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Library governance

Shared Governance: Decision Making in the Library
Adopted 5/2002, Revised 6/2015

It shall be the decision making style of the Library staff to use shared, consensus-based decision making whenever possible. Shared decision making in the Library will be construed to mean that anyone affected by a decision will have an opportunity to provide input before the decision is made. Consensus will be construed to mean that all charged with making the decision agree to support it. Shared governance will not be construed to mean that each individual has an equal vote in any particular outcome, nor does shared governance mean that a decision must be the preferred choice of every member of the decision-making group.

The Director's role in shared decision-making shall be as initiator of discussions and issues, leader of debate, and as a peer in consensus taking or decision making. If consensus cannot be achieved, it will be the Director’s responsibility to make or delegate the decision, and communicate the process and rationale to stakeholders.

It is recognized that successful participation in shared governance requires additional expertise. Each member of the Library staff will be provided opportunities to acquire and enhance the skills necessary for effective decision making.

Operating Principles:

  • Decision-making will be conducted in a manner consistent with our Library Unifying Principles, Code of Ethics for Library Employees, governance statements, and College labor agreements.
  • Our highest priority shall be to provide excellent service in accordance with the Library mission.
  • Anyone may raise any issue.
  • Participation is voluntary, but those who choose not to participate forfeit the right to affect the decision.
  • The decision-making process should optimize the opportunity for feedback while maximizing efficiency. The person or group requesting the feedback should specify the deadline for stakeholders to provide it.
  • Decision-making authority will be retained by those responsible for, or most knowledgeable about, the issue. However, those charged with making a decision are responsible for delineating the process to be used, for identifying and soliciting input from other stakeholders, for communicating decisions and rationale, and for defining the implementation and evaluation process.
  • Where there is more than one viable option, choices will be based on which option seems most appropriate to the mission, purpose, goals, policies, long-term strategies and resources of the College and the Library at the time.
  • Decisions may only be revisited when there are altered circumstances or new information.
  • In order to save time, build community, and ensure that all Library staff members can make informed decisions, minutes of all Library committee and subcommittee meetings will be made available to all Library staff within one week after the meeting.
  • When representing the Library to outside groups on and off campus, Library staff members shall speak for the Library as a whole rather than as an individual when voting or providing formal input. Library representatives are responsible for identifying additional stakeholders for specific decisions and communicating those decisions and rationale.

Supporting Documents: Decision Making Levels | Decision Making Matrix

Work policies

1. The Library will staff all positions in the Library with fully qualified people, unless that is not possible. Cross training will be encouraged, but it will be the first priority of the Library to staff with qualified persons.

2. Library staff will be encouraged to participate in professional development activities. Library travel funds will be distributed as equally as possible. Whenever possible, it will be the policy of the Library to send at least one staff member to at least one national or regional conference per year.

Work expectations

1. It will be the policy of the Library staff to adopt a "customer first" attitude. For this reason, we will endeavor to make our patrons welcome, and to serve them promptly, efficiently, and with the highest quality.

2. It will be the policy of the Library to strive to keep the confidential nature of interstaff conflict between only those persons affected. Library conflict which occurs among staff or between staff will be addressed as openly and directly as possible. It will the pledge of the staff to strive to address concerns about a staff member's performance, attitude, or behavior first to the person concerned, and then to the supervisor.

3. It will be the policy of the Library to provide an orientation program for every new staff member. This orientation will consist of a tour of the Library and campus, introductions to Library personnel, and the assignment of a mentor from the individual's unit who will act as advisor for a three month period.

4. It will be the policy of the Library to try to provide a personal working space for every regular staff member. This space will be the private space of the staff member. College equipment provided for the space will be designated for the staff member. However, such equipment and space may be used by other staff members when the need arises. In such a case, arrangements will be made with the staff member ahead of time.

5. Each staff member may contribute $2 per month ($24 per year) for the purpose of having a fund for memorials, flowers, birthday cards, etc. This contribution will be prorated for part-time staff. The fund will be managed by the department administrative specialist and will be housed in the department safe.

6. No department member will be expected to pay out of his/her own funds to reimburse students for lost change in machines etc.

7. All department members will be expected to pay for personal use of copiers, laser printers, fax, phone or other equipment. Charges are:

  • telephone: actual cost of long distance charges
  • fax: actual cost of long distance charges
  • printing to Konica Minolta (Room 318)
    • B & W copies and prints: $.07 per impression
    • Color copies and prints: $.15 per impression
  • printing to desktop pinters (Rooms 234, 319, 325, and "ready room" behind service desks):
    • B & W copies and prints: $.08 per impression
    • Color copies and prints: $.16 per impression
  • laminating: $.50 a page


1. The cataloging department is responsible for all aspects of cataloging service for books and materials acquired by LCC Library.

2. Cataloging service may be extended to collections acquired by departments on or off the LCC campus, provided that:

  • the collection will be made accessible to the entire LCC community.
  • the cataloging records will appear in the LCC Library's main catalog.

Cataloging functions

1. Cataloging and classification.

2. Physical preparation of material for use.

3. Maintaining catalog records.

New book loans to Library staff

Any Library staff may borrow a newly arrived book/AV item in the cataloging area, unless it has been previously requested. The item must be rush cataloged and then checked out.

Rush items

1. The cataloging department will rush catalog an item when requested by an LCC faculty, staff, or student for circulation or assignment-related urgency. Any Library staff member can receive a rush request and then inform the cataloging staff. The title and author of the item, the reason for the rush request, and the requester's name and telephone number should all be noted.

2. The cataloging staff will perform the rush cataloging and will in general have the item ready one day from the date of the request.

3. After the rush item is cataloged and processed, the item will be placed on reserve (if it is a reserve item) or will be placed on hold in the circulation department. The circulation department will be responsible for notifying the requester that the item is ready and held at the circulation counter.

Code of Ethics for Library Employees

The statement which follows sets forth the ethical obligations of individuals as LCC Library staff members.

1. To maintain the principles of the ALA Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement.

2. To maintain the principles of the LCC Library mission statement and unifying principles.

3. To understand and execute the policies of the College and Library, and to express in a positive manner any concern or objection with the policies, philosophy or programs of these institutions.

4. To maintain an objective and open attitude of understanding, courtesy, and concern for the patrons' needs.

5. To protect the essential confidential relationship which exists between a library user and the library.

6. To serve all patrons equally according to their needs.

7. To make the resources and services of the Library known and easily accessible to all current and potential users.

8. To avoid any possibility of personal financial gain at the expense of the employing institution.

9. To be aware of the obligations of employment and of what constitutes abuse of working conditions and benefits.

10. To acknowledge the importance of the work done by all staff in all divisions of the Library.

11. To maintain a sense of loyalty, respect, and cooperation in our relationships with fellow staff

12. To carry out assignments so that fellow staff members need not assume added responsibilities, except in times of emergency.

13. To share knowledge, experience, and expertise with others.

14. To use the resources of the Library and College in an efficient and economical manner, consistent with the best service to the library user.

15. To use care and discretion to distinguish between private actions and speech, and those actions and speech which are taken in the name of the institution. This policy should be interpreted as consistent with the rights of an individual to take part in public debate, and to engage in social or political activity.


It is the policy of LCC Library to cross-train library staff in as many library functions as possible. The reasons for this policy are to strengthen the library's ability to meet student needs under varying circumstances, and to enable library staff to respond to student needs with a versatile and adaptable set of skills.

1. Cross-training will be encouraged for all staff, but will remain voluntary

2. Primary responsibility for each function will remain with the staff assigned to that function

Privacy of Communication and Workspace

The Library recognizes that privacy of communication and privacy of workspace are essential within an organization, both to respect individual rights and to encourage the free interchange of ideas. In addition, various state and federal laws protect personal and business communications. For these reasons, Library policy is to protect the privacy of communication between individuals, and to respect the privacy of the individual workspace. The following guidelines should be followed:

1. parcels, mail (including inter-office, voice and electronic mail), and fax communications should be opened or read only by the addressee or successor.

2. messages, notes and passwords should be read only by the addressee or user, even if placed in public view such as office doors, desktops, monitors and mail boxes.

3. access to offices and personal workspaces to retrieve materials or information, or to use equipment, should be conducted with the utmost discretion and respect for the privacy of the occupant, and with minimum disturbance to the office or workspace.


It shall be the policy of LCC Library to hold regular, scheduled staff meetings. The purpose of staff meetings shall be to:

  • share any information, news, projects and ideas affecting the Library and its staff.
  • improve the flow of communication within the Library, and with the larger college community.
  • assist in the process of shared decision-making within the Library.

The Library will hold full staff meetings at least once per month, at a time to be arranged at the start of each academic year. All contracted staff are expected to attend. Meetings shall be chaired by the Library Director. Regularly scheduled reference librarians' meetings will also be held. Separate meetings will be held as needed for sub-groups of Library staff.

Any staff member may submit agenda items. Submitted items shall be designated information, discussion, and/or action. Agenda items should be submitted 24 hours in advance. 

Minutes or notes will be taken for all staff and reference librarians' meetings, including meetings of sub-groups, and available within 48 hours to all staff. Minutes and notes should reflect all decisions made at the meeting. Any meeting of library staff will be open to all library staff. 

Meeting minutes or notes will be kept for at least five years.

Mission and Purpose of the Librarians Council

Purpose and Charge

  • To develop learning outcomes for each of the essential functions that comprise the instructional responsibilities of the reference librarian classification. These essential functions are:
    • Provide one-on-one reference and research assistance
    • Prepare and deliver bibliographic instruction
    • Develop library curriculum
    • Serve as liaison to assigned instructional departments
    • Assist teaching faculty with the integration of library research skills into their courses
    • Develop and manage the library’s print, non-print and online collection
    • Promote library collections and services
    • Prepare bibliographies and reference guides
    •  Assess effectiveness of the library’s instructional program
  • To collaboratively make and implement objectives which achieve these outcomes and which are evidence-based.
  • To develop an annual work plan for identifying and achieving learning goals, including a time line for completion and assignment of responsibility. This plan should identify any stakeholders who should be consulted or included in the planning process.


All reference librarians, and the Library Director in his/her role as an individual with responsibility for some of the essential functions described above, and any additional members the Council deems appropriate.

The convener will be a reference librarian, who will be responsible for assembling meeting agendas and facilitating the discussions.

The note taker will be a non-member of the Council so that all can fully participate in the discussion.

Decisions are made by consensus whenever possible, and in accordance with the Library’s decision making policy adopted in May 2002 (revised June 2015).

Librarians Council may discuss and recommend library-wide policies and activities outside the scope of these primary responsibilities, but such recommendations will be referred to the entire library staff for discussion and adoption.

Library Assignments

The LCC librarians are committed to creating partnerships with other college faculty to develop library assignments and exercises for students. Librarians are available in each teaching discipline to collaborate on library assignments, and we strongly encourage faculty to take advantage of this service.

Library Environment


1. Furniture: working within the scope of current budgetary guidelines, the Library will provide tables or carrels and chairs for individual and group study. Some "soft" or "lounge" seating will be provided. Tables and carrels modified for wheelchair access will be readily available.

2. Lighting: staff will monitor lighting levels in the Library and make recommendations to the campus facilities department as needed.

3. Sound: recognizing the importance of quiet in an academic library setting, the Library staff will:

  • be mindful of noise levels in staff work areas.
  • monitor and advise noisy patrons of the importance of quiet.
  • be authorized to ask disruptive patrons (those who have received one warning) to leave the Library.
  • require that cellphone ringers be turned off in the Library, and converstation taken outside.

4. Food: food is not allowed in public areas of the Library. Staff members wishing to eat within the Library may do so in private offices or in non-public areas.

5. Drink: drinks are allowed in spill-proof containers only.

6. Keys: in recognition of the fiduciary position that the Library holds within the institution, access to keys to the Library doors and elevator will be restricted. Non-library personnel (any person without a work space within the Library) wishing to have key access must make application to the Library Director and supply proof of physical limitation.


The LCC Library is available for use by all registered students and staff of the College, and the general public. Adult community residents may obtain borrowing privileges by purchasing a community borrower card. Borrowing privileges of young adults are restricted to those enrolled in official LCC courses. Infants and young children must be in the constant care of a parent or guardian. Library staff may ask the adult caring for a noisy child to remove the child from the Library. In the event that a child is left unattended in the Library and becomes disruptive, Library staff may contact LCC Public Safety for assistance.

Children and young adults not enrolled in official LCC courses are not allowed to view video tapes or use other audiovisual media in the Library.

Patrons using the Library are expected to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct and behave in a socially responsible manner. In the event someone becomes disruptive or creates a problem in any way, Library staff is authorized to call LCC Public Safety for assistance.