Library Policies

This page outlines the guiding policies for the library.
graduate students work together

Mission

The Library supports the learning, teaching, research, and information needs of the entire Relay community by providing quality materials and exemplary services that directly support Relay's institutional mission: teaching teachers and school leaders to develop in all students the academic skills and strength of character needed to succeed in college and life.

In order to achieve this mission, the Library:

  • Selects, acquires, and organizes an information collection that supports the curricular and research needs of the Relay community;
  • Provides timely, accessible, user-friendly, and efficient access to information resources to patrons (graduate students, instructors, and staff), no matter their physical location;
  • Assists and instructs patrons in efficiently finding and effectively using information;
  • Collaborates with faculty to promote the development of information literacy in graduate students by ensuring that information literacy skills are integrated across the curriculum; and
  • Advances the library profession through innovative practice, participation in academic conferences, and leadership in professional organizations.

vision statement

The Library will be an active, visible, and essential component of the academic life of the institution, advancing research, education and innovation through its collection and services. We will be full partners, peers, and colleagues engaged in the education of teachers and school leaders.

We will have a high-quality, easily accessible collection and will be recognized as a preferred gateway for faculty, staff, and students to education-related information resources. We will actively engage with students so that they develop into self-directed and socially aware lifelong learners who are able to critically evaluate information. We will provide prompt, courteous, and helpful service, always putting the needs of our users first and striving constantly to improve by assessing the quality, relevancy, and usability of all we do. 

Access

The Library is available to all Relay graduate students, instructors and staff. The physical library in New York City is open during Relay's normal business hours (Monday–Friday, 9am–6pm) and the virtual items are accessible from any internet-connected computer 24/7. Patrons must log in to access the virtual subscriptions.
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General Information

STAFF

The Library is committed to having a well-staffed and pleasant library. To this end, staffing will be evaluated to ensure that it is sufficient in size, and that roles are constructed to best serve the needs of the users. Professional staff is guided by the Association of College & Research Libraries Guidelines for Academic Librarians Without Faculty Status. All staffing and hiring follows the institution’s procedures and policies.

CIRCULATION POLICY

The Library has a small collection of physical materials. The items marked as circulating may be checked out by Relay staff, instructors, or students for four weeks. If there are no holds on the item, it can be renewed up to two times.

Patrons may place holds on items that are currently checked out by other patrons. When the item returns to the Library, the patron will have 5 business days to retrieve the item before it is returned to the stacks or circulated to the next person on the hold list.

Staff and instructors may also recall an item that is checked out to another patron. A recall overrides the original due date, changing it to one week from the date of the recall. Students may not recall items.

Late fees are not charged, however patrons are expected to return materials in a timely manner. A patron’s record will be suspended if he/she has one or more overdue items on his/her record for more than a period of two weeks.

Replacement costs for lost and damaged materials will be billed to the patron at the discretion of the College Librarian.

INTERLIBRARY LOAN POLICY

The Library provides interlibrary loan services to graduate students, instructors, and staff. All patrons may request articles that the Library does not own, and best efforts will be made to locate and retrieve these materials from other libraries. Patrons may request hard-copy materials, including books and media, from other libraries. Loan rules from the lending institution override local loan rules on these items.

ACCESSIBILITY

Persons with disabilities have equal access to information and sources under the provisions of the American with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to the extent possible within the mission guidelines of the Library. The Library will strive to source accessible materials whenever possible. Reasonable accommodations will be provided for adapting materials and services for persons with disabilities.

COPYRIGHT COMPLIANCE POLICY

The Library will respect the intellectual property rights of all copyright holders and will abide by all pertinent laws governing usage of copyrighted materials, specifically working within the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U. S. Code, Sections 101-122). The Library also seeks to educate the Relay community on issues related to copyright and copyright compliance within higher education, and will promote the application of Fair Use according to legally conservative common academic interpretations of the Fair Use provisions of Title 17 U.S. Code, Section 107 and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Statement of Intellectual Freedom

The Library subscribes to the American Library Association's policies on intellectual freedom, including the Bill of Rights, and the Freedom to Read statements. The Library attempts to purchase materials representing various points of view, and the selection of materials is without partisanship regarding matters of race, ethnicity, sex, religion, or moral philosophy.

Collection development

SCOPE

The Library collection is intended to be a highly tailored core collection that is sufficient in scope and breadth to support curricular offerings as determined by the school's mission, goals, and objectives. All materials relate directly to the field of education. Some collections involve related fields, such as public policy and urban planning. This focused scope allows the library to tailor its collection to consist of materials that are most relevant to preparing continuously improving, results-focused teachers and school leaders.

Materials include such resources as scholarly journals, monographs, reference works, curriculum materials, audio and video materials, bibliographies, internally produced papers and documents, and periodicals in electronic and print formats. Beyond the scope and content of the collection, other factors such as cost, usability, accessibility, and currency will determine acquisition priorities.

LANGUAGE

The vast majority of holdings are in English. Materials written in other languages are acquired in their English translation.

CHRONOLOGY

The Library gives priority to collecting materials published in the past thirty years.

FORMATS

Given the online nature of Relay’s educational program, and the institutional mission, emphasis is on acquiring electronic resources, including databases and journal subscriptions, e-books, streaming videos, and audio content. Whenever possible, access to these electronic resources must reliably allow for constant, remote access, with preference for materials that allow multiple concurrent users.

Print resources are selectively acquired to supplement the electronic materials. Materials may be acquired in print form, but only if no electronic equivalent exists or it is necessary to have a physical copy.

​GEOGRAPHY

The primary focus is on collecting materials based in the United States with an emphasis on materials developed specifically to support the geographies served by Relay.

 

PRIMARY HOLDINGS

Materials are focused on the following subfields of education:

  • Assessment and data-driven instruction
  • Pedagogy
  • Basic educational psychology
  • Classroom management and classroom culture
  • Adolescent learning and development
  • Urban education
  • Science education, including life and physical sciences
  • Social studies education
  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary education
  • Secondary education
  • Personalized learning
  • Uses of computers in educational settings and for educational purposes
  • Alternative education
  • Distance education and online learning
  • In-service training of teachers
  • Curriculum materials (i.e. textbooks, workbooks, and classroom audiovisual aids)
  • How-to-teach books
  • Teaching methods and materials
  • Teaching games
  • Teacher effectiveness
  • Test preparation
  • Contemporary issues in education
  • Mathematics education
  • English education
  • School administration and organization
  • Educational sociology
  • Character education
  • Higher education

The following subfields are not actively collected:

  • Comparative education, except for adult education
  • History of education
  • Guides for parents
  • Job training

RELATED FIELDS

Since training great teachers is a task with many facets, more than one kind of knowledge is required. Our graduate students and instructors need access to materials covering a wide range of related material. Collection development also focuses on the following related fields (please note that these examples are illustrative, not exhaustive). In total, the related field holdings should comprise no more than 20% of the library holdings.

  • Public Planning
  • Urban Policy
  • Political Science

 

ANCILLARY MATERIAL

TEXTBOOKS

Relay  encourages all instructors to curate course readings that are current, directed, and focused from scholarly journals and publications. Textbooks are also used in the curriculum, and the Library acquires these textbooks on a limited basis. Factors considered for purchase include percentage of material referenced in the course, graduate student and instructor requests for the item, electronic availability, and whether it is a required text. 

PK-12 textbooks and associated curricular materials that support our enrolled graduate students’ efforts to plan instruction for their students are also collected by the Library. A small collection of PK-12-related core textbooks is kept on hand for reference purposes. In order to keep the library’s collection as focused as possible, and to support our graduate students in their ongoing work, only select textbooks are held.

CURRICULUM RESOURCES

The Library collects curriculum resources for use by practicing teachers while fulfilling course requirements. Materials are selected in accordance with ACRL’s Curriculum Materials Center Collection Development Policy, and are focused on curriculum materials for appropriate grade levels included in pedagogical courses offered by Relay. Formats may include electronic and print teaching materials. These materials are selected in such a way that they supplement existing resources available through other avenues such as school libraries and professional associations.

PROJECTED GROWTH

Given these numbers, the library should acquire just over 3,000 items by June 2020. Our growth rate, therefore, will be about 750 items per year.​

VIDEO COLLECTION

A primary focus for the library’s collection is on building Relay’s holdings of proprietary video clips of effective teaching practices. These clips are an important component of the Relay program and will increase in number as the program grows.

ACQUISITION SCHEDULE

The Library will build and maintain a portfolio of database subscriptions in line with the institutional mission. Above and beyond these holdings, the Library’s target acquisition goal is to retain a total of 10,000 items, in accordance with developing a collection that is appropriate to the size and scope of Relay’s academic programs. The Library hopes to meet this goal by 2020.

CRITERIA FOR HOLDING

An “item” is defined widely, over many different kinds of library material. The following individual content types each count as one item (please note that these examples are illustrative, not exhaustive):

  • One instructional video;
  • One book (print or electronic); and
  • One podcast / audio file.

CURRENT STATE

 As of July 2016, the library holds roughly 6,850 items. This total includes 5,080 internally-produced video files, 1,400 print items (books, DVDs, and curricular materials), and perpetual access to 370 electronic books. In addition, the Library subscribes to over 100 electronic databases, which altogether include access to approximately 60,000 unique journals and 83,000 unique books.

ACQUISITION PROCESS

ACCOUNTABILITY

Accountability for the development and maintenance of the Library collection rests with the College Librarian. All requests for materials are reviewed for their adherence to selection guidelines. Input from instructors is expected and will help ensure that the collection fully supports the curriculum. Graduate students and staff at Relay may also request materials for addition to the library’s collection. Requests are fulfilled or denied within two weeks.

BUDGET

The College Librarian is responsible for allocating and administering an acquisitions budget that supports the collection development goals referenced in this policy. Priority for purchase of materials reflects such factors as the curriculum, number of graduate students and instructors, available circulation statistics, and requests. Focus will be made on ensuring that materials are acquired in electronic format and budgeting should reflect that goal. The rate of publishing and average costs of materials are also considered. The budget allocation is reviewed annually. The College Librarian may reallocate funds as necessary based on technological changes, curriculum changes, and institutional changes.

PRIORITIES

In general, selection of materials is based on quality of content and fulfillment of academic need as the first priority. Other factors considered when selecting materials include lasting value of content, level of content treatment, strength of current holdings in the subject area, cost, suitability of the format to the content, authority of the author and publisher, accessibility, and indexing of the resource. Materials are sourced from economical sources whenever possible and multiple copies are purchased as needed.

CONSORTIA

The Library joins consortia that help to further the breadth and depth of materials and service available to its users. Whenever possible, consortia relationships should be used to qualify for group purchasing deals and to enhance interlibrary loan. Therefore, the Library purchases many of its subscriptions to electronic resources through the Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization (WALDO). Relay is also a member of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO), which allows students and faculty members the opportunity to utilize the print resources of New York City’s finest reference and research libraries.

DONATIONS

The Library is grateful for the support of patrons who wish to enrich the Library’s collections by donating books or other materials. Donated materials will be evaluated under the same criteria as purchased material, and, therefore, the Library reserves the right to determine whether or not to retain a donated item and maintains sole discretion on removing the item at a later time as per its retention policy.

RETENTION AND DESELECTION PROCESS

The College Librarian will continuously evaluate the collection to ensure its currency and accuracy. When necessary, the College Librarian may remove materials that are no longer needed, or materials that are in need of repair or replacement.

The following categories will be used to evaluate current holdings and aid in retention decisions:

  • Physical availability
  • Consortia availability
  • Circulation statistics
  • Copyright date
  • Physical condition

FUTURE GROWTH

The Library is committed to supporting the needs and mission of Relay; therefore, as the institution grows and changes, so too will the Library. In order to have a Collection Development Policy that is reflective of the parent institution, this document will be reviewed annually, and, if necessary, updated to best anticipate and serve the needs of the Relay community.