3.8.1 Library Facilities

The institution provides facilities and learning/information resources that are appropriate to support its teaching, research, and service mission.

Judgment of Compliance

PVAMU SACS Accreditation - Judgement Compliance

Narrative of Compliance

Prairie View A&M University provides appropriate facilities and learning/information resources to support the teaching, research, and service missions of the University through main campus facilities (the John B. Coleman Library, Music Library, and Undergraduate Medical Academy Library), and facilities for satellite campuses and distance learning. In particular, the libraries support the University's mission by "extending knowledge in all disciplines offered and incorporating research-based experiences in both undergraduate and graduate students' academic development" [1].

Facilities/Learning and Instructional Resources (Main Campus)
The John B. Coleman Library, a five-story, 149,095 square-foot building, was constructed in 1988 to replace the W.R. Banks Library, which was used from 1945 to 1987 [2]. In 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 the fourth floor was renovated to provide space for the Delco Collection [3]. In 2007, the exterior brick was restored, and a video surveillance system was installed [4]. The front entrance is wheelchair accessible, and three elevators are available in the back of the main lobby area. A public address system is available in case of medical emergency. The building houses library collections and services as well as additional student services administered by other University personnel as follows:



1st Floor
John B. Coleman Library

Lobby, circulation desk, reference department, technical services department, reserve desk, information desk, periodicals department, government documents, microform area, Jazzman Café, public events rooms, staff lounge

2nd Floor
John B. Coleman Library

Main book stacks A-H, Administrative offices, Sungard Collegis computer lab, Center for Academic Support (tutoring center), individual and group study rooms

3rd Floor
John B. Coleman Library

Main book stacks J-Z and Juvenile collection, individual and group study rooms

4th Floor
John B. Coleman Library


Fourth Floor Exhibit Space, Wilhelmina Delco Story exhibit

5th Floor
John B. Coleman Library

Special Collections / Archives Department, executive conference room

Reference assistance, general information, and instruction are provided at four locations on the first floor: the Information Desk, Reference Desk, Circulation Desk, and the Periodicals Desk. An additional Information Desk is located on the third floor. Beige security phones are located close to the entrance to each study area on the second, third, and fourth floors, and closed-circuit security cameras monitor all study areas and book stacks of the John B. Coleman Library [5].

As detailed in Core Requirement 2.9, The Coleman Library holds a current collection of over 370,000 volumes, 700 print periodical titles, 700,000 microforms, and close to 3,000 audiovisual materials [6]. The Library also provides on and off-campus access to 85 multidisciplinary full-text databases from over 42,000 electronic periodicals, and over 30,000 electronic books [6] [7]. Students and faculty can use ERes, the electronic course reserves system [8]. The Library maintains and holds nine Special Collections, which are located on the fifth floor and house unique, rare and historic documents, including the Delco Collection, the King Collection, the Tatum Collection, the Interscholastic League Papers and Awards, the Cooperative Extension Papers and Records, the Barack Obama Special Collection, and several thousand historic photos [9]. To maintain the facilities for collections, a $60,000 HBCU-Mellon Foundation Photographic Preservation Grant (Spring 2008) has helped improve archival storage conditions, and over $10,000 in Title II Grant funding was used to purchase additional computers and digitization equipment for the Archives department between 2003 and 2008 [10]. Prairie View A&M also functions as a Federal Document Depository [11].

The library also hosts well-known artists, photographers and sculptures that serve "as university's porthole to artists, practices, and exhibitions that are otherwise only accessible within major urban centers," according to the Mission Statement of the Gallery [12]. On the fourth floor, three exhibits can be featured simultaneously. A permanent collection of approximately 300 African art objects is housed in wall-mounted and free-standing glass display cases. Another permanent installation on the north wall, The Wilhelmina Delco Story, contains photos and memorabilia of the Texas state legislator in honor of her contributions to the university. Finally, the central corridor with approximately 3,500 square feet of exhibit space features a different installation every two to three months. The gallery has an alarm system separate from the rest of the library and security cameras installed throughout.

Additional facilities include three different rooms in the library that faculty and staff can request for meetings and other events: Room 108, with a capacity of 72 people; Room 109, the art gallery; and Room 508, the executive conference room. The Library provides the following equipment for presentations upon request: lectern, microphone, computer and projector, overhead projector, DVD/television, VCR/television, slide projector, 16mm projector, and tape recorder.

While they come to the library primarily for research, students also make use of the facility for a variety of related activities that include studying, photocopying, scanning, typing, and faxing. In the April 2007 and April 2008 Library User Surveys, 70% and 71% respectively of student respondents replied that they were "always" or "often" able to find quiet study areas [13] [14]. Several options are available for studying on the second and third floors: cushioned chairs arranged in clusters, tables and chairs, open study carrels, 24 individual, closed-room study carrels available by application [15], and group study rooms that can be reserved on a same-day basis. In the same surveys, 49% of respondents in 2007 and 46% of respondents in 2008 indicated that equipment such as microfiche and microfilm readers and copiers are often or always "in good working order and easy to use," with another 31% in both years replying that the equipment sometimes meets these standards [16] [17]. Students also have access to equipment for self-service scanning in Room 126D with an Epson Expression 1680 scanner connected to a Dell Optiplex GX280 computer running Windows XP. Also available in Room 126D is a Brother Correctronic GX-6750 Electronic typewriter. Students can use a Panasonic KXFLB756 fax machine at the circulation desk [18].

Computer usage brings students to the John B. Coleman Library regularly. The library has wireless internet access, provided by Sungard Collegis for students and faculty with valid university e-mail accounts, and is fully automated with 21 workstations for public use for access to the internet and library holdings. The high-speed self-service printer next to Circulation is in high demand; in 2007-2008, over 1.1 million printouts were logged [19]. In response to a survey question about satisfaction with computers in the library, 59% of respondents said they were often or always satisfied in 2007 and another 28% said sometimes, while 56% indicated they were often or always satisfied and 30% sometimes satisfied with library computers in 2008 [20] [21]. The low numbers could be due, however, to a continued misconception among the student body that the computer lab on the second floor is run by the library.

In fact, the John B. Coleman Library houses several essential student services that are not administered by library personnel. The spacious Student Computer Center in Room 210 features 122 Dell Optiplex Windows XP workstations, 2 HP laser printers, and 2 areas for group study [22]. Assistance is available at a front desk. The Center for Academic Support (CAS), located in Room 209, provides one-on-one peer tutoring in over 30 academic subject areas [23]. It is stocked with 8 computer workstations, 2 conference tables, multiple reference texts, instructional programs, and visual aids. Approximately 25 different handouts on subjects including taking notes, overcoming procrastination, improving reading skills, and using study groups, are available at all times in the hall outside of the Center.

Beyond the Coleman Library on the main campus, the Undergraduate Medical Academy (UMA) and Department of Music and Drama maintain specialized collections in Room 129 of the Elmer Elwood O'Banion Science Building and Room 1F155 of the Hobart Taylor Building respectively, and each has its own professional librarian. The UMA library includes a Periodical Reading Room, Room 127C, with 55 hard copies of journals that address the specific medical research needs of students in the program, seating for twelve people, and two computers that can be used with staff assistance. Furthermore, students in the UMA have access to over 1,100 circulating and reference materials, 8 computer workstations, and a dedicated printer. Four study rooms with tables, chairs and chalkboards are located behind Room 129, and one features a combination TV/DVD player. Additional computer access is provided in the lab designated for instruction and research in Room 102; it is outfitted with distance education capability using a Tandberg Audio System with two plasma screens, 22 computers and chairs with one workstation adhering to American Disability Association (ADA) Standards, a printer networked to the computers, and a small table with four chairs [24].

The Music Library features 7 specialized "listening stations" with turntables for vinyl recordings, cassette players, and CD players arranged in study carrels. Students and faculty may use 2 portable DVD players, over 8000 music recordings in various formats, 500 musical scores, 400 books, and 800 journals. A large table with several chairs is available for students to study.

Facilities/Learning and Instructional Resources (Satellite Campuses and Distance Learning)
Prairie View A&M University provides education and distance library services for the Nursing Programs located in the Houston Medical Center and in Bryan/College Station, the Graduate Program at the Northwest Campus, The University Center—Woodland/Conroe, and most recently Lone Star College—Cy-Fair.  Students at all locations enjoy the same resources and access as those who are on campus, with access to the Library catalog, interlibrary loan, electronic research databases, and support documentation on the Library Web site. Additionally, the Northwest Center and College of Nursing have on-site librarians for reference and instructional services.
As explained in Core Requirement 2.9, students enrolled in the College of Nursing are provided library service through the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center.  The HAM-TMC Library, with 76,500 square feet of space, holds over 330,000 books and journals, over 8,000 electronic journals, and subscriptions to 150 electronic databases. Nursing students can attend classes and orientation sessions with HAM-TMC librarians and are eligible for reduced rates for mediated searches, photocopies and interlibrary loans [25].

The Northwest Center, a satellite campus for the Masters in Educational Leadership and the Masters in Counseling, houses a modest graduate library / reading room with two tables and several chairs, maintained by the professional librarian. Approximately 500 books and journals and 5 print journal subscriptions are made available. Students at Lone Star College—Cy-Fair and the University Center can use the facilities on their respective campuses or access the Coleman Library remotely.

Supporting Documentation and Links

Comprehensive Standards 3.8.1

© 2009 Prairie View A&M University