2.9 Learning Resources and Services

The institution, through ownership or formal arrangements or agreements, provides and supports student and faculty access and user privileges to adequate library collections and services and to other learning/information resources consistent with the degrees offered. Collections, resources, and services are sufficient to support all its educational, research, and public service programs.


JUDGMENT: Compliant



The SWTJC Library supports the mission of the institution by providing facilities, services, and resources that meet the needs of students, faculty, staff, and the community.  The Library serves patrons on-campus or off-campus in traditional classes or distance learning environments. SWTJC’s library facilities and services have been designed to meet guidelines established in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Standards for Libraries in Higher Education and the ACRL’s Standards for Distance Learning Library Services. In addition, the Library has updated its mission statement to guide its efforts:

The Southwest Texas Junior College Libraries support and enrich the instructional,
research, and public service missions of the College through the stewardship of
scholarly information and the delivery of information services

Ownership/Formal Arrangements

Through ownership and cooperative arrangements with Sul Ross-Rio Grande College, Southwest Texas Junior College provides books, periodicals, databases, computers, and copiers and thereby maintains libraries at the Uvalde, Eagle Pass, and Del Rio campuses. 

Formal arrangements through the SWTJC Library include an interlibrary loan service through the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, subscription services to various educational databases, and a formal agreement with Sul Ross State University (Alpine, TX) regarding borrowing privileges for SWTJC full-time faculty.   In addition, the Southwest Texas Junior College Library has an agreement with Sul Ross-Rio Grande College to provide access to resources and services to Rio Grande College students.  The current agreement was signed on September 1, 2013 and continues through August 31, 2015.

Access and Privileges

With the exception of Sul Ross’s borrowing privileges for full-time faculty (detailed below), access and user privileges of SWTJC Library collections and services are the same for all users: students, faculty, and staff.  Additionally, the facilities are open to the community.  As a public service, circulation privileges and computer usage are available to members of the community as evidence in the guest/visitor policy.

In-person resources are available at SWTJC’s three campuses: Uvalde, Del Rio, and Eagle Pass. These resources include:

  • Reference section
  • Book Collection
  • Periodical Collection
  • Course Materials (Reserve)
  • Digital Assets (CD-ROM, DVD)
  • Computer Labs
  • Printing and copying

Online Access
Users of the SWTJC Library can access resources online 24 hours a day via the SWTJC Library web page, which include the following:

Facility Access Hours
The Uvalde and Del Rio libraries are open 68.5 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters, 44 hours per week during the summer sessions, and 40 hours per week during college inter-sessions.  The Eagle Pass library is open 66 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters.  The summer and college inter-session hours are the same as Uvalde and Del Rio.

Facilities and Infrastructure 

The Uvalde campus library consists of a 24,000 square foot building on two floors.  There is seating for 106, which includes 27 study tables and 2 study rooms.  An instruction lab is also available on the second floor which contains 24 computers.

The Eagle Pass campus library consists of a 1,983 square foot room.  There is seating for 27, which includes 8 study tables.

The Del Rio campus library consists of a 2,800 square foot room.  There is seating for 32, which includes 5 study tables.

The library operates its own integrated library system.  The current system used is The Library Corporation

Information Technology
The library operates on the Southwest Texas Junior College campus network.  Patrons using the library computers are able to access all electronic library resources.

Construction of New Library Facilities
SWTJC anticipates building a new library with instruction lab in Eagle Pass during the 2015-2016 academic year.  In addition, a library building will be constructed on the Crystal City campus during the 2015-2016 academic year.  Also, the SWTJC Physical Facilities master plan includes a renovation of the Uvalde library after completion of the Eagle Pass and Crystal City projects.

Collections and Resources

Print and Electronic Collections
The Uvalde campus library has a physical collection of over 38,000 print items. The Del Rio campus library has a physical collection of over 2,300 print items. The Eagle Pass campus library has over 2,800 print items.  All libraries collectively share over 100,000 electronic resources and 68 serials. The library also provides access to multiple databases, including those available through an agreement with the Texas State Library, known as TexShare.  The library maintains a website and proxy server that provide 24/7 access to the catalog, electronic resources, and most library services.  These resources and services are available to all students, regardless of location. The library's collection of online databases and the eBook collection are of great benefit to online and off-campus students as well as on-campus students, who frequently prefer to access the library's resources and services from home or from other locations outside the library. 

Collection Development
The Collection Development Policy is followed to ensure that the collection meets the needs of programs and patrons to support the mission of the Institution.  Faculty members make recommendations about resources that should be added to the library.  The Library Advisory Committee is also charged with assisting librarians with evaluating resources to ensure that the needs of patrons are being met with the library collection.

The library collection focuses on general education to align with the Southwest Texas Junior College’s mission of “preparing students to successfully transfer to senior colleges or universities.”

The library maintains a collection of historical documents pertaining to SWTJC, as well as special edition monographs and complete collections of a few periodicals.  These collections are housed at the Uvalde library.  Patrons may request archive materials for research in-house. 


The library provides face-to-face reference services by the library staff at the Uvalde, Del Rio, and Eagle Pass campuses during all hours that the library is open.  Reference services are also available by telephone, email, chat, and text through the library website.  These services are available to all faculty, staff, and students, regardless of location or mode of instruction.  One-on-one instruction and assistance is provided to faculty and students by appointment. 

Library Instruction
The library strives to ensure that students are knowledgeable of resources available to them from the library as well as how to determine reliable resources and how to successfully research information.
Faculty members at the Uvalde and Eagle Pass campuses are encouraged to request library instruction for their students in three areas:

  • Library Orientation provides students with basic information about the library such as hours of operations, library policies, location of resources, etc.
  • Information literacy instruction provides students with the knowledge of how to determine if sources are reliable.
  • Research instruction walks students through the research process from choosing a topic, to using databases and journal articles as sources, to formatting their research papers.

These instructional sessions are delivered face-to-face at all three campuses throughout the year, on request.  At the Uvalde campus these sessions take place in the instruction lab on the second floor, which allows students to manipulate the databases and electronic resources as they are being discussed.  At the Eagle Pass campus, staff members go out to the classrooms to conduct these sessions. 

At the Del Rio campus, library orientations are presented at the library while students use computers to manipulate the electronic resources.

These sessions are also conducted through Distance Learning and tutorials are available on-line at any time via the library web site.

For the Academic Years 2013 and 2014, the Uvalde campus conducted 90 instructional sessions reaching 2,137 students.  In the same time frame the Eagle Pass campus conducted 111 sessions reaching 1,242 students and the Del Rio campus conducted 45 sessions reaching 984 students.

Some resources, such as materials from Book Collections or Course Materials, can be checked out of the library for extended use ranging from one day (overnight) to three weeks. User privileges are granted to SWTJC students, faculty, and staff with an SWTJC ID.   
Southwest Texas Junior College full-time faculty wishing to borrow from Sul Ross State University must complete a user request form and submit it to the SWTJC Library. The form is then forwarded to Sul Ross State University where final approval takes place.

Interlibrary Loan
The library provides interlibrary loan service to students and faculty through TexShare with the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. For electronic delivery, materials frequently can be provided within 48 hours.  For print materials, the library frequently can deliver materials in less than one week.  Interlibrary loan requests can be made at the information desk or through email or by phone.  Journal articles can be delivered electronically via email or through the US mail system.  At the request of the off-site locations in Eagle Pass, Del Rio, Hondo, Pearsall, Medina Valley, and Crystal City, library materials can be delivered to accommodate those faculty and students.  

Reserve Materials
Most reserve materials are provided in print.  Print reserves are available to students at the library’s information desk and are accessible during regular hours of operation.  Additionally, electronic course reserves may be accessed by students through the course LibGuides from the library website, 24 hours a day, regardless of location or mode of instruction.

Services for Faculty
The library provides instruction for classes, assistance with faculty research, discipline-specific LibGuides, and specialized LibGuides for classes upon request by the faculty member.  Additionally, the library provides a faculty LibGuide with information for instructors.        

Ensuring Adequacy and Efficiency

Strategic Planning
The library’s planning process includes annual strategies based on the strategic plan to meet the goals of the library.

Over the last few years the library has implemented a yearly Unit Action Plan to provide assistance and instruction to students, faculty, and staff in the use of information and library resources that support the educational goals and activities of the college.

The expected outcomes of the Unit Action Plan 2012-2013 were 1) Student success will improve in the use of electronic resources with more class specific library instruction and 2) Student information literacy will improve.

Upon completion of library instruction, a survey was completed by participating students. During the Fall 2012, semester few library instruction sessions were requested and the survey was found to be lacking measurable data relating to the goal. Library services are also assessed bi-annually through the Student Satisfaction of Services Survey.

The expected outcome of the Unit Action Plan for 2013-2014 was that students will improve learning related to the information literacy program outcome “use information ethically and legally.” No assessment was performed for the library instruction sessions for this outcome. It was found that the number of instruction sessions dropped from 58 in the 2012-2013 academic year to 24 in the 2013-2014 academic year.

After discussions with faculty about the decline in library instruction sessions it was discovered that students and faculty did not like the way the material was presented. A new instructional librarian was hired in February of 2014. We have seen an increase in library instruction sessions from 32 in the Fall of 2013 to 47 in the Fall of 2014.

Additionally, a new assessment was created and implemented beginning Fall 2014 to monitor student understanding of information literacy skills presented during instruction sessions. Results from the new assessment have shown that understanding of information literacy/research skills has increased by 32 percent.

The current Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Standards, “Standards  for Libraries in Higher Education” (2011), provide the library with guidance in planning and assessment. The values highlighted in these standards and the SWTJC compliance with them are as follows:

  • Institutional Effectiveness – The library develops strategies and measures outcomes in the context of the college’s mission.
  • Professional Values – The library supports intellectual freedom, intellectual property rights and values, user privacy and confidentiality, collaboration, and user-centered service.
  • Educational Role – The library collaborates with faculty to develop and implement research and information literacy skills in addition to incorporating library collections and services to improve student success.
  • Discovery – The library organizes resources and provides appropriate technology to discover and access information in all formats.
  • Collections – The library provides access to collections that are of quality, depth, diversity, format, and currency to support the curricular needs of students, faculty, and staff.
  • Space – The library provides a secure and adequate physical and virtual environment that encourages innovation, inspires learning, and fosters opportunities for connections and engagement.
  • Management/Administration –With the creation of the strategic plan, the library has begun to plan and assess library key functions to meet the mission of the library and the college.
  • Personnel – The library provides personnel to maintain standard operating procedures in all capacities.
  • External Relations – The library engages the campus through a variety of ways to advocate, educate, and promote the library’s resources and services, such as seminars, promotional materials, campus-sponsored events, the library website, social media, etc.

Usage Monitoring
Use of library facilities has decreased for the past two years on all campuses. Circulation of print resources has declined while eBook circulation has increased. Even though database usage has fallen slightly, evidence shows that online databases are used around the clock.

The decline in use of library resources heavily influenced the creation of the library’s strategic plan. Through implementation of updated web presence, marketing, and creating user friendly library spaces, the library seeks to increase facility use. The library is also working to develop a more current collection to increase student awareness and accessibility of information to support increased student success.

Even though there has been a decline of library usage in the last two years, the addition of a new library space in Del Rio contributed to a 6 percent increase in facility utilization for the Fall of 2014. 

Distance Learning
Due to the number of online, off-campus, and dual credit courses offered at SWTJC, the library has a large collection of electronic resources which are available 24 hours a day to all students, faculty, and staff. In addition, the library subscribes to multiple databases to allow all students, faculty, and staff,
including those who are at distance locations, access to a variety of periodicals. These resources are available through the library website.

The library has a webpage specifically targeting distance education students that outlines the services and options available to them in electronic format. Video tutorials about research and database use are available through the library website. Dual credit students have mandatory orientations where access to library information is presented along with bookmarks/flyers containing basic library information for quick reference.  Library orientations are presented to distance classes as requested by faculty.

Off-site faculty and staff have access to all resources and services through the library website or through contact with a library staff member. Adjunct faculty, many of whom are at distance locations, receive information during mandatory adjunct training to guarantee awareness of available library resources.


Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Standards for Libraries in Higher Education
ACRL’s Standards for Distance Learning Library Services
SWTJC Library Mission Statement
SWTJC Library Interlibrary Loan Service
SWTJC Library Subscription Services Educational Databases
Sul Ross User Request Form
Sul Ross Library Services Agreement
SWTJC Library Services Policy for Guest/Visitor Access
SWTJC Library Website
SWTJC Library Calendar
SWTJC Library Request Material
Physical Facilities Master Plan
SWTJC Uvalde Book Collection
SWTJC Del Rio Book Collection
SWTJC Eagle Pass Book Collection
SWTJC Library Electronic Resources
TexShare Website
SWTJC Library Website
SWTJC Collection Development Policy
SWTJC Library Advisory Committee Roster
SWTJC Library Website
SWTJC Library Tutorials
SWTJC Library Resource Statistics 2012-2013
SWTJC Holding List
Sul Ross User Request Form
TexShare Interlibrary Loan Service
SWTJC Reserve Material List
SWTJC Faculty LibGuide
SWTJC Library Strategic Plan 2015-2019
SWTJC Library Unit Action Plan 2012-2013
SWTJC Library LibGuide Student Survey
SWTJC Student Satisfaction of Services Survey

SWTJC Library Unit Action Plan 2013-2014
SWTJC Library Resource Statistics 2014
SWTJC Library Resource Statistics 2013
SWTJC Pre-Post Assessment Result

SWTJC Library Instruction Assessment Result
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Standards for Libraries in Higher Education
SWTJC Library Instruction Assessment Result
SWTJC Holding Count Chart
SWTJC Library Staffing and Facilities Information
SWTJC Library Strategic Plan 2015-2019
SWTJC Library Personnel
SWTJC Library Resource Strategic 2012-2014
EBSCO Session Usage 2013-2014
SWTJC Library Strategic Plan 2015-2019
SWTJC Library Del Rio Gate Count Fall 2014
SWTJC Library Electronic Resources
SWTJC Library Database A-Z
SWTJC Library Website
SWTJC Adjunct Faculty Training Agendas


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