About the Library

Library Mission and Tasks

The mission of the library is to provide stakeholders with the skills and resources to effectively evaluate and manage information in a 21st century global environment. As the campus gateway to resources and services, The Philip Welter Library supports and enhances educational programs of the university. We are committed to building students’ lifelong learning skills in evaluating and applying information.

The library pursues the following tasks to accomplish its mission:

  • collects an appropriate selection from the universe of available material
  • organizes, describes, and houses the collection for effective access and preservation
  • provides prompt and equitable access to the collection
  • provides suitable instruction and assistance in the use of the library as means to deliver resources and promote lifelong learning, by using appropriate technology
  • provides reasonable access through formal arrangements or agreements to additional resources.

Oversight and Reporting

The Librarian reports directly to the Provost. The Academic Program Committee, a standing committee of the Faculty Meeting, is charged to “Serve in a general advisory capacity to the Librarian on matters of acquisitions and library policy and to act as a liaison between the library and the faculty.” The Academic Program Committee includes the Provost, four tenured faculty to serve staggered two-year terms, and three untenured faculty to serve one-year terms – all elected by faculty vote and exclusive of members of Faculty Council. The Librarian presents the Annual Report of the library to the Academic Program Committee.

Library Staff and Primary Duties

  • The Director of the library is responsible for all aspects of its operation. She has unique responsibility for the composition of the library collection and for consultation with the faculty.
  • The Technical Services Librarian (PT) is responsible for the acquisition, organization, description, and physical maintenance of the library’s collections including archives and special collections.
  • The Reference and Instruction Librarians (FT) are responsible for provision of reference service to patrons, including group and individual orientation. They are also responsible for the oversight of the public workstations, evaluating, coordinating and updating access to all electronic resources, and providing reference and instruction. They design, implement and evaluate the campus information literacy program.
  • The Acquisitions Librarian (PT) is responsible for ordering and receiving all materials including periodicals and keeping internal financial records and liaisons with the University Business Office. This position is also responsible for tracking and evaluating licenses for online resources and pricing and evaluating new databases.
  • The Circulation Manager (FT) is responsible for circulation services, shelving of materials, overdue transactions and notices, operation of the print reserves collection, supervision of student assistants and general aspects of security.
  • The Library Associate (FT) serves as a back up to the circulation manager and is also responsible for all electronic reserves including buying and obtaining licenses and permissions. This position posts all library requested materials for electronic reserves on faculty MOODLE pages. This position also assists with inventory of archival materials.
  • The Interlibrary Loan Team consists of the acquisitions librarian, the circulation manager and the library associate. They are responsible for organization and oversight of interlibrary loan services.
  • Student Library Assistants perform a wide range of tasks under the immediate supervision of the circulation manager. Student employees are essential for providing basic circulation services during the library’s evening hours.

Collection Arrangement

The arrangement of the library’s collections is determined by the purpose and format of individual items.


The Reserve collection consists of high-use items which require restricted loan conditions. Reserve materials are housed at the Circulation Desk and must be retrieved by library staff, although articles and short excerpts from books will be placed into the electronic reserve system. Reserves are arranged by format, instructor, course, and title. The loan terms for reserves are specified by individual instructors. Materials should come from the library’s collections, but in some circumstances may be provided by instructors. If an item is selected from the library’s collection, the instructor should verify that it is actually available. Materials should be given to the Circulation Supervisor at least three days before they are to be used, so that they can be labeled, bar coded, scanned (if applicable) and bibliographic data put into the circulation system. Each item or group of items should be clearly identified by faculty member’s name and course, and have the desired usage terms clearly specified. All items are taken off reserve at the end of each semester. Library items are returned to their normal stack locations; professors’ personal items, if not retrieved by their owners, will be forwarded to the Faculty Services Assistant. The library is not equipped to make photocopies for faculty; if photocopying is required, arrangements should be made with Faculty Services. Instructors are responsible for compliance with pertinent sections of Federal copyright law. Self-service photocopiers are available for use.
Electronic Reserves. The electronic reserves are maintained and posted to the classroom management system of the university by the library associate. All requests from faculty receive licensing from Copyright Clearing Center. All items are removed after the semester ends.

Circulating Books

The circulating (MAIN) collection is intended to provide the highest degree of individual access to materials. The bulk of the library’s collection consists of printed monographs and similar publications, i.e., books. Normally, books are in the main collection, arranged on open shelves using the Library of Congress (LC) Classification system, and available for loan (30 working days, or 180 working days for faculty). The main collection is shelved on the first and second floors.

New Books

New books are arranged on display across form the circulation desk.


Nonprint materials (DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes, and LaserDiscs) are housed in closed stacks. Nonprint materials circulate for 7 working days.
Periodicals. The current and recent unbound issues of printed periodicals are housed on the hinged shelves in the circulation area, arranged alphabetically by title. The current issue is placed on display with the recent unbound issues underneath. As periodical volumes are completed, they are bound and moved to the first floor in the section before the C call numbers and are arranged in alphabetical order by title. Periodicals do not circulate. Some periodical volumes are on microfilm or microfiche.


Current and recent newspapers are shelved in the main reading room at the bay window. For most papers, these are the only holdings. There are back files on microfilm for the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Newspapers do not circulate.


Juvenile materials are housed in a seminar room on the second floor. These are arranged using LC number and have the same loan periods as the main collection.
Reference. The Reference collection consists of materials frequently used for brief consultation or the selection of other materials. Both printed and computer-based resources are available. The Reference collection is arranged by LC number. Reference materials do not circulate.


The Archives consist of documents transferred from various offices, memorabilia of the University, and published works concerning the University, its community, and its namesake (General Oglethorpe). Materials marked in the catalog as Archives, Hartsock, Lanier, and Oglethorpe are part of the Archives collection. The Archives are open only by appointment with the Archivist, since many of the materials are unique and require special attention to preservation.

Special Collections

Resources in special collections derive from rare and unique books that are donated, purchased or removed from the existing main collection.