catalog of the library. A Media Shelf List will be a part of the library's Shelf List catalog.
All cataloging of audiovisual and/or media materials will be done by the cataloging department in consultation and cooperation with the head of media services.
Materials will be cataloged as reference collection items upon recommendation of the reference librarian or the head of technical services. This recommendation may be based on professional judgment and/or in consultation with faculty.
Continuations/Standing Orders which have been previously classified as reference will continue to be classified as such unless a change is requested by the reference librarian.
General Criteria for reference materials may include:
  1. Materials which may be utilized by a large number of patrons during a relative short period of time (usually less than the basic length of loan period).
  2. Materials which are utilized for the retrieval of specific information rather than materials which are designed to be read "cover-to-cover".
  3. Other materials whose value or replacement cost is excessive or materials which would be difficult or impossible to replace.
TOP | Cataloging Policies | Cataloging Policies

Materials added to Archives will include items produced by, or which are specifically about, St. Ambrose University or its predecessor names. This will include such items as periodicals (ex. the Buzz, the Campus Bulletin); policies, meeting minutes, budgets, catalogs, yearbooks, theses, etc. All formats will be included: bound or loose-leaf volumes, video or sound recordings, photocopies, realia, photographs, or other.
Special Collections will include books or other materials which are unique due to their age, rarity, value, condition, or historical importance. Additions to Special Collections shall be made based on the decision of the Library Director with input from other staff members. All formats will be included. Those items which are eligible for inclusion will meet one or more of the following criteria.
  1. A publication date of 130 years old or older than today's date
  2. Held by relatively few libraries (less than 40), as indicated in the OCLC database
  3. Perceived value (i.e., all items published before 1750)
  4. In fragile or problematic physical condition and need additional care or protection
  5. Historical importance: to St. Ambrose University (books, nonprint materials written by faculty or alumni); to Davenport or Scott County, Iowa; to the local geographic area; to the Diocese; or to Catholicism
  6. Item signed by the author, where the author is of importance.
All Special Collections materials will be cataloged and shelved according to AACR2 (or its successors) and Library of Congress Classification. Any materials classified in Dewey, or not classified (in accession number order) will be converted to Library of Congress Classification.
All Archives materials will be organized in alphabetical or chronological order according to subjects, or department, publication, or faculty name.
Develop and maintain internal searchable databases for access to these materials.
TOP | Cataloging Policies | Cataloging Policies


General Policies | Lending Rules | Recovery of Overdue, Missing or Lost Items | Notice of Law Governing Concealed Library Materials | Confidentiality of Library Records: ALS and SAU | Confidentiality of Library Records: Iowa Law

The most general circulation policy for St. Ambrose University Library is to give our university community first priority for all library services and to serve the information needs of the local, state, and national library community to the best of our ability within the restrictions of time and budget dollars.
Our policy is to participate in local, state, regional and national cooperative resource sharing organizations and to abide by the rules and policies established by these cooperatives.
It is our policy to provide our student workers and staff members with policy and procedures manuals covering the specific work they perform as well as to inform them of safety rules, university regulations and State or Federal laws applicable to their work in the library.
In order to maintain control of the use of materials, it is our policy to send overdue notices and follow-up notices as prescribed by our circulation operation, up to and including pursuing legal remedy through the Iowa law governing concealed library materials.
It is our policy to preserve the confidentiality of library records using the policy and procedures as published by the American Library Association and defined in the Iowa Code as presented in this manual.
It is our policy to require all St. Ambrose University students to present a St. Ambrose ID card coded with a QuadLINC circulation system barcode as the means of access to library materials and services. Access to library materials and service is provided to holders of similarly barcoded cards from other QuadLINC member libraries.
TOP | Circulation Policies | Circulation Policies


3 week loan, up to
6 items per subject
Subject to recall
1 semester loan, up to
6 items per subject
Subject to recall
3 week loan, up to
6 items per subject
Subject to recall
In house use Restricted lending** In house use
Loans restricted
Loans restricted
Restricted in
house use
NEWSPAPERS All in house use Current issue--In house
Noncurrent issues--
Restricted lending**
All in house use
PERIODICALS All in house use Current issue--In house
Noncurrent issues--Restricted lending**
All in house use
In house use 3 day loan
In house use
In house use In house use.
Lending by special
arrangement with
Library Director
In house use
PHOTOCOPIER $.10/page Dept. signature required
Personal use $.10/page
READER/ PRINTERS $.20/page $.20/page charged to dept.
Personal use $.20/page
$.10/day Exempt $.10/day
List price +
$10.00 processing fee
List price +
$10.00 processing fee
List price +
$10.00 processing fee
*For a variance in this policy, see the Circulation Supervisor.
**Borrowing of reference items and non-current issues of newspapers and periodicals must be arranged with the Head of Reference Services.
Note: Items that have not cleared processing are not available for general use. Faculty may make special arrangements to use these items by contacting the Head of Technical Services.
TOP | Circulation Policies | Circulation Policies

It is the policy of the library to seek the return of overdue or lost materials through normal practices of informing the borrower of their delinquent status regarding unreturned items and, when the situation warrants, pursuant to the law of the State of Iowa.


Code of Iowa, 1979 as amended, sections 714.5 and 808.12
The law of the State of Iowa provides that:
The fact that a person fails to return library materials for six months after the date the person agreed to return the library materials is evidence of intent to deprive the library of its property, provided a reasonable attempt has been made to reclaim the materials.
In the case of lost library materials arrangements may be made to make a monetary settlement.
The fact that a person has concealed library materials either on the premises or outside the premises is material evidence of intent to deprive the library of its property. The finding of library materials concealed upon a person or among the belongings of the person is material evidence of intent to deprive; and, if a person conceals or causes to be concealed library materials upon the person or among the belongings of another, this is also material evidence of intent to deprive on the part of the person concealing the library materials.
Persons concealing property may be detained and searched by a peace officer or a person employed in a facility containing library materials provided that the detention is for a reasonable length of time and that the search is conducted in a reasonable manner by a person of the same sex and no search of the person is conducted by any person other than someone acting under the direction of a peace officer except where permission of the one to be searched has first been obtained.
The detention or search by a peace officer or person employed in a facility containing library materials does not render the person liable in a criminal or civil action for false arrest or false imprisonment provided the person conducting the search or detention had reasonable grounds to believe the person detained or searched had concealed or was attempting to conceal property.
TOP | Circulation Policies | Circulation Policies

    The SAU library accepts and subscribes to the policy on Confidentiality of Library Records as outlined in the ALA Statement and Procedures for Implementing the Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records which follows this paragraph. The library staff interprets "responsible officers" to mean that the library director, with the backing of the university's legal council is authorized to enforce the confidentiality policy and to instruct staff and student workers NOT to give out confidential information regarding circulation or patron records to anyone, but instead refer any requests for access to circulation records to the director for explanation or adjudication as stated in the ALA Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records.
  • ALA Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records
    The Council of the American Library Association strongly recommends that the responsible officers of each library in the United States
  1. Formally adopt a policy which specifically recognizes its circulation records and other records identifying the names of library users to be confidential in nature.*
  2. Advise all librarians and library employees that such records shall not be made available to any agency of state, federal, or local government except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of, and pursuant to, federal, state, or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative investigative power.
  3. Resist the issuance or enforcement of any such process, order, or subpoena until such time as a proper showing of good cause has been made in a court of competent jurisdiction.**
*Note: See also ALA Policy Manual 54.15, Code of Ethics, point 3, "Librarians must protect each user's right to privacy with respect to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired."
**Note: Point 3, above, means that upon receipt of such process, order, or subpoena, the library's officers will consult with their legal counsel to determine if such process, order, or subpoena is in proper form and if there is a showing of good cause for its issuance; if the process, order, or subpoena is not in proper form or if good cause has not been shown, they will insist that such defects be cured.
Adopted January 20, 1971; revised July 4, 1975, by the ALA Council.
  1. The library staff member receiving the request to examine or obtain information relating to circulation or registration records will immediately refer the person making the request to the responsible officer (library director) of the institution, who shall explain the confidentiality policy.
  2. The director, upon receipt of such process, order or subpoena, shall consult with the appropriate legal officer assigned to the institution to determine if such process, order or subpoena is in good form and if there is a showing of good cause for its issuance.
  3. If the process, order or subpoena is not in proper form or if good cause has not been shown, insistence shall be made that such defects be cured before any records are released. (The legal process requiring the production of circulation records shall ordinarily be in the form of subpoena "duces tecum" (bring your records) requiring the responsible officer to attend court or the taking of his/her deposition and may require him/her to bring along certain designated circulation records).
  4. Any threats or unauthorized demands (i.e., those not supported by a process, order or subpoena) concerning circulation or registration records shall be reported to the appropriate legal officer of the institution.
  5. Any problems relating to the privacy of circulation and registration records which are not provided for above shall be referred to the responsible officer.
Adopted by the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee, January 9, 1983.
It is also the policy of the library to acknowledge and follow the law as promulgated by the State of Iowa.
TOP | Circulation Policies | Circulation Policies

22.7 sec. 13 Iowa Code
"The following public records shall be kept confidential, unless otherwise ordered by a court, by the lawful custodian of the records, or by another person duly authorized to release such information: ... 13) The records of a library which, by themselves or when examined with other public records would reveal the identity of the library patron checking out or requesting an item or information from the library. The records shall be released to a criminal justice agency only pursuant to an investigation of a particular person or organization suspected of committing a known crime. The records shall be released only upon a judicial determination that a rational connection exists between the requested release of information and a legitimate end and that the need for the information is cogent and compelling.

Goals | Services | Reference Staff Collection Development Resposibilites | Interlibrary Loan Policy | Fax Service Policies
| Computer Use Policies | |
Information Resource Terminals | General Use Terminals

It is the policy of the library to provide reference and information services to our primary clientele which is our students, faculty and staff and to the community at large as our time, staff, resources and guidelines permit.
  • To teach students effective use of the library and internet as an integral part of their liberal arts education.
  • To serve the teaching and research needs of faculty and administrative staff.
  • To develop the collection to meet present and future curriculum needs in collaboration with the faculty.
  • To promote cordial relations between the university and the Quad City communities and libraries.
  • To promote the use of the library by making members of the St. Ambrose community aware of the information resources of the library and its staff.
  • To be an effective agent in public relations between the library and the university.


Essential principle: reference service is to be offered in a pleasant and friendly manner. Any reference transaction operates at two levels--the desire for information, and the desire to be treated with consideration and respect. A reference transaction that does not leave the patron satisfied on both levels is a failure. Even when we are unable to supply the needed information, we should leave the patron feeling good about the transaction.
Services we will provide to students:
Instruction in use of the library and library systems, both at the individual level and classroom workshops.
Ready reference questions will be answered.
The library will maintain an INTERNET home page to guide students to quality information on the world wide web.
The reference librarians will try to become aware of current student preoccupations, popular paper topics, and probable future topics of interest in order to link in useful sites to our web page.
Services that will not be provided to students:
In-depth research or the compilation of bibliographies.
Our relationship with the students is a teaching relationship, and we fail them when we do the research ourselves rather than teach them to do it.
Services that will be offered to faculty:
The reference librarians will make it known that they are available to speak in any classroom about bibliographic tools and research skills.
The reference librarians will offer a variety of workshops throughout the year.
The reference librarians will provide ready reference service to faculty and administrative staff.
The reference librarians will assist in faculty or administrator's research, particularly that which is university class-related, by bibliographic assistance.
The reference librarians will supply documentation as needed for re-accreditation of existing programs and development of new programs.
The reference librarians will assist faculty with collection development.
Services that will be offered to other libraries:
Verification of bibliographic citation.
Ready reference.
TOP | Reference Policies | Reference Policies

Standing orders:
In consultation with the acquisitions department, the reference/serials librarian will be responsible for reviewing all standing orders once a year, preferably at the beginning of the new budget year. The acquisitions department is also instructed to let the reference/serials librarian know about any substantial increase in the price of any standing order, and to acquaint the reference/serials librarian with any new standing order begun by a department. The serials librarian must remain aware of price increases, erratic publishing schedules, and use given to all standing orders, in order to evaluate, on a cost-benefit basis, the desirability of each title received this way.
Reference collection selection criteria
A good review in CHOICE REVIEWS is all but mandatory, the only exceptions to this rule being when the book is part of a series of acknowledged excellence, when there are good reviews from other acceptable sources (ARBA, RSR, LJ), or when the book uniquely fills a gap in the library reference collection.
Cost must be weighed against anticipated use: no matter how good the review, no book, will be purchased unless the librarians have reason to believe that it will be used.
Reference budget criteria
Materials that fall within department specifications will be purchased on the library budget if they meet the following criteria:
They cover the broad range of the field, rather than a narrow specialization: e.g., we will buy bibliographies of English literature, but not bibliographies of individual authors.
Heavy use of existing materials or demand for materials in this area warrants the purchase.
They do not duplicate or substantially overlap materials already being purchased. The goal is to have a
When reference tools are both extremely expensive and geared to the use of one particular department (e.g., Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians), a cooperative purchasing agreement may be worked out between the library and department concerned.
Reference materials and periodical indexes should be of educational benefit, easy to use. Therefore, educational benefit and ease of use should be considerations when purchasing reference materials. As a general rule, we should not purchase any periodical index when more than sixty percent of the periodicals indexed are not in the library or at least available in the Quad Cities. Similarly, since bibliographies of bibliographies are two steps away from the books and articles needed, these should be purchased sparingly, and primarily as a tool for collection development.
Public Service Self Evaluation:
At least twice a year, the reference librarians should collect statistics for measurement of reference services for a one week period. These statistics should include reference services offered by the staff at large as well as by the reference librarians. Success or failure of each transaction should, as much as possible, be measured in terms of the satisfaction of the patron with the answer and/or service received.
At least once every other year a questionnaire should be administered to library patrons to assess their degree of satisfaction with library services.
Student input will be taken into consideration in future planning of library services.
TOP | Reference Policies | Reference Policies


It is the policy of the library to provide interlibrary loan services to St. Ambrose students, faculty and staff members, based on national and local interlibrary loan agreements, and arrangements made with a SAU reference librarian. The following guidelines apply:
  1. Interlibrary loan may be used when our library's in-house and electronically accessible resources have been exhausted.
  2. Undergraduate students may submit up to 10 requests per semester. Fees charged by the lending library will be passed on to the user.
  3. Graduate students may submit up to 20 requests per semester. Fees charged by the lending library will be passed on to the user.
  4. Faculty members may submit 25 requests per semester at no cost. Submission of more than 25 requests are subject to negotiation with the library director.
  5. St. Ambrose staff members may submit up to 10 requests per semester. Fees charged by the lending library will be passed on to the user.
It is the policy of the library to reserve the right to accept or reject requests based on the above guidelines, the reference interview with the user, current Federal law, or copyright issues.
The library policy is to honor requests from other libraries wishing to borrow materials from our circulating collection subject to methods and protocols to which we are obligated by contract or agreement.


The Library will fax interlibrary loan requests marked "Please Fax document" or equivalent phrase to RBLS/QuadLINC libraries free of charge, with the understanding that the photocopy/information request is truly urgent, and, therefore, can not wait for van delivery.
Patrons who want material (information requests, articles, etc.) faxed directly to their home/business or another non-library location, will be charged $3.00 for the first ten pages of a transaction, and $.50 for each additional page, plus a $2.00 surcharge if the fax transaction involves a toll. (2/97)
TOP | Reference Policies | Reference Policies

In an effort to clearly define the policies regarding computer use, we have categorized the computers that reside in the new library by the following functions.
  1. Information Resource Computers: Computers with access limited to information sources. These information resources include periodical indexes, the automated book catalog, or the World Wide Web. These terminals are located throughout the building.
  2. Independent Computers on Third Floor: Computers with basic word processing and spread sheet capabilities that are not hooked up to the network and therefore not capable of e-mail or World Wide Web searching. These terminals are subject to the same policies as the general use terminals.


Library Staff Responsibilities--
A library and its staff, by definition, has a responsibility to serve the information needs of every library patron, and it is for this reason that Information Resource Terminals and the patrons actively using them are the first priority to staff members. Librarians on duty will conduct formal and informal training on searching these databases, volunteer search strategies, and grant authorization for advanced searching. It is also the responsibility of the librarian or staff member to fix paper jams, refill paper and change the printer cartridges of the attached printers.
User Responsibilities
In order to meet the growing needs of the library community and preserve the integrity of the mission of the St. Ambrose University Library, these Information Resource Terminals are reserved exclusively for finding information on ERIC, CINAHL, FirstSearch, QUADLINC, and the INTERNET.  Using an information terminal to participate in recreational chat groups on the INTERNET is prohibited. Misusing, vandalizing any files on the computer, the computer, or its peripherals in any way is subject to penalties established by the campus network use agreement. Anyone observing misuse of the computers should report the time, date and name of the vandal directly to a reference librarian and/or the Academic Computing department for investigation. Disciplinary action will immediately follow. If the person is not a student, campus security shall be notified immediately.


The staff of the library has limited responsibility for general use computers. Each member of the staff reserves the right at any time to answer reference questions, or tend to other reference/circulation/library duties before dealing with questions about these terminals. The library is not a computer laboratory per se and therefore library staff is not primarily responsible for answering or being available to answer questions regarding specific computer applications. What follows is a list of services that are provided by staff to maintain these general use terminals and their networked printer.
It is the policy of the Library to maintain a centralized inventory of campus media equipment, house and maintain a backup collection of equipment for campus use, and to catalog and house a collection of non-print software.

  • To deliver equipment to classrooms on a daily basis contingent on a 24 hour advance notice.
  • To limit student use of equipment and software to in house use only.
  • To provide equipment and media expertise for university related functions.
  • To provide media expertise and support for the development of media programs to be used by faculty in classroom presentations.
  • To rent equipment for ON CAMPUS use by organizations not directly associated with the University.
  • To provide reference service to aid in locating media materials suitable for use in classroom presentations.
  • To arrange for the rental, purchase, reproduction or loan of software, compatible with available hardware, for academic use on campus. Purchase of items using library budget funds for library media collection must be approved for processing by media services or the acquisitions department.
  • To abide by all applicable copyright laws.



Ambrose Room | Bulletin Board | Conference Room | Food Restriction | Group and Individual Study Room Use | Media Program Room | Public Address System | Security | Disaster Plan


St. Ambrose University student body, faculty, and staff members are encouraged to make use of the library under the policies, rules and guidelines that have been established throughout this manual. Under the established policies, adult community residents may also use the facility as long as that use does not negatively impact use by SAU students, faculty and staff.
Because academic libraries develop a collection supporting the curriculum of the institution, materials of interest to children are not included. Youth under the age of 16 must be accompanied and under the close supervision of a responsible adult, preferably one of their parents, and are welcome to use the library as long as library policies, rules, and guidelines are followed.


The Ambrose room is limited to persons wishing to view archive and special collections materials. Use is supervised by the library administrative assistant or designated staff member. Any other use of this room must be approved by the director.


It is the policy of the library to allow public announcements to be placed only on the bulletin board in the student lounge at the east end of the second floor. Only library produced notices will be posted in other public locations in the library.


Use of the library conference room, which seats 12, is scheduled by the library administrative assistant. The primary uses are for library related meetings. The room may be scheduled for non-library related events if there is no conflict with library use. Non-library related use is limited to University associated meetings.


No food or drink are allowed in any of the public areas of the library.


Use of the group and individual study rooms is limited to St. Ambrose University students. No food, drink or tobacco products are permitted in these rooms. Evidence of misuse will result in a fine of $25.00. It is the policy of the library to require students to sign the Study Room Policy Statement and Agreement which states:
"All the undersigned agree that they will leave the room as found. All realize NO FOOD, DRINK OR TOBACCO PRODUCTS CAN BE USED IN THE ROOMS. All agree to pay a $25.00 fine if caught with food, or waste can shows signs of food, drink or tobacco after use. ALL room privileges will be revoked for the entire semester if there is failure on the part of the student to comply with this agreement. Because we only require one I.D. to secure a room, the person signing out the room is responsible for all members of the study group."


The program room has a seating capacity of 40 and is intended for educational uses which require sophisticated media equipment. Scheduling requests must be made at least 24 (preferably 48) hours in advance through media services. Any other use of the room must be approved by the media services supervisor or the library director.


Use of the public address system is limited to library related announcements. It is not intended for use as a paging system for locating persons in the building except as deemed an emergency by a senior library staff member.


It is the policy of the library to maintain a secure working environment for staff and users. Library staff members are responsible for the opening and closing of the building, working closely with campus security to assist with securing the building for late night closings. Security will assist in cases of emergencies, and will provide back-up as needed. Housekeeping staff and security will be responsible for the building when the library is closed.


It is the policy of the library to maintain and update as needed a disaster plan designed to deal with all types of emergency situations. Workshops and emergency drills will be conducted from time to time to prepare current personnel to deal with emergency situations.



General Statement | Professional Staff | Paraprofessional Staff | Student Assistants

With only minor exceptions, the Library follows the personnel manual for all St. Ambrose University employees. There are some differences in terminology and job descriptions which we make in order to conform to national library standards.
It is the policy of the library to maintain a professional staff, each holding at least the Masters Degree from an American Library Association accredited Library School, in order to maintain a high level of administrative, public and technical service skills. In addition it is our policy to provide a professional media person holding an appropriate Library or Educational Media Technology degree from an accredited University. The designations "Librarian I, II, III, IV, V" mesh with the St. Ambrose University Administrator I, II, III, IV, V scale.
It is the policy of the library to fill the paraprofessional positions with people who through a combination of education, library on-the-job training or relevant work experience qualify them for these positions. In order to conform to national library terminology, these positions are named Administrative Assistant or Library Technical Assistants for the specific areas they serve.
It is the policy of the library to accept and train for specific duties, all student workers selected from the pool supplied by the Career Development department of the university.
TOP | Forms and Letters Used with Policies Forms and Letters Used with Policies


Last modified November 30, 2000

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Maintained by: Mary Heinzman
Reference Librarian

St. Ambrose University