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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Faculty Borrowing Privileges 

The following refinements to faculty borrowing privileges were approved by the Library Advisory Faculty Committee in February 2004.  (Minor edits were made in 2009, which did not change the policies, but updated language where needed. For example, the name of the library consortium changed, and this page was edited to reflect that change.)

  • Faculty loan periods for books during the academic year are four months, with two renewals allowed. Other materials have different loan periods, but the two renewals are consistent for all. Students are required to return materials after two renewals, even though they have shorter loan periods. Faculty are also required to physically bring materials back to the library after two renewals. (Materials could be checked out again at that point.)

  • Replacement costs have been established for all categories of materials. These costs, plus a $15 overdue fine are charged to students 30 days after the due date. Students have two options: return the materials after two renewals or pay the replacement cost. (If more than 30 days late, the $15 fine applies whether the material is returned or not.) If materials are not physically returned after three loan periods (original loan plus two renewals), all borrowers, including faculty, will be charged the same replacement costs and fines as students have been up to now.

  • ALL materials must be physically returned to the library at the end of each Academic Year in May. Materials may be checked out over the summer, but only after the library staff has physically accounted for the materials.

Rationale:

The Staley Library collection consists of books, periodicals, videos, sound recordings, and other physical items, along with an increasing number of electronic resources which are primarily government publications. The physical collection has two primary purposes:

  • to support students' course-related research, and

  • to support faculty teaching.

Secondarily, the library collection supports faculty research, "secondarily" because Millikin University is not a wealthy institution with a research focus and thus the library's limited resources must first support student learning and faculty teaching. Our collaborative arrangements through CARLI (Consortium of Research and Academic Libraries in Illinois) and others ameliorate that reality.

The Staley Library collection also serves other Millikin-connected groups such alumni, as well as Decatur community users. These groups constitute a very small percent of the library usage.

We have policies and procedures in place that allow all of these library users to also borrow major portions of the library collection for home use. For faculty, the loan period is four months from whenever a book is checked out (less time for other categories such as videos), with two options to personally renew online before bringing materials to the library to check out again. The idea is that seeing the material physically reassures the library staff that the material still exists, with the added benefit that once someone returns something to the library, they are more often than not reminded that they do not need it further.

We know from our own experience as well as from usage studies by the library profession that students in particular will overwhelmingly not bother with material that they cannot find on the shelf the instant they want it. This is often because they are doing their research at the last minute, though unfortunately it is also because they choose to make do with whatever they find first, whether what they find first is the best for their purposes. (That is, they tend to Satisfice, or "to obtain an outcome that is good enough", as opposed to best. The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy, accessed online at http://www.utilitarianism.com/satisfice.htm on Feb. 16, 2004) Especially given that our collection is strongest in materials published in the 1970's and 1980's for almost all disciplines, if faculty are allowed to keep the best/most recent materials out indefinitely, our students suffer.

Not incidentally, it is also worth suggesting that while it is not the library's responsibility to educate our faculty colleagues, obviously faculty teach by what they do. That is, if faculty are cavalier about library policies (as a few are), this is the wrong lesson to teach our students about responsibility.

For detail on lost item fees, please click here.

For further information on the library's circulation policies, please click here.

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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
 
Millikin University - Decatur, IL
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