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Mission and Policies


Library Audience

The primary clientele of the UNCSA Library and Learning Commons are the university’s students, faculty, and staff. The Library also serves the needs of alumni and the general public.

Intellectual Freedom

The UNCSA Library and Learning Commons endorses the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, and Freedom to View Statement. In accordance with these principles of intellectual freedom, the Library and Learning Commons endeavors to collect materials for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all members of the University community, which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection choices transcend the personal views of any single selector, and materials are not excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

Copyright and Fair Use

The UNCSA Library and Learning Commons seeks to comply with Copyright Law of the United States. At the same time, the Library supports user rights and fair use policies, which allow for limited use of copyrighted works, without permission, for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

Overview of the Collection

Areas of Emphasis

The primary subject areas collected are those that support the creative, instructional, and research activities of the University, which is divided into the Schools of Dance, Design & Production, Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. Library resources are also selected to support the High School and the Division of Liberal Arts, which require a broader, more traditional subject set than the professional and practice-focused content for each arts school.

Selection Criteria

Changing user demands, emerging creative fields/projects, new courses, a limited budget, and limited space oblige us to take a calculated approach to selection choices. We reserve the right to perform a site visit to evaluate materials before they are brought to the Library or Archives. Materials are evaluated under the following criteria, on a case-by-case basis:

  • General considerations
    • Current and anticipated user needs
    • Areas of subject emphasis as outlined above
    • Currency: Apart from original and canonical texts and primary source coverage of relevant subject areas, most materials should reflect current information and scholarship
    • Equity: Subjects address diverse and global perspectives and are inclusive of marginalized topics
    • Authoritativeness
    • Professional or literary reputation of the author, publisher, or producer
    • Evaluations in review media
    • Quality of production: Paper, typography, design
    • Images: Even if a text or author lacks authority, the images (photos, maps, illustration, patterns, material representations, etc.) of a resource may warrant its selection
    • Language: While the majority of materials collected for the Library are in English, foreign language materials are considered based on their usefulness to the University community’s creative and educational endeavors
    • Cost
    • Relation to existing collection and other materials on the subject
    • Condition
    • NC LIVE, UNC System, and other consortial/shared holdings
  • Specific criteria for print periodicals
    • Format: Due to costs of acquisitions, handling, and space, print periodicals are only collected and retained to provide access to material that is not available electronically. We may determine that some magazines and journals have value derived from ease of browsing and serendipitous discovery, from the quality or size of their images, or from the texture or format of the material
  • Specific criteria for electronic resources
    • Usability
    • Discoverability
    • Accessibility
  • Specific criteria for UNCSA Archives
    • Relation to the history or current activities of UNCSA and its affiliate programs
    • Intellectual or educational value in support of UNCSA’s educational, artistic, and performance objectives
    • Size, format, and physical condition of materials: Due to limited space and staffing, the University Archivist will evaluate donations based on our ability to properly care for and provide safe access to the materials in perpetuity. Certain material, such as ephemera, may not be accepted depending on assessed historical value and/or physical size.
    • Digital format: We are unable to accept certain types of digital files, particularly where they require specific and/or proprietary software for access

Related Collections and Consortial Activity

The UNCSA Library and Learning Commons is a member of NC LIVE, a statewide library consortium that purchases electronic resources and services on behalf of 205 academic and public libraries around the state. NC LIVE’s collections are selected by a committee of academic and public librarians and has historically focused on high-use, high-impact resources across liberal arts subject areas and public/general interest content.

The UNCSA Library and Learning Commons is also a member of the Triad Academic Library Association (TALA) and UNC System. Because of cooperative borrowing opportunities with these networks, we consider the collections available through these sister systems (particularly their research materials) when selecting for our local collection.

Specialized Acquisitions Considerations

Gift Materials

Donations to the UNCSA Archives

New Faculty Development Fund
New faculty are eligible for a $500 development fund to grow the library’s collection in underdeveloped areas, particularly in the content areas that new faculty will be teaching.

New Course Development Fund
Faculty launching new courses are eligible for a $500 development fund to grow the library’s collection in the content and research areas of the new course.

Collection Maintenance

Deselection or Weeding

Deselection of material is an important part of successful collection maintenance. The same guidelines used above as Selection Criteria for new library materials guide the process of deselection. In order to keep the collection current, accurate, and appealing and to deal with shifting space and budget constraints, this process is continuous and ongoing. Materials may be identified for deselection based on relevancy and currency of their contents, sensitivity of their contents, availability in digital format, duplicate copies in the collection, and/or poor physical condition. 

Preservation and Conservation

Library materials are expensive to purchase, process, house, and maintain. The Library acknowledges the necessity of preserving library materials. Damaged items will be considered for mending or format transfer if still useful to the University community and if they still contribute to the depth or breadth of the collection.

Deaccessioning of Archival Material

While we do not often deaccession materials from the UNCSA Archives, we do reserve the right to do so based on careful consideration of the following criteria:

  • Scope: If an item is out of scope of the collection priorities and has limited research value to the UNCSA community; additionally, if future use is not anticipated.

Physical Condition: The Archives has limited ability to conserve fragile materials and may deaccession materials that are too fragile to handle. Material that has deteriorated beyond the point of any intellectual or artifactual value may be discarded. Considerations may include availability of resources to conserve and maintain material.