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.

Link to Original Submission

Off Site Committee Review Findings

The institution provides data on library space, monograph collection size, journal subscription base, cooperative arrangements for access to resources, service offerings, and peer institution libraries. However, the narrative did not include either institutional or peer budget data. The narrative also lacked documentation regarding formal arrangements with consortia for access to library materials in support of both Prairie View A&M University campus and distance education programs. For these reasons, it was not possible to determine compliance from the evidence cited.

The narrative identifies three different peer groups in presenting its evidence. Peer group data cited by the narrative indicates that the library system has among the smallest monograph collection among its peers, but among the largest serial publications subscription count. Monograph holdings often reflect past funding practices and not contemporary support levels, but the institution did not supply library budget data or comparative budget data from any of the defined peer groups that could demonstrate current support levels and acquisition rates. Consequently, it was not possible to determine compliance from the data cited. NCES budget data for the State-limited peer list defined by the institution likely can confirm that current support levels are adequate for the institution’s instructional and research programs, particularly given the dedicated student fee revenue for the library. The focus by the library on acquiring subscription resources is commendable.

The narrative presents evidence that the institution provides adequate library space for study, instruction, and access to computing and network resources. Building hours in library facilities are consistent with prevailing practice for academic libraries and adequate for institutional needs. The relatively recent addition of digital course reserves and electronic ILL services indicate a commitment by the institution to provision of services in a manner consistent with contemporary practice in academic libraries.

The narrative describes consortia arrangements with regional and State-wide organizations such as HARLiC, Tex-Share, and public libraries that are local to the five off-campus programs. The description focuses on arrangements for access to monograph collections but does not explain arrangements that provide access to subscription-based digital library materials, such as journals and databases, and does not provide documentation on arrangements with public libraries or other libraries for access to space, computing resources, or collections. It was not possible to determine compliance without appropriate documentation of these arrangements for access to digital library materials and other assets.

The narrative’s description of access to library collections and services by distance education students asserts that the institution has developed capabilities and offerings specifically to provide access to collections and services from off-campus locations. However, the dedicated distance education portal appears designed exclusively for the Northwest Center campus; the link that describes off-campus proxy access does not connect to the correct page; and the narrative lacks a comprehensive description of instructional support for off-campus locations that includes specific examples supportive of student and program needs. In addition, the narrative does not indicate whether students and faculty of the College of Nursing have access to digital library resources at the HAM-TMC Library. Consequently, it was not possible to determine from the evidence whether support for distance education programs is sufficient.

Prairie View A& M Response to Off Site Review

Institutional Budget Data

The Library receives sufficient financial resources from the University to adequately provide both print and non-print resources and materials to support the instructional programs and curriculum. Prairie View A&M's Fact Book 2004-2008 includes budgetary figures including total library holdings, expenditures, salaries and wages, materials budgets, and other operating expenses [1]. Between FY2003 and FY2007, monograph holdings increased 7.2%, and total expenditures increased almost 10%, from approximately $2.8 million to $3.1 million. Additionally, the John B. Coleman Library consistently has allocated almost half of the total library budget to the support of the materials budget. The 5-year (FY 2000-2004) average for materials was $919,270, or 45% of the total budget, and over the most recent past 5 years, FY2005-2009, the average for materials was $1,367,983, or 48% of the total budget [2]. For period FY2000-2009, the average expenditure for materials was $1,143,627, or 47% of the total library budget [2]. These averages and increases indicate a strong emphasis on providing the necessary resources to support the evolving undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs offered by the University.

An in-house analysis of the materials budget for FY2005-2009 [3] further shows that over this five-year period, the Library allocated close to 50% of the materials budget to electronic serials, while also maintaining a substantial percentage for building a core print circulating and reference collection. Electronic serials/databases averaged $668,879 or 49% of the materials budget. Furthermore, expenditures on these resources increased 37.8% between FY2003 and 2007 [1] and 21.7% between FY2005 and 2009 [3]. The print serials budget averaged approximately one-third of the amount expended for databases, at $204,310 or 15% of the materials budget while other resources, including microforms, A/V materials, other electronic resources, and all print resources and collections, averaged $494,794 or 36% of the overall materials budget.

Peer Budget Comparison Data:

FY2006 peer comparison data for libraries was released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in 2008 and FY2008 data came out in September 2009. Prairie View ranks favorably in multiple areas. Three categories of peer institutions were analyzed: 1) eleven in-state libraries [4] [5]; 2) sixteen 1890s land-grant libraries [6] [7]; and 3) five out-of-state academic libraries [8] [9].

Comparisons of key expenditures to the three different peer groups, state averages, and national averages, compiled in the table below for both FY2006 and FY2008, show two key trends. First, Prairie View has made across-the-board increases in all major library expenditures in the two-year period, while some group average expenditures have decreased. Second, the University exceeded group, state, and national averages on 4 out of 7 measures in FY2006, while in FY2008, it still compares strongly, exceeding all peer group averages in 3 out of 7 categories: librarian and professional staff salaries; electronic serials; and networks and consortia.


Prairie View A&M

In-State Peer Group Average

1890s Peer Group Average

Out of State Peer Group Average

State Average

National Average

Librarian and Professional Staff Salaries

FY06 $662,036
FY08 $755,472

FY06 $615,739
FY08 $705,960

FY06 $555,443
FY08 $684,553

FY06 $599,556
FY08 $755,082

FY06 $547,273
FY08 $808,619

FY06 $576,153
FY08  $823, 318

Expenditures on Books, Serials, and Other Materials

FY06 $322,003
FY08 $559,830

FY06 $319,329
FY08 $268,659

FY06 $190,002
FY08 $254,757

FY06 $313,458
FY08 $625,812

FY06 $90,055
FY08 $296,529

FY06 $89,995
FY08 $235,694

Current Serial Subscriptions

FY06 $794,171
FY08 $932,086

FY06 $836,400
FY08 $926,099

FY06 $615,877
FY08 $723,230

FY06 $726,326
FY08 $970,540

FY06 $455,717
FY08 $667,922

FY06 $370,486
FY08 $504,640

Electronic Serials

FY06 $600,999
FY08 $687,712

FY06 $378,679
FY08 $432,091

FY06 $307,120
FY08 $487,778

FY06 $213,288
FY08 $527,309

FY06 $213,295
FY08 $469,024

FY06 $167,820
FY08 $327,171

Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan

FY06 $4,590
FY08 $5,752

FY06 $9,106
FY08 $6,138

FY06 $2,777
FY08 $3,708

FY06 $2,058
FY08 $4,188

FY06 $8,125
FY08 $9,941

FY06 $6,523
FY08 $9,797

Bibliographic Utilities, Networks, and Consortia

FY06 $141,888
FY08 $147,751

FY06 $51,563
FY08 $53,474

FY06 $48,381
FY08 $63,049

FY06 $101,974
FY08 $101,038

FY06 $30,143
FY08 $42,999

FY06 $25,739
FY08 $35,424

Total Library Expenditures

FY06 $2,333,643
FY08 $3,258,243

FY06 $2,956,936
FY08 $2,857,463

FY06 $1,929,650
FY08 $2,286,817

FY06 $2,428,623
FY08 $3,620,465

FY06 $1,783,479
FY08 $2,534,362

FY06 $1,504,919
FY08 $2,066,113

Particularly among the eleven in-state peer libraries, in FY2006 PVAMU consistently ranked 1st or 2nd in several categories, including the amounts expended for books, electronic serials, preservation, networks and consortia, and A/V materials. In FY2008, Prairie View remains at the top in the categories of books and networks and consortia. Where averages for some peer groups have gone done, Prairie View's expenditures have increased in every category.

When compared specifically with the five SACS Level VI HBCU public universities, Prairie View A&M's library averaged a 3rd place ranking on the same expenditures categories identified above. For example, PVAMU ranks 2nd in expenditures for both preservation and consortia and networks; 3rd place for amounts expended on books and A/V materials; and 4th for electronic serials and total library expenditures [10].

All of the data from the National Center for Education Statistics indicate that Prairie View A&M is committed to providing library resources in support of the University’s mission and goals for strengthening teaching, research and life-long learning.

Access to Prairie View A & M's Collections

Students at all Prairie View campuses, including those in distance education programs at three sites, can use the convenient online ILLiad system for Interlibrary Loans from the John B. Coleman Library and other facilities [11]. Requests for journal articles, books, book chapters, theses and dissertations have separate forms, and students can track requests as well as electronically retrieved items [12].

Students and faculty also can use over 85 full-text subscription databases from any computer connected to the campus network. For off-campus access, individuals must enter a network ID and password, conveniently based on their University e-mail addresses and passwords [13]. Directions and assistance, including a toll-free contact phone number and 24/7 support for resetting passwords and other related issues, are available on a dedicated Web page on the library site and on the proxy log-in page itself [14]. Because every Prairie View A&M student at all sites is assigned a free e-mail account upon enrollment, access is widespread and easy to set up.

Increased access to scholarly materials, particularly for graduate students, is provided by Prairie View's membership in the Houston Area Research Library Consortium (HARLiC), founded in 1978. As the by-laws of the Consortium state, "Full members shall be the University of Houston Libraries, the Houston Public Library, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library, Prairie View A&M University, Rice University Library, Texas A&M University Library, Texas Southern University Library, University of Texas Medical Branch Library (Galveston)," and library directors of full members sit on the HARLIC Board of Directors [15]. Students and faculty at Prairie View A&M can go to the John B. Coleman Library circulation desk to apply for a special ID card that allows them to check out materials from all other HARLiC members.

Access to several databases comes through Prairie View's membership in TexShare, a program of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission that involves 694 institutions and provides discounted rates for 50 electronic subscription resources.

The TexShare November 2009 Annual Report shows that Prairie View A&M paid $15,202 rather than $214,501 for separately licensed databases that give students access to 14,290 full-text journals, over 28,000 eBooks, 2,600 newspapers, and 420,000 primary source documents [16]. Students and other library users may apply online for a TexShare card to receive borrowing privileges from all member libraries in the state [17].

Prairie View A&M makes extensive use of such networks and consortia to provide students with a wealth of scholarly materials. According to the National Center for Education Statistics comparison data from FY2006 and 2008, shown in the table above, the University spends anywhere from $40,000 to $110,000 more than the average expenditures for peer groups, the state of Texas, and the nation on such learning resources.

A large percentage of these costs come from the agreement between the College of Nursing and the Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center (HAM-TMC) Library. As the FY2009 contract illustrates, the expenses associated with this partnership, in which Prairie View A&M is a Supporting Institution, tend to increase 5% each year [18]. Nursing students have physical access to more than 357,000 books and print journals, over 9,000 electronic journals and approximately 172 electronic databases including BioMed Central, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Public Library of Science, all accessible via remote access [19] [20]. To activate remote access privileges, students enter their names, e-mail addresses, and indicate the member institution into a simple Web form [21]. The HAM-TMC offers online tutorials, many of them in video format, in maximizing use of 30 different databases [22]; two-week circulation privileges; library instruction classes (with easy online self-registration); and orientation sessions [23] [24]. These library classes are assessed, but no information about the student's home institution is required on the evaluation form; therefore, no data are available specifically about Prairie View A&M College of Nursing students and their use of / reaction to instruction at this facility [25].

Within the College of Nursing itself, students have a dedicated on-site librarian to assist them with using the HAM-TMC Library as well as resources on Prairie View's main campus. All nursing students can use the ILLiad interlibrary loan system and have proxy access, as described above, to the subscription databases maintained the John B. Coleman Library, including 13 specifically devoted to issues of health and medicine such as CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature), MEDLINEPlus, and the Spanish-language MedicLatina [26].

In similar fashion, students enrolled at the Lone Star College-University Center distant site in The Woodlands, TX, also have consistent access to a variety of library learning resources. According to the 2009-2010 Faculty Handbook of the University Center, "The Lone Star College-University Center Library provides students attending classes with the same access to library resources and support as is available at the library at their home campus." Library hours are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday [27]. Facilities include wireless internet, 24 Windows XP computer stations, printers, scanners, and a photocopier; the adjacent computer lab contains approximately 30 computers for use by students. An on-site University Center reference librarian is available for library orientations and in-class research instruction for all PVAMU students enrolled at this distant site.

In addition to accessing Prairie View A&M's electronic databases by remote proxy and using the ILLiad system to request collections materials, students also can check out resources from the neighboring Lonestar College-Montgomery campus in three ways: a Montgomery County Public Library card, a Harris County Public Library card, or a community borrower card issued by LSC-Montgomery, which requires a state photo ID [27]. Basic library information also is included in the University Center Student Handbook [28].

Like the College of Nursing, Prairie View's third and final distance education site, the Northwest Center in Spring, Texas, has an on-site librarian to assist students with interlibrary loans, remote access of electronic databases, and use of the specialized reading room. More importantly, she creates and administers course-integrated library research instruction sessions on topics including library policies (cards, circulation, etc.); Library resources (eRes, ILL, staff, etc.); searching library databases; citation styles (APA, MLA); copyright and plagiarism; and writing styles. Instruction sessions are assessed regularly. For instance, 27 classes were offered and 13 surveyed in Fall 2007. Instruction occurs regularly, since 41% of the respondents replied that this was not their first library research session; 71% indicated that they would benefit from a follow-up class. 93% rated the instructor favorably (67% excellent and 26% good) [29]. In an additional online assessment given for the 2007 academic year, 35.7% of the respondents said they used the library's electronic databases at least once per week [30]. In 2008, 56 students, primarily in graduate Counseling and Educational Administration programs, completed the optional online NSurvey instrument and indicated 28 different instructors, which again demonstrates how pervasive library instruction is at this distant site [31].

To aid distance-learning students with using library resources, the John B. Coleman Library offers multiple online instructional aids, including an email "Ask a Librarian" reference, with replies within 24 hours [32]; brochures in subjects like "How to Find Books" [33] and "How to Find Articles" [34]; and course-specific research guides in over 41 areas [35].

An updated Distance Library Services web page gives useful links for all three distant sites, including The University Center, the College of Nursing, and the Northwest Center, with contact information for librarians and their online help, links to database access, and a convenient link to the ILLiad interlibrary loan request form [36].

Additional Supporting Documentation and Links

© 2009 Prairie View A&M University