SACS 2003 Library Report


Section 5.1: Library and Other Learning Resources

Section 5.1.1: Purpose and Scope

  • Because adequate library and other learning resources and services are essential to teaching and learning, each institution must ensure that these resources and services are available to all faculty members and enrolled students wherever programs or courses are located and however they are delivered.
  • USC Beaufort offers courses at four locations in Beaufort County: the main campus, the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) at Parris Island, all in Beaufort, and a branch campus on Hilton Head Island.

    In order to adequately serve this widespread clientele, USC Beaufort maintains two full-service libraries: 1) the main campus library in Beaufort serving faculty and students on-site and at the two local military bases, and 2) a branch campus library on Hilton Head Island serving faculty and students on Hilton Head and surrounding areas.

    In addition, the library maintains a library web page with links to the university's online catalog, electronic databases, e-books, internet resources, and general library information.

    Supporting Documentation

    USCB library web site at: http://www.sc.edu/beaufort/library/
    containing links to the following:
    • Library hours, staff, and general information
    • USCAN, the university’s online catalog for entire system
    • Interlibrary loan pages
    • Statewide databases of DISCUS
    • Subscription databases
    • Remote access instructions for databases
    • e-books
    • Internet resources & connections
    • Online instruction

  • Each institution must develop a purpose statement for its library and other learning resource services.
  • The USCB Library has developed a mission statement, approved by the faculty organization and the administration. It is scheduled for updating in the fall 2003 semester.

    Supporting Documentation

  • The library and other learning resources must be evaluated regularly and systematically to ensure that they are meeting the needs of their users and are supporting the programs and the purpose of the institution.
  • The USC Beaufort Library, its materials, services, staff, equipment, furnishings, and facility are regularly evaluated by students, faculty, administration, and outside evaluators.

    Every three years, the library participates in an institutional evaluation process conducted by the Office of Institutional Research which reports its findings to the state Commission on Higher Education. The last such evaluation was conducted in the year 2000.

    In addition to the periodic Institutional Research assessments, written student evaluations are routinely gathered as part of regular library orientation and bibliographic instruction sessions. An electronic Suggestion Box/Evaluation Survey form on our library web page allows patrons to communicate with the library whenever they wish. Faculty assessment of the library is also continuous and comes from two sources: 1) formally via the Faculty Library Committee which has, as one of its duties, responsibility for assessing library collections and services and, 2) informally, via ongoing discussions among individual faculty members and library staff. Every year, prior to renewing with EBSCO Subscription Service, faculty members are asked to re-evaluate their periodical orders in light of current need, usefulness, availability on electronic databases, or via interlibrary loan, and cost.

    The library, its materials, staff, and services are evaluated in other ways as well. The Director of the Libraries is tenured and holds the faculty rank of Full Librarian. She receives an annual administrative evaluation and undergoes formal peer review every three years. She is subject to the recently approved system of Post-Tenure Review. The Director annually evaluates the performance of the Instructor Librarians under her supervision. She also prepares an annual statistical report for the administration and the Faculty Library Committee which may also be used as an evaluation tool.

    Supporting Documentation

  • The scope of library and other learning resources, the types of services, and the variety of print and non-print and electronic media depend on the purpose of the institution. Learning resources and services must be adequate to support the needs of users. The size of collections and the amount of money spent on resources and services do not ensure adequacy. Of more importance are the quality, relevance, accessibility, availability and delivery of resources and services, and their actual use by students, regardless of location. These considerations must be taken into account in evaluating the effectiveness of library and learning resource support.
  • The USC Beaufort library, at its two campus locations, maintains book collections in print of more than 65,000 volumes and an e-book collection of nearly 7,000 volumes, for a total collection of 71,000+ volumes. In addition, the library's overall holdings comprise all types of recorded information in nearly all available formats, including books, journals, newspapers, government documents, videos, DVDs, CDs, microforms, online catalogs, e-books, and electronic databases containing periodical indices, abstracts, and full-text articles. The USCB library web page points to literally hundreds of academic sites on the Web in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, all reviewed and evaluated by professionals prior to inclusion.

    Library staff members work hard to ensure that no students are denied access to university resources and services simply because of where they live or where they attend class. Students and faculty members of USC Beaufort receive all the library services they would expect to receive from any academic library in the University of South Carolina system. They are able to access many library databases and e-books from home, office, and other remote sites.

    The library ensures the continuing quality of its collections by relying upon faculty members to assume major responsibility for building their own subject areas, selecting books, journals, and other materials from scholarly journal reviews, standard bibliographies, respected reviewing media, and other recognized aides to selection. The library endeavors to make its resources and services easily accessible to students regardless of where they live by maintaining two full-service libraries, one at each end of the county, and operating up to six days per week with extended evening hours. Usage and adequacy of the collections are determined by keeping and regularly consulting circulation statistics, interlibrary loan transactions, and user feedback.

    While collection size and budgetary amounts may not guarantee adequacy, they are important elements in collection development decisions. Although it may be possible to have quantity without quality, it is not possible, when considering the type of institution and its program offerings, to have quality without quantity. With numbers approaching the 72,000 mark in total volumes, the combined collections of USC Beaufort libraries currently fall well short of meeting American Library Association (ALA) Standards which call for a minimum collection of 101,000 volumes. However, the USCB administration is committed to supporting the library's efforts to grow its collections to recommended levels by the year 2012 and is providing additional funds to meet this goal. In the meantime, internal assessments and studies carried out against standard review sources, as reported in the annual State of the Libraries reports, reaffirm the quality and retrospective depth and breadth of our current collections.

    Additionally, whereas the expenditures of money on resources and services may not ensure adequacy, no academic library could hope to maintain quality without a stable and growing annual budget. Four-year universities traditionally have recognized the need to fund adequately their academic libraries at a higher rate than two-year community or technical colleges. According to the Standards of ALA's Association of College and Research Libraries, a library’s annual authorized expenditures, exclusive of capital costs and costs of physical maintenance, should be at least six percent of the total institutional expenditure for educational and general purposes. For the past few years, the USC Beaufort library budget has exceeded the six percent mark, reaching 6.3 percent in the 1997-98 fiscal year and 6.2 percent in the 1998-99 fiscal year.

    Supporting Documentation

  • Priorities for acquiring materials and establishing services must be determined with the needs of the users in mind.
  • The Faculty Library Committee and the Director of the Libraries meet together in the early fall to establish budgetary priorities for the fiscal year, basing their decisions upon the evaluated needs of developing four-year programs, the average costs of books, periodicals, and databases in different subject areas, previous circulation and usage statistics, and other established criteria. Always the prime consideration is the undergraduate student as primary user.

    In order to keep informed about new courses and changes in the curriculum, the Library Director serves as a permanent member of the Faculty Courses and Curriculum Committee. Library staff members meet regularly to discuss and evaluate services. When considering how best to support increasing or extended services at either or both library locations, they look at user survey results, comments collected from patrons, availability of staff, and current budgetary resources.

    Supporting Documentation

    Section 5.1.2: Services

  • Each institution must ensure that all students and faculty members have access to a broad range of learning resources to support its purpose and programs at both primary and distance learning sites.
  • Library collections comprise all types of recorded information in nearly all available formats: print, microform, audio-visual and electronic. Resources include books, journals, newspapers, government documents, videos, CDs, microfiche, microfilm, online catalogs, e-books, electronic databases, recommended Web sites, and interactive forms.

    Supporting Documentation

    USCB Library web site, at: http://www.sc.edu/beaufort/library/
    containing links to the following:
    • USCAN, the university’s online catalog for entire system
    • KUDZU, the southeastern research library consortium
    • System interlibrary loan pages
    • statewide databases of DISCUS
    • Subscription databases
    • e-books
    • Academic references
    • Ready reference sites
    • Professors' recommended resources on the web
    • "Bare Bones," self-paced tutorial

  • Basic library services must include an orientation program designed to teach new users how to access bibliographic information and other learning resources.


  • Libraries and learning resource centers must provide students with opportunities to learn how to access information in different formats so that they can continue life-long learning.
  • The USC Beaufort library provides a variety of instructional/orientation sessions for its patrons. Methods of instruction include orientation tours, handouts, individualized reference instruction, in-library and/or in-class instruction, electronic self-paced tutorials, and subject-specific programs developed with faculty. Print, film, video, sound recordings, online catalogs, e-books, and databases are included as part of the information resources accessible to students.

    The library offers instruction at both Beaufort and Hilton Head locations, daytime and evenings, to regular and distance education students, library patrons, and members of the university-affiliated Learning Exchange, a community-based organization for retirees and others interested in lifelong learning opportunities.

    Supporting Documentation

  • Librarians must work cooperatively with faculty members and other information providers in assisting students to use resource materials effectively.


  • Librarians and learning resource centers should provide point-of-use instruction, personal assistance in conducting library research, and traditional reference services. This should be consistent with the goal of helping students develop information literacy--the ability to locate, evaluate, and use information to become independent life-long learners.
  • The USC Beaufort libraries prepare customized departmental web pages and bibliographies for faculty upon request. Library staff members provide in-class and in-library bibliographic instruction for students, working with faculty and tailoring sessions specifically to fit the needs of individual faculty members and their classes. The library monitors online web reviews and tables of contents, notifying faculty members of electronic sites and print articles of interest in their fields.

    The libraries cooperate with staff members of the Academic Success Center, the Opportunity Scholars Program, and the Computer Laboratory to set policies and procedures that promote access and learning and that assist students in the effective use of library resources.

    Full-time, trained staff members are stationed at the circulation desk throughout daytime and evening hours to assist and instruct library patrons as the need arises.

    Supporting Documentation

  • Adequate hours must be maintained to ensure accessibility to users.
  • The USCB library in Beaufort is open six days a week for a total of 70.5 hours. The branch library on Hilton Head is also open six days a week for a total of 54.5 hours. Both libraries maintain daytime, evening, and weekend hours in order to serve students who have family and job responsibilities.

    Operating hours are determined with respect to library usage, course schedules, and available funds for staffing considerations. However, library patrons have continuous around-the-clock access to library information, holdings, databases, tutorials, e-books, recommended web sites, and interlibrary loan and evaluation forms via the library home page on the web.

    Supporting Documentation

  • Library collections must be cataloged and organized in an orderly, easily accessible arrangement following national bibliographical standards and conventions.


  • Students and faculty must be provided convenient, effective access to library resources needed in their programs.


  • Convenient, effective access to electronic bibliographic databases, whether on-site or remote, must be provided when necessary to support the academic programs.
  • The USC Beaufort library utilizes the Library of Congress System of Cataloging and Classification. Experienced and professionally trained staff members of the Thomas Cooper Library on the Columbia campus handle technical services for the outlying campus libraries. The university's online catalog, USCAN, contains the combined holdings of all libraries of the University of South Carolina system, on the Columbia campus and around the state.

    When USC Beaufort first began offering upper division courses leading to baccalaureate degrees in Early Childhood Education (1985), Business (1985), and Nursing (1993), awarded by USC Aiken in Beaufort, the library worked with program directors and faculty members to evaluate library holdings in these specific areas. Both Aiken and Beaufort campuses contributed start-up funds to expand the collections in these areas. A curriculum laboratory for the Early Childhood Education program was created and is situated in the library facility in Beaufort. Since the Aiken programs were first brought to this campus, the library's collections have been successfully evaluated by professional accrediting agencies during regularly scheduled re-accreditation visits.

    When the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management program offered by USC Columbia was established on this campus in 1996, the library received additional allocations to help build support for this collection as well.

    The USCB library in Beaufort provides access to available electronic bibliographic databases and the university's online catalog, USCAN, at pc stations in both libraries in Beaufort and on Hilton Head Island, the computer labs, the networked classroom, and all faculty and staff office computers. Access to the system-wide online catalog (USCAN), the statewide DISCUS databases, and a list of shared system-wide databases is also available at home locations.

    Supporting Documentation

  • Libraries and other learning resource centers must have adequate physical facilities to house, service and make library collections easily available; modern equipment in good condition for using print and non-print materials; provision for interlibrary loan services designed to ensure timely delivery of materials; and an efficient and appropriate circulation system.
  • In January, 1998, the USC Beaufort library moved into a newly renovated and designed facility of 6,570 square feet, adding nearly 2,000 additional square feet of library space. This facility provided space for individual and group study, a relaxed reading/browsing area, seating for 75 patrons, and 17 public services computer terminals. The Beaufort library facility is designed to house a collection of 40,000 print volumes. Currently it holds approximately 50,000 print volumes with another 6,000 having been placed in a remote storage facility in Columbia, where more will be added as shelves continue to fill.

    The Hilton Head campus library encompasses 1,180 square feet of space and seats 26 patrons. It houses a collection of over 9,000 print volumes and provides 6 personal computers for patron use. It, too, has outgrown its allotted space, and has had to send nearly 700 volumes to the remote storage facility in Columbia.

    Fortunately a new library building at the South Campus is being planned. It should be a two-story structure of 50,000 sq. ft. and is scheduled to come online in fall 2005.

    Full-time professional librarians at both locations oversee the interlibrary loan program, making use of ARIAL software and web-based delivery of articles to provide students and faculty with fast and efficient delivery service. The circulation system at both locations is entirely automated and supervised by full-time professional librarians.

    Supporting Documentation

    Section 5.1.3: Library Collections

  • Institutions must provide access to essential references and specialized program resources for each institutional location.


  • Access to the library collection must be sufficient to support the educational, research and public service programs of the institution.


  • The collections of print and non-print materials must be well organized.
  • The USC Beaufort libraries maintain reference collections of basic source materials recommended by standard bibliographies. In Beaufort, the library supports a special collection of books, pamphlets, and periodicals dealing with local, state, and regional history that are cataloged separately and housed in the Beaufort College Collection within the library. The library also maintains a unique collection of state and local government documents.

    Growing collections of books and other materials continue to be assembled and strengthened to support the six new baccalaureate degree programs in Early Childhood Education; Business Management; Liberal Studies; Human Resources; Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management; and English.

    Three grants totaling $50,000 were awarded to the library in the 2002-03 academic year for the purpose of building collections to support four-year degree programs. These grants allowed us to add an additional 1,652 volumes to our collections this past year.

    In 2002, the library began an ambitious program of annually evaluating, both quantitatively and qualitatively, all subject areas in the libraries' collections. These individual collection analyses were updated in 2003 and are contained in the State of the Libraries Reports.

    The USCB library collections in Beaufort and on Hilton Head are organized using the LC System of Cataloging and Classification. Experienced, professional staff members at the Thomas Cooper Library in Columbia provide technical services and support.

    Supporting Documentation

    • Grant summaries
    • Collection Analyses in State of the Libraries Reports, 2002 and 2003

  • Institutions offering graduate work must provide library resources substantially beyond those for baccalaureate programs.
  • USC Beaufort does not offer graduate work itself, but does provide both space for graduate courses offered by the Columbia campus and library services to students enrolled in these courses. Until the year 2000, the library received an annual allocation (based on enrollment) to purchase materials to support the graduate courses being offered. This allocation no longer exists. However, students enrolled in Columbia campus courses have access, through a proxy server, to Columbia campus databases, many of which are not available to USCB students and faculty. They may also borrow needed materials from USC Columbia and KUDZU institutions via the library's interlibrary loan system.

    Supporting Documentation

  • Librarians, teaching faculty and researchers must share in the development of collections, and the institution must establish policies defining their involvement.


  • Each library or learning center must have a policy governing resource material selection and elimination, and should have a procedure providing for the preservation, replacement or removal of deteriorating materials in the collection.
  • The library relies upon faculty to assume major responsibility for building their own subject areas by selecting books, journals, and other materials from scholarly journal reviews, standard bibliographies, respected reviewing media, and other recognized aides to selection.

    For its part, the library professional staff takes responsibility for purchasing reference materials, materials in subject areas not represented in the curriculum, materials needed to fill gaps in the collection, materials that have been lost or damaged, and general interest periodicals.

    Library materials budget allocations are made annually by the Faculty Library Committee working with the Director of the Libraries. Together they meet in the fall to establish budgetary priorities for each fiscal year and to decide the allocations for faculty departments and library divisions. Membership on the Faculty Library Committee consists of one representative from each of the three faculty divisions, with the Director of the Libraries serving in an ad hoc capacity.

    Factors that feed into budgetary decisions at all levels include relative strengths and weaknesses of the current collection as determined by faculty and library staff, size of subject-area collections compared to circulation statistics in those areas, new course and program offerings, extra allocations for incoming faculty, available funds, need for additional electronic databases and standard reference resources, and the previous participation records of faculty selectors in each department.

    The USCB library adheres to a written Acquisitions/Selection Policy formulated by the Library Staff and approved by the Faculty Library Committee, the Faculty Organization, and the USCB Administration. The policy covers the following topics: acquisition, selection, special areas of collection development, weeding the library collection, intellectual freedom and challenged material.

    Supporting Documentation

    Section 5.1.4: Information Technology

  • Although access to learning resources is traditionally gained through a library or learning resource center, a wide variety of contemporary technologies can be used to access learning resource materials. Institutions should supplement their traditional library with access to electronic information. Where appropriate, institutions should use technology to expand access to information for users at remote sites, such as extension centers, branch campuses, laboratories, clinical sites or students’ homes. The institution must provide evidence that it is incorporating technological advances into its library and other learning resource operations.
  • The library maintains its own page on the web where it links to the USC online catalog (USCAN) as well as to the statewide databases (DISCUS), and to other electronic databases, e.g., The MLA International Bibliography, ABI Inform Global, PsycInfo, PsycArticles, America: History & Life,, Historical Abstracts, ScienceDirect, BioOne, JSTOR,, ProjectMUSE, LEXIS-NEXIS,, and Gale's Literature Resource Center. In addition, library web pages link to hundreds of professors' choices of academic resources on the web. The library has created interactive online forms for library and tutorial evaluation and acquisition recommendations that users can access from library, office, laboratory, and home computers. The library has installed ARIEL software and initiated the web-based delivery of articles to enhance interlibrary loan services.

    In Beaufort, the library provides 17 personal computer stations for student and general patron use. These include: one 1 GHz machine, seven 733 MHz machines, and nine 450 MHz machines. Six personal computer stations are used by students on the Hilton Head campus. These include: four 733 MHz machines, and two 450 MHz machines.

    Supporting Documentation


    Section 5.1.5: Cooperative Agreements

  • Cooperative agreements with other libraries and agencies should be considered to enhance the resources and services available to an institution's students and faculty members. However, these agreements must not be used by institutions to avoid providing adequate and readily accessible library resources and services.


  • Cooperative agreements must be formalized and regularly evaluated.
  • The Lowcountry Library Federation (LLF) of Beaufort County has been in existence since 1979. It provides shared library access and borrowing privileges to registered patrons of the three participating libraries: the USC Beaufort Library, the Beaufort County Public Library, and the Technical College of the Lowcountry Library Resource Center. In addition, the three member libraries provide mutual access to each other's print, non-print, and periodical holdings, work together to avoid unnecessary duplication in acquisitions of specialized and costly resources, and participate in joint reference services by telephone or electronic mail.

    On Hilton Head Island, the USC Beaufort library serves as the library for the Technical College of the Lowcountry, which shares building space with the university. The university provides the library facility, collection, and professional staff for TCL students and faculty, and the Technical College provides a TCP/IP computer connection for one computer in the library and financial support for 10 hours of LTA staff time per week.

    The USCB library also maintains a Memorandum of Understanding with the libraries at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island (MCRD) allowing the university temporarily to place "closed circulating" books and periodical articles on the military libraries' reserve shelves for the purpose of supporting USCB courses regularly offered on base.

    All cooperative agreements entered into by the university with other institutions or agencies are subject to regular review. The Lowcountry Library Federation Agreement is revisited every five years; the Memorandum of Understanding was updated in the fall of 2003.

    Supporting Documentation

    • Lowcountry Library Federation Agreement
    • Memorandum of Understanding Between USCB Library and MCAS/MCRD Libraries

    Section 5.1.6: Staff

  • Libraries and other learning resources must be adequately staffed by professionals who hold graduate degrees in library science or in related fields such as learning resources or information technology.
  • In exceptional cases, outstanding professional experience and demonstrated competence may substitute for this academic preparation; however, in such cases, the institution must justify the exceptions on an individual basis.


  • The number of library support staff members must be adequate.
  • The number of professional and support staff members in the libraries is adequate, at this time, to support the programs of the institution in the spaces currently available to the libraries. The USCB libraries are staffed by a total of five professionals holding graduate degrees in library science and one full-time LTA.

    On the Beaufort campus:

    • Director of the Libraries, Ellen Chamberlain, MLS
    • Public Services Librarian, Geni Flowers, MLS
    • Interlibrary Loan Librarian, Dudley Stutz, MLS
    • Library Technical Assistant, Mae Mendoza, BS
    • Student Assistants

    On the Hilton Head campus:

    • Head Librarian, Jan Longest, MLS
    • Assistant Librarian, Melanie Hanes, MLS
    • Student Assistants

    Supporting Documentation

    • Job Descriptions on file

  • Institutional policies concerning faculty status, salary and contractual security for library personnel must be clearly defined and made known to all personnel at the time of employment.
  • With the exception of the Director of the Libraries, library professional staff members receive annual letters of reappointment. New hires go through a standard university orientation process where issues relative to employment are spelled out.

    Supporting Documentation

    • Sample letters of reappointment


    Section 5.1.7: Library/Learning Resources for Distance Learning Activities

  • For distance learning activities, an institution must ensure the provision of and ready access to adequate library/learning resources and services to support the courses, programs and degrees offered.


  • The institution must own the library/learning resources, provide access to electronic information through existing technologies, or provide them through formal agreements.


  • The institution must assign responsibility for providing library/learning resources and services and for ensuring continued access to them at each site.
  • The USCB library provides complete library services to USC distance education students. One librarian on each campus is designated as a distance education coordinator. In return, they are paid a small stipend to provide the administrative oversight needed for the program.

    The libraries subscribe to the principle that no USC students should be denied access to university materials and services simply because of the geographical location of classes in which they are enrolled. However, the campus originating the distance education coursework is responsible for providing the resources and services needed to support it.

    Supporting Documentation

    • Distance education handouts

  • When formal agreements are established for the provision of library resources and services, they must ensure access to library resources pertinent to the programs offered by the institution and include provision for services and resources which support the institution's specific programs in the field of study and at the degree level offered.
  • At present, USC Beaufort only offers access to distance education courses delivered by and through the university. Where formal agreements are necessary, details concerning the provision of library support and access to required materials need to be worked out.

    End of SACS 2003 Library Report

    Last modified Thursday October 09, 2014