Library Policies


Library Public Computer Policy

Georgia Southwestern State University Policy for Library Computers:

   The computers in the Library may be used according to the following priorities, listed from
   the highest priority to the least:
  • GALILEO resources, databases, online catalog
  • Internet information resources
  • Non-curricular resources

The priority for patrons using the Library computers will be:

  • Faculty, staff and students of Georgia Southwestern State University
  • Faculty, staff and students of the University System

The Library provides computer access for Community Users:

  • The Library has 3 computers for public use 
  • Children 16 and under must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian*
  • Community users are charged $.10 per page for printing

If all computers are being used simultaneously by the highest priority patrons, the Library reserves the right to set a usage time limit. If all computers are being used by highest to lowest priority patrons, the Library reserves the right to request that lowest priority patrons relinquish their computers to any waiting high priority patrons.

*Any patron 16 YEARS OF AGE OR UNDER must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian at all times. This parent or legal guardian is responsible for monitoring and supervising the child while in the Library, for that child's use of the Internet, and for any materials accessed by the child. If the child and parent fail to abide by Library policies they will be asked to leave the Library.

GSW students are not charged by the Library for printing. Community users are charged $.10 per printed page. 


THE PUBLIC USE COMPUTERS ARE PRIMARILY USED FOR RESEARCH PURPOSES. Patrons are responsible for the sites they search on the Internet. Georgia Southwestern State University's sexual harassment policy prohibits patrons from viewing and displaying sexual explicit material that interferes with other patrons' academic performance or created intimidating or offensive environment in the Library. MISUSE OF THE COMPUTERS WILL RESULT IN THE LOSS OF THE PATRON'S LIBRARY PRIVILEGES.

September 11, 2012

Electronic Classroom/Computer Lab Policy

Information for Faculty:

The Facility:

  • Located on the first floor of the James Earl Carter Library, and funded by student technology fees, the electronic classroom opened in the fall of 2001.  There are 30 ADA compliant computers.  The computers have USB and DVD drives and are connected to the internet.  In addition, there is a computer for the instructor's use. 
  • Microsoft Office products are installed on all of the computers as well as Internet Explorer and appropriate browser plug-ins.  Please contact Administrative Computing about additional software availability and/or requirements.
  • The classroom also has a White Board and an LCD ceiling-mounted projector system.  In addition to the 30 computer stations, the room will seat an additional 10 people.

Priority Use:

  • The facility was converted from a lecture room to an electronic classroom/computer lab for the purpose of providing hands-on Library instruction for the students of GSW and as an additional computer lab with extended hours of opening.
  • To schedule library instruction for a class, please contact Ms. Mandi Goodsett, Reference Librarian, at 229-931-2850, or Ms. Kay Bell, Library Senior Administrative Assistant, at 229-931-2259.  Requests can also be made through email. When possible, please schedule instruction at least 10 days in advance of the session.
  • Teaching faculty who need a facility where their students can have hands-on computer access may reserve the lab.
  • The facility can be reserved in advance by calling Ms. Kay Bell at 229-931-2259. 
  • Since this facility is used primarily as a hands-on library instruction classroom and a computer lab, the classroom is not available for class scheduling for an entire semester.
  • Other GSW affiliated groups such as teaching circles or faculty committees may schedule the facility if there is a need for hands-on instruction or demonstrations. When the electronic classroom is not needed for instructional purposes, it functions as an open lab.


  • Cancellations should be made as soon as possible so that other groups can use the classroom.
  • The Library does not provide additional audio-visual equipment for the classroom. Instructors who need VCR's, etc. should make prior arrangements with the Instructional Technology Center.

Information for Students:

  • Hours of opening are posted next to the Computer Lab door.
  • The Library reserves the right to close the lab for instructional sessions at any time.  As much advance notification as possible will be given and posted next to the lab door.
  • All users must conform to the University Computer Policy and the Library's Policy for Public Use Computers (available at the Circulation Desk).  If users are in violation of either policy, the Library reserves the right to ask them to leave the computer lab.
  • The Lab is reserved for Faculty, Staff, and GSW students.
  • Food is not allowed in the Computer Lab.
  • Files saved to the hard drive may not be retrievable when you come back for them.  Download your files to a USB drive.
  • Students should bring their own external storage device with them.  The Library cannot supply CDs or USB drives to students.  All questions, problems, etc. concerning the use of programs should be directed to your instructor.
  • If your computer freezes or has another technical problem, reboot the computer.  Login using your user ID and password.  If that does not solve the problem, move to another computer or contact available library staff for assistance. Please note that REBOOTING WILL ERASE ANY WORK PREVIOUSLY SAVED TO THE HARD DRIVE.

August 20, 2013

Collection Development Policy

I. Statement of Purpose

The James Earl Carter Library's Collection Development Policy supports the University's Mission and the Library's Mission.  In keeping with the Library's mission, the Library seeks to provide convenient and effective access to quality library collections and information in a variety of formats.

II. General Collection Management and Development Policies

The Library's collection policies and selection criteria seek to create a flexible framework within which the University community's needs are met, either through ownership of materials, consortial agreement, or electronic access. The Library's policy shall be to acquire ownership of materials in all formats whenever possible, but to consider access rights over ownership when the former would be more economical, or when ownership is not feasible.  Access and ownership will be supplemented by consortial agreements as necessary including but not limited to Interlibrary Loan, Universal Borrowing, and the terms of regional, state, and national cooperative agreements.

  • Selection Priorities
    1. Support the curriculum at all levels: undergraduate programs; masters programs; and educational specialist program.
    2. Support faculty teaching needs.
    3. Support faculty and graduate research.
    4. As a residential school, provide popular materials as resources permit.
  • Selection Criteria
    1. Must support one or more of the selection priorities.
    2. Intellectual Content: the subject content and intellectual level of the material must be appropriate to the academic program and curriculum level.
    3. Language Guidelines: Must be in English with the following three exceptions:
      • Literature, literary criticism, foreign language dictionaries, and materials relating to foreign cultures appropriate to language department curricula.
      • Selected major foreign newspapers and periodicals.
      • When information is required in a particular foreign language or is not available in English.
    4. Textbooks: Books used as textbooks for specific courses are not usually purchased for the general collection.
    5. Timeliness: Particularly in those fields where currency is critical.
    6. Multiple Copies: Only one copy of a title will be purchased for the general collection.  This does not preclude the purchase of different editions of a title.  Occasional exceptions will be made when:
      • an item is placed on reserve;
      • an item receives consistently high usage;
      • a volume is received as a gift.
    7. Popular Works: Resources permitting, a small number of popular works may be purchased or accepted as gifts to meet the needs of a residential campus community.
    8. Non-Print Materials: Materials will be purchased in all formats as needed to support the curricular needs of the University.  All non-print materials will be subject to the same selection criteria as print materials.
  • Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources Form

III.Special Collections

The James Earl Carter Library has several special collections.  These include the Dr. Harold Isaacs Third World Studies Collection, the Georgia Southwestern State University Historical Collection, and the Dr. and Mrs. John Paul Jones Music Collection.  These collections are maintained and enhanced primarily through gifts and donations.

Rare Books: Through the years, the James Earl Carter Library has acquired a number of rare and unique items.  These are maintained as a separate collection, housed in the Macy Bishop Gray Rare Books Room.  While the Library encourages the donation of rare materials, their collection is not a high selection priority for this institution.

IV. Government Documents

The U.S. Government Printing Office designated the James Earl Carter Library a selective depository for U.S. government publications in 1966.  The purpose of the depository is to collect, organize, and provide access to U.S. government publications, in all formats, in support of the current and anticipated instructional, research, and service programs of Georgia Southwestern State University as well as to serve the research needs of the citizens of the second Congressional District of Georgia.

Collection development for government publications must be in accordance with The Federal Depository Library manual( and the Instructions to Depository Libraries(  Collection development and maintenance is the responsibility of the Reference/User Services Librarian/Gov. Docs. Coordinator.

V. Gifts Policy

While the James Earl Carter Library encourages the donation of gift materials and funds designated for the enhancement of its collections, it reserves the right to refuse, discard, or weed materials which do not meet its collection priorities and selection criteria or whose poor physical condition prohibits their addition to the Library's collections.

Library staff are not permitted to offer an evaluation or appraisal of any gift.  This is the responsibility of the donor.  The Library will provide the donor with a list of items received.

VI. Copyright

The James Earl Carter Library complies with all regulations of relevant sections of the Copyright Law of the United States of America (

Copyright infringement is a violation of the University System of Georgia's copyright policy. Useful guides to copyright and the fair use doctrine may be found at:

VII. Intellectual Freedom

The James Earl Carter Library supports the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights (  The Library attempts to select materials representing different points of view and without partisan or doctrinal bias.

VIII. Collection Selection and Evaluation

The ultimate responsibility for the development and maintenance of the Library's collections resides in the Dean of the Library.  However, the responsibility for the selection and evaluation of the collections is shared between the Library staff and the University faculty.  The Collection Development Librarian coordinates these activities and is responsible for insuring that all selections meet the standards set forth in the Library's Collection Development Policy.

  1. Selection Responsibilities
    • Library Dean 
      • Upon receiving the Library's annual budget and the University's Fall enrollment figures, the Dean, using a formula based upon enrollment figures and program level, develops and distributes annual allocations to the University's Schools and Departments.
      • Has the final authority in decisions relating to controversial selections.
      • Has the final authority on the acceptance and disposition of gifts.
      • Has sole fiscal and budgetary authority and responsibility for the Library's budget and gift funds.
    • Collection Development Librarian
      • Plans and coordinates all collection development activities.
      • Administers all allocations and relevant acquisitions budget lines.
    • University Faculty
      Faculty have access to online "Choice" reviews ( and can forward requests directly to the Collection Development Librarian. They are also encouraged to use other selection resources such as professional journals. The Library accepts written, e-mailed, and faxed submissions.
  2. Collection Analysis
    • Non-Journal Analysis
      As time permits, the Collection Development Librarian, in consultation with the Dean, designates specific subject areas of the non-journal collection for an in-depth analysis to ascertain whether the collection currently meets selection criteria.  This analysis is conducted with the assistance and participation of the relevant Dean, Department Chair and faculty, Collection Development Librarian.  The purpose of this analysis is to upgrade and enhance the collections (to the extent Library resources permit) to ensure they meet current curriculum and program needs, to weed out materials no longer relevant and to preserve those which do.
      1. Collection Enhancement
        It is the responsibility of the Deans and Department Chairs to prioritize requests within their allocations to meet the specific needs of their curriculum and programs, and to work with the Dean to seek any additional funding needed to enhance the collection.
      2. Deselection
        Materials which no longer meet the selection criteria become candidates for deselection.  Individual items and gifts are normally deselected by the Collection Development Librarian.  Deselections involving larger areas of the collection are done in consultation with the Department Chair and faculty in the field.  The disposition of deselected materials is done in accordance with relevant sections of Federal Law (primarily relating to our depository collection) and Georgia State Law (see Code of GA, Annotated, Bk. 13, 1998 Revision, 45-13-85, GCA & 40-606a).
      3. Preservation
        To the extent resources permit, the Library maintains and preserves the core collection through binding, preservation boxes, and, for rare and fragile materials, the limitation of open access, i.e., in-house access, by request.
      4. Storage
        The Library has a small on-site storage area where little used but still useful or historically relevant materials are kept.  They are accessible by request.
    • Core Journal Analysis
      During the Fall semester, prior to renewing its journal subscriptions, the Library invites the faculty to participate in a review of journal subscriptions in their subject areas.  Deans and Department Chairs are sent lists of the Library journal subscriptions in their fields covered by their schools and departments.  Under their direction, faculty are asked to evaluate and prioritize these subscriptions in terms of the extent to which they support current curriculum.  Faculty indicate whether they are no longer needed or are duplicated through an available database.  Faculty are also invited to recommend new core journals.  The Collection Development Librarian is responsible for conducting this analysis and makes retention, deselection, and enhancement recommendations to the Dean.  The Collection Development Librarian also conducts regular reviews of Library journal holdings and databases to eliminate unnecessary and expensive format duplication.

May 2012

Circulation/Borrowing Policies

Currently enrolled GSW students, faculty and staff receive borrowing privileges via a barcode attached to a GSW ID card.  GSW Alumni also have borrowing privileges.  The Library has a cooperative agreement with Lake Blackshear Regional Library and the Library at South Georgia Technical College.  Patrons of these libraries should ask for a Cooperative Agreement Form from their library and bring the form to the GSW Library.  Borrowing privileges can then be established.

Reserve materials are located at the Circulation desk and must be used in the library. Generally, the time period is for 2 hours. Overnight checkout of reserve materials may be allowed at closing time and they are due by opening time the following day.  Faculty may set up reserves for a longer time period if desired.

Reference materials and Periodicals are for in-library use only.  The majority of Government Documents may circulate and special arrangements may be made for Government Document material designed as non-circulating.

Books may be renewed at the Circulation Desk, online, or by e-mail.  To renew online, you need to have your Library barcode. Use your barcode to login into GIL. Once you have logged in, you should see all the materials you have checked out. Place a check mark in the box beside the book(s) that you would like to renew and click the Renew button. If your books have been successfully renewed, you will see the new due date.  To renew by e-mail, send a message to including the titles and barcodes of the books along with your name and student number.  You will be notified by e-mail that your Renewal Request has been received and processed.

Books currently checked out may be reserved by placing a hold on them.  Holds may be requested at the Circulation Desk or be requested by e-mail.  Send a message to  including the title of the book you would like placed on hold along with your name and student number.  You will be notified by e-mail that your Hold Request has been received and processed.

Circulation Time:

General Materials:28 Days
Audio-Visual Materials:Overnight
Reserve Materials:2 Hours In-Library Use Only
Popular DVDs7 Days
Interlibrary Loans:Dependent upon lending library

Overdue and Lost Book Charges:

General Books:$.25 per Day
Reserve Materials:$.25 per Hour
Lost or Severely Damaged Materials:Replacement Cost of the Material + $20.00 Processing Fee. ($20.00 fee refundable if material found and returned)
Popular DVDs$.50 per Day
Interlibrary Loans:Flat fee of $25 for books returned 14 days past due date.

Interlibrary Loan Policy

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is an international agreement and service between all types of libraries, whereby a library can borrow an item or get a photocopy from a journal that it does not own. This is a library-to-library service. You tell us what you need and we make the request to owning libraries. They, in turn, trust us to return the item to them on time and in good condition.

GSW provides ILL services for currently enrolled students, current and retired faculty, and current staff. People not meeting this criterion should contact either the school they attend or their local public library for interlibrary loan service. As an academic ILL department, our mission is to secure materials to support teaching and research. The ILL service is not for requesting current edition textbooks used in a class.

Requests may be made via email or by completing an ILL Request Form which is available at the Service Desk. When submitting a request please include your name, GSW ID#, email, and telephone number.

For a book, please include:

  1. Title
  2. Author
  3. Publisher
  4. Place of Publication
  5. Date
  6. Edition

For an article, please include:

  1. Title of Periodical
  2. Volume, Date, Page numbers
  3. Title of article
  4. Author's name

You will be notified by e-mail when your request has arrived and is ready for pickup.

Patrons will have 14 days past the due date to return their ILL materials.  Any patron who keeps a book for more than 14 days past the due date of the book will have a flat fee of $25.00 added to their record in the James Earl Carter Library's system.  Students will need to have this fee cleared from their records before obtaining transcripts or graduating from GSW.  For patrons who have asked for and received a renewal of their ILL materials, the overdue charge of $25.00 will apply if the materials are not returned within 14 days after the renewed due date.  (Patrons must ask for a renewal BEFORE the due date.)

ILL and Distance Education Students

Distance education students may submit ILL requests either by email or by telephone. If a student is unable to come to campus to pick up ILL materials, the ILL department, in most cases, will be able to email a requested article to the student. It is suggested that students who cannot come to campus to pick up books should utilize the GIL Express service and have books delivered to a nearby USG campus.

May 2012

Cell Phone Policy

The James Earl Carter Library's policy regarding the use of cell phones attempts to strike a balance between the maintenance of a library environment conducive to research and study, while accommodating the presence of cell phones on campus. Common sense and courtesy are the order of the day.

  1. Please turn off or quiet your ringers when entering the Library.
  2. Please be courteous to other library patrons. Conversations should be kept short and quiet. Extended conversations should be conducted outside of the Library.
  3. Library patrons should report loud, disruptive or uncooperative cell phone users to the Service Desk on the 1st floor of the Library.
  4. Users engaging in disruptive cell phone conversations will be asked to leave the Library to continue their conversations.

Adherence to these common courtesies will ensure that we are able to maintain a library environment that is focused on the achievement of academic success.

September 12, 2012

Reserve Policy

The Reserve collections of the James Earl Carter Library provide limited circulation of books and other materials to support the University’s teaching activities. Reserve services are available to current faculty and staff who are teaching courses who wish to provide access and/or restrict the loan period on assigned readings in order to make them available to students.


Placing Materials on Reserve

A Reserve Form is required to process reserve materials. Reserve forms are available at the Service Desk or you can click here to download the form. Reserves can have loan periods for 2-hours, 24-hours, or 3 days. Course reserves are removed at the end of each semester. If the material is a faculty or staff member’s personal copy, it will be returned to them at the end of the semester. If the material belongs to the library, the items will be returned to the collection.

Acceptable Reserve items:


  • Library owned books
  • Personally owned books


  • Articles
  • Book Chapters
  • Other items
    • Sample tests, quizzes, and lecture notes


  • VHS, CD, CD-Rom, DVDs owned by the James Earl Carter Library
  • Personally owned commercially produced DVD, VHS, CD, or CD-Rom in original retail packaging.
  • Copy of professor's lecture, labeled with professor's name and date of lecture.

To comply with Fair Use, the James Earl Carter Library does not accept these materials for course reserves:

  • Materials borrowed from other libraries (GIL Express or ILL)
  • Downloads of electronically available materials
  • Material printed from the internet

Copyright and Fair Use

The James Earl Carter Library adheres to the University System of Georgia’s Policy on the Use of Copyrighted Works in Education and Research. The policy can be found at


Searching and Checking Out Reserves

  • Go to the GSW Online Library catalog
  • Click Course Reserves
  • Search by the name of the Instructor, the Department, or the Course Name to see a list of materials on Reserve
  • Request material by the Call Number (Ex. #1, #16, #52, etc.)
  • A valid GSW Canes Card or driver’s license is required to check out reserves
  • Students will be charged a late fee of $.25 for each hour/day the reserve item is late.

October 30, 2012