The St. Augustine Library was established to enrich the teaching and research activities of the Magdalen College community. The library acquires, organizes, preserves, and makes readily available collections of scholarly materials that support the program of studies at the college. Library holdings reflect the specific character of an integrated education in liberal studies and rest on the firm foundation of the classic works which inform our unique curriculum.
To accomplish this mission, the library employs a professional librarian who oversees and implements the various programs and services of the department. The librarian is responsible for the overall quality and balance of the collection and will provide instruction in the access and use of library materials.
The library’s primary obligation to the college community is to furnish resources and services in support of the undergraduate curriculum of the college. It assists students in achieving a broad foundation in the liberal arts and sciences and encourages independent reading and study for enjoyment. The collection strives to meet the research needs of students in their coursework and to support the scholarly pursuits of both students and faculty in and out of the classroom.
Our holdings include: primary works of permanent value in standard editions; secondary materials of critical and scholarly value; serial publications for research and general interest, and indexing tools to assist library users in retrieving information.
Preference is given to those materials, both print and electronic, which are appropriate to college libraries of liberal arts institutions. Criteria to be considered in determining the value of materials to the collection are:
Importance of subject matter/author to the curriculum
Relevancy in content and academic level
Authority of author, contributors, or editors
Current holdings in related materials in the collection
Changes in the curriculum
Accessibility through indexing or abstracting in the appropriate scholarly sources
Requests for articles from particular journals via interlibrary loan
Availability in electronic format
The Library Director communicates regularly with the Academic Dean and Faculty regarding the purchase of monographs and reference materials, periodicals, standing orders, and media. The library’s Criteria for Selection is used as a guide for all library acquisitions.
The library apportions funds to monographs, reference books, periodical subscriptions in both print and electronic format, and audiovisual materials. The librarian also manages the costs of interlibrary loans and copyright permissions.
Normally, only one copy of a title is purchased. Exceptions may be made when there is a high demand for an item, either in the reserve collection or general collection.
The library does not acquire textbooks that students are required to purchase for their courses. Exceptions are textbooks which are considered classics in a particular field and which may provide a significant source of information on a subject.
The Library Director coordinates the acquisition of materials made possible through gifts. While appreciating all donations to the library, materials will be added to the collection only if appropriate to the curriculum of the college and if they meet the Criteria for Selection.
If items no longer meet the library’s mission, scope, or selection criteria, they are set aside for removal from the collection. Care is taken when newer editions of a work are acquired but the older edition continues to have scholarly value (for example, The Catholic Encyclopedia). Damaged materials will be replaced or repaired.
Each year the Librarian, in consultation with the Academic Dean and faculty, reviews print and online renewals. Subscriptions may be discontinued if:
The title receives little use
Space is required for more needed titles
Costs become prohibitive for a particular title
Online versions of print titles offer better value