SACS Reaffirmation of Accreditation Site
Overview Compliance Certification Quality Enhancement Plan Resources SACS Evaluators Hillsbrough Community College
3.8.2 Library: Access
The institution ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources.
Judgment of Compliance
Narrative/Justification for Judgment of Compliance

Hillsborough Community College ensures that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources.  The mission, or objective, of the libraries with regard to instruction is to provide library information literacy instruction to help students develop critical thinking skills and become independent lifelong learners.

The types of assistance and delivery mechanisms that the professional faculty librarians provide includes reference assistance, one-on-one instruction on locating information, and class orientations.  As described in the Definition of the HCC Library/Learning Resource Center (LRC) Discipline, “Instruction in the use of library resources is provided by library faculty to classes on a scheduled basis, and to individuals at the point of use, and by appointment.  Library faculty and skilled support staff are available to assist with research and the utilization of library resources and technologies.” 

The librarians also provide development workshops at the full-time and part-time faculty in-services and at other development opportunities, such as the College’s All College Day.  The handout, Positive Relationships for Productive Library Assignments (Handout – Faculty/Librarian Collaboration for Productive Library Assignments), prepared by one of the campus library faculty members, is shared with classroom faculty and provides tips for creating effective library assignments and identifies specific ways that the librarians can provide support to faculty.

To assess library assistance to users, there is an annual administration of the library satisfaction survey to faculty and students.  For the past two years, the majority of respondents have been satisfied to highly satisfied with the libraries and services, as can be seen by clicking on a campus and viewing the survey results (  These surveys also aid in determining the effectiveness of the learning/information resource programs.  Additionally, the library program undergoes a program review every five years ((Library Review Report) and participates in developing a strategic plan.  Sustaining and enhancing information literacy instruction is a key component of that plan.

To elaborate further upon the access that users have to regular and timely instruction, several recommendations from HCC’s Information Literacy Policy Statement and Plan are listed below, along with their outcomes.  This plan (HCC Information Literacy Policy Statement and Plan) was developed in concert with the guidelines of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Standards for Libraries in Higher Education.  Each recommendation listed below relates to access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources.  Each recommendation is followed by its outcome.

  • Recommendation 1:  Library skills instructions will be tied to, and timed with, assignments;

Outcome:  On a college-wide basis, the faculty librarians collaborate with the classroom instructors in advance of every library skills instruction session to determine in what specific projects students are engaged and to tailor the instruction accordingly.  Together, they discuss the course assignment and the desired learning outcomes.  The library faculty members customize library instruction to maximize opportunities for students t o achieve the skills necessary to complete the course assignment.  Students also are urged to consult independently with the library faculty during the preparation of the assignment.


Specific library orientations are offered.  The chart below indicates the number of HCC students attending library orientations on a college-wide basis for the past five years.


  • Recommendation 2:  Library faculty and classroom faculty will collaborate in teaching information literacy;

Outcome:  The library faculty and the classroom faculty jointly plan sessions for students to learn how to access and evaluation information and to develop information literacy exercises for students.  For example, instructional faculty members have asked the librarians to teach the one-credit “Introduction to Internet Research” or offer information literacy instruction sessions for their students.  An example of an information literacy exercise that was developed in collaboration with instructional faculty is attached (Ybor City Campus Library Orientation Exercise).

Library faculty members continue to work to engage more classroom faculty to participate in information literacy dialogues and projects.  Instructional faculty members also are encouraged to include the details of any research assignment that will be required of their students.  In this way, maximum student interest will be attained as library instruction is geared specifically to information needs.  The library faculty’s continued goal is to increase awareness of the value of information literacy amongst both classroom faculty and administration, as evidence in the library strategic plan (Library Strategic Plan).

  • Recommendation 3:  Library faculty will be aware of pedagogical trends at their campuses, and be prepared to adapt their information literacy models accordingly;

Outcome:  Overall, library faculty members fulfill this recommendation by their participation in campus and college-wide committees, seminars, and meetings which deal with curriculum matters.  For example, one of the faculty librarians serves on the Academic Affairs Committee, another serves on the General Education Committee, another serves on the Student Learning Outcomes Committee, and yet another serves on the Quality Enhancement Plan Committee.

In response to a pedagogical trend toward active learning, the library faculty members also have increasingly included an active learning component in library instruction sessions. For example, immediately following a library instruction demonstration, students may complete an exercise in accessing and evaluating information. The exercise requires students to work in small groups to locate information on class topics. The classroom instructor is given the completed exercises for review.  This practice serves to reinforce the instruction and enables the students to become excited about their new skills.   Other library faculty members have developed active learning exercises for students (Library Assignment:  Inventions and Inventors).

  • Recommendation 4: Library faculty will provide, as appropriate, information literacy training or materials to classroom faculty;

Outcome:  On at least a biannual basis, library faculty provide professional development presentations to the classroom faculty.  For example, during the 2004/2005 academic year, faculty librarians provided workshops at the fall and spring full-time faculty in-services, titled Faculty/Librarian Collaboration for Information Literacy Success and 7000 Free Online Books for You and Your Students respectively, a session at the spring part-time faculty in-service, titled Library/Information Literacy, and a workshop at the All College Day titled Million Dollar Databases: Journal and Magazine Searching Made Free and Easy.  (All College Day is a daylong personal and professional development day for all faculty and staff at the College.)

On a campus-specific basis, library faculty may conduct training sessions at regularly scheduled faculty meetings.  They also attend full-time and adjunct faculty orientations to introduce and update classroom faculty on library services and collections.  They encourage classroom faculty to attend and participate in library instruction sessions, including scheduling appointments during which specific databases and library resources can be demonstrated.  Depending on the campus, these sessions can be held in a specialized classroom (Dale Mabry), in the library itself, or in the classroom faculty member’s office.

In addition to the strategies identified in the Information Literacy Policy Statement and Plan, user access to regular and timely instruction is also provided through the HCC library website (  Included on the website are the following pages related instruction in the use of the library:

Frequently Asked Questions;

Online Helpsheets/Tutorials;

How to find books using Library of Congress Classification.

The table below provides usage statistics on selected services over a five-year period.  From these data, one can infer that the constant emphasis on information literacy appears to have influenced the dramatic increase in the use of online databases.

Table 1.  Usage Statistics on Database Searches and Reference Questions




% Change


% Change


% Change


% Change




Online Database Searches














Reference Questions Answered














As another method of providing access to regular and timely instruction, HCC librarians also participate in the statewide “Ask-A-Librarian” service.  This service provides all Florida residents with free, real-time access to a librarian who can answer questions and provide on-line reference services.  This collaborative project includes academic, public, school, and special libraries throughout the State of Florida. This service can be accessed at   The Ask a Librarian Statistics document indicates the increase in use of this resource on a statewide basis.

Based on the information provided above, Hillsborough Community College does ensure that users have access to regular and timely instruction in the use of the library and other learning/information resources.   Regular and timely instruction is a key component of the HCC Information Literacy Policy Statement and Plan, and the librarians work with their colleagues to implement the recommendations of the plan.

Supporting Documentation

Comprehensive Standards

3.1.1 Institutional Mission
3.2.1 Selection of CEO
3.2.2 Legal Authority & Operating Control
3.2.3 Gov. Board: Conflict of Interest
3.2.4 Gov. Board: Undue Influence
3.2.5 Gov. Board: Dimissal
3.2.6 Gov. Board: Distinction of Duties
3.2.7 Organizational Structure
3.2.8 Qualified Administration
3.2.9 Appointment & Employment
3.2.10 Evaluation of Administrators
3.2.11 CEO: Intercollegiate Athletics
3.2.12 CEO: Fund Raising
3.2.13 Foundation
3.2.14 Ownership of Materials
3.3.1 Institutional Effectiveness
3.4.1 Program Approval & Lrng. Outcomes
3.4.2 Continuing Education Programs
3.4.3 Admissions Policies
3.4.4 Policies for Academic Credit
3.4.5 Dissemination of Academic Policies
3.4.6 Practices for Awarding Acad. Credit
3.4.7 Consortial & Contractual Programs
3.4.8 Acad. Credit for Non-Credit Work
3.4.9 Support Services
3.4.10 Definition/ Gen. Ed. Requirements
3.4.11 Security of Student Acad. Records
3.4.12 Faculty Responsibility/ Curriculum
3.4.13 Program Coordination
3.4.14 Use of Academic Technology
3.5.1 Attainment / Gen. Ed. Competencies
3.5.2 Credit Earned at Institution
3.6.1 Advanced Academic Contents
3.6.2 Independent Learning
3.6.3 Credit Earned at Institution
3.7.1 Faculty: Qualifications
3.7.2 Faculty: Evaluation
3.7.3 Faculty: Professional Development
3.7.4 Faculty: Academic Freedom
3.7.5 Faculty: Policies on Responsibility
3.8.1 Library: Facilities and Services
3.8.2 Library: Access
3.8.3 Library: Staff
3.9.1 Student Rights & Responsibilities
3.9.2 Security of Student Affairs Records
3.9.3 Qualified Student Affairs Personnel
3.10.1 Financial Stability
3.10.2 Financial Statements
3.10.3 Financial Aid Audits
3.10.4 Control of Financial Resources
3.10.5 Control of Sponsored Research
3.10.6 Healthy, Safe, Secure Environment
3.10.7 Physical Facilities