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Library Policies

Library Policies

The NOVA Libraries strive to offer excellent customer service to students, faculty, staff and the community. We provide access to a vast collection of materials in a variety of print, audio-visual, and electronic formats that support the curriculum of each discipline, college programs, and popular interests. In addition, we provide individual and group instruction in the identification, use, and evaluation of information resources to enhance teaching, research, and lifelong learning.

Circulation

Circulation

For information on borrowing, renewing, and requesting library materials, please see the Borrow, Renew, Request webpage.

Course Reserves

Faculty

Faculty who would like to put an item on course reserve can submit a Course Reserve Form. For more information, contact a campus library.

Students

Some instructors place course materials, including textbooks, on reserve at campus libraries for students to use. These course reserve items are usually for specific courses and therefore are usually only available at the library on the campus where the course is being held.

Instructors determine how students can use course reserve items; most items must stay in the library and some of these items have time limits. Course reserve items that can leave the library have restricted loan periods. To check out course reserve items, students are required to have their NOVACard. Course reserve items cannot be renewed. Course reserve items accrue fines when overdue. For more information, please see the Overdue Items section below.

Some campus libraries list course reserve items in the library catalog. Students can search for course reserve items by following the instructions on the Course Reserves webpage. For more information about course reserves, please contact a campus library.

Fines and Fees

Overdue Items

Students with overdue library items, including course reserves, will have a hold placed on their account. This will prevent them from checking out additional library materials, registering for classes, or obtaining transcripts. The hold will be cleared when they return the overdue items. Students with overdue course reserve items will be charged a fine of $4.00 per hour or day (as applies) per item. The maximum fine for an overdue course reserve item is $160.00. Students can pay fines at any campus library using their NOVACard. For more information, please contact a campus library.

Community patrons with overdue library items will have a hold placed on their account. This will prevent them from checking out additional materials. The hold will be cleared when they return the overdue items. Community patrons can pay fines at any campus library by purchasing a Guest Card and loading funds onto the card. For more information, please contact a campus library.

Lost or Damaged Items

Students, faculty, and staff who lose or damage library items must pay the replacement cost of the items. They can make payment at any campus library using their NOVACard. For more information, please contact a campus library.

Community patrons who lose or damage library items must pay the replacement cost of the items. They can make payment at any campus library by purchasing a Guest Card and loading funds onto the card. For more information, please contact a campus library.

Library Instruction

Library Instruction

NOVA Libraries provides quality instruction services to our students, faculty and staff in support of the College’s General Education Information Literacy goal. The libraries work collaboratively with the NOVA community to ensure equity of instruction across all campuses and learning environments.

Our instruction program’s continued development is based on:

  • A commitment to helping students gain confidence in identifying, finding and using information effectively and ethically.
  • Valuing and respecting our students, their diversity, their goals and their previous experiences.
  • Encouraging critical thinking skills and continuous learning beyond the academic setting.
  • A commitment to ongoing assessment of the instruction program.
  • Keeping current with changing curricular needs and technologies that affect teaching and learning.
  • Recognition of the professional standards of the American Library Association and the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Requesting Library Instruction

Requests for library instruction can be submitted online using the Schedule Instruction form or by contacting a campus library. Please submit requests for library instruction at least one week (as applies) in advance of your preferred date. Every effort is made to tailor instruction to the specific research needs of each class.

To facilitate dialogue about the assignment and encourage student engagement, instructors are expected to attend library instruction sessions with their class, unless previous arrangements have been made with the librarian.

Librarian-led instruction and research sessions have priority use of library classrooms. Please contact your campus library about classroom availability for other uses; no semester-length or regular use scheduling requests will be approved.

Bringing Classes to the Library (No Instruction)

So that we can ensure your students will have access to the resources they need and adequate support, please notify your campus library if you intend to bring your class into the library.

Collection Development

Collection Development

This policy is a guide to the planned development of a library collection that will meet the educational needs of the learning community of Northern Virginia Community College. The Libraries support the mission of the College and are an integral part of the instructional program. Our goal is to provide well-organized access to materials in formats that enhance teaching and learning. We strive to build a collection that will support the development of critical thinking skills, and we are committed to educating library users to become capable researchers and effective users of the information resources we provide. 

Materials will be collected in varied formats that support the mission and goals of the College, the curricula, teaching methods and professional development of the faculty, and special student needs.

Selection of materials is a cooperative responsibility, with participation and recommendations by librarians, faculty, staff, students, and Learning Resource Committees. Librarians work with the teaching faculty to integrate collection development with the curricula on an ongoing basis. The Collection Development Librarian is responsible for the coordination of all collection development activities on the campus; final responsibility for selection and quality of these materials on each campus rests with the Library faculty.

In accord with the Faculty Handbook selection guidelines, the College Libraries have established the following priorities for collection development:

  • To provide students with resources supporting disciplines, programs and courses offered at the College
  • To provide faculty and staff with resources supporting their teaching and professional development activities
  • To provide the campus community with educational and informational resources of reference and general interest

Collection development activities (including selection, regular updating and weeding of materials) will be carried out to provide resources that meet the following criteria:

  • Items are current and authoritative
  • Items are in a variety of formats that can be accessed on campus
  • Items support the varied academic levels of community college students
  • Items present a wide range of viewpoints
  • Items are available at a cost that is justified in terms of anticipated use

The Libraries do not acquire materials that are consumable or kept outside the Library. The format of the collection reflects the needs of the student population at each campus. NOVA libraries do not accept donations of materials.

Retention of materials is dependent upon specific curricular demands. For specific curricular requirements contact the appropriate campus librarian.

Use of the Libraries

Use of the Libraries

Safety

In the event of an emergency, all library patrons are expected to follow staff directions. For more information about emergency procedures, please see NOVA’s Emergency Preparedness webpage.

Northern Virginia Community College is committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all members of its community. For more information on children and visitors in the library, please see the Children and Visitors on College Property policy.

Patron Behavior

All library patrons are expected to behave respectfully and courteously toward fellow library patrons, library staff, and the library space.

Patrons should not leave their items unattended in the library. The campus libraries are not responsible for unattended items. Such items may be reported to Campus Police.

Study Room Use

Study rooms in the libraries are for student academic use only. For more information about using study rooms at a specific campus library, please contact the campus library directly.

Computer Use

Students have priority use of computers in the libraries. Other patrons may use library computers, subject to the campus library's policy. For more information, please contact a campus library. All patrons using library computers must follow and abide by the terms and conditions set forth in the VCCS Student-Patron Acceptable Use Agreement.

Equipment Returns

Please return breakable items such as laptops, headphones, and cameras directly to library staff rather than placed in an unattended location or in a bookdrop.

Signs and Flyers

Signs and flyers to be posted in a campus library must be approved by the campus’s Student Activities Office and by campus library staff before being posted.

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