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Teheran University of Medical Sciences

Virtual School

Library Executive Instructions

January 2013

1.    Introduction:

According the increasing development of virtual spaces, which have been built in the traditional school library across the world, the TUMS Virtual School Library, as a model for the newly-developed library concept, strives to serve the literacy and research/information literacy needs of its visitors particularly those without access to the traditional school library. Virtual School library is a subunit of the TUMS Virtual School using the telecommunications network to provide equitable access to electronic resources and communication designed to support the school's curriculum.

Most libraries have materials arranged in a specified order according to a library classification system, so that items may be located quickly and collections may be browsed efficiently. Some libraries have additional galleries beyond the public ones, where reference materials are stored. These reference stacks may be open to selected members of the public. Others require patrons to submit a "stack request," which is a request for an assistant to retrieve the material from the closed stacks. Larger libraries are often divided into departments staffed by both paraprofessionals and professional librarians.

 

2.    Mission:

The most important key component in the Virtual School Library is to create a fruitful telecommunication society according to library needs and to develop communication portals where students can interact with educators and teacher-librarians, share book reviews, participate in online polls, attend online classes, and attend online reference services to learn how to use a particular library database.

This Library Executive Instructions serves to provide all students, library staffs, faculty members with clear strategies and it will be revised each two years.

·         To support the School’s educational and research programs

·         To improve  the content of  the electronic resources based on the changes in Schools’ programs and activities

·         To ensure that students and staff are effective users of ideas and information

·         To accomplish through the two primary purposes:

o    Supporting the educational and research curriculum

o    Promoting online reading in TUMS students and faculty members.

·         To ensure that students are provided with opportunities that will engage them in reading, and create an environment where reading is valued and encouraged 

3.    Library Organizational Chart

TUMS Virtual School is a program of the School’s Vice-dean of Research and Technology.

3.1. Head of the Library

To manage and control all library affairs considering two sections: Technical Services and Public Services.

Basic tasks in library management include the planning of acquisitions, which materials the library should acquire, by purchase or otherwise, library classification of acquired materials, preservation of materials, especially rare and fragile archival materials such as manuscripts, the deaccessioning of materials, patron borrowing of materials, and developing and administering library computer systems. More long-term issues include the planning of the construction of new libraries or extensions to existing ones, and the development and implementation of outreach services and reading-enhancement services.

3.1.1. Technical Services

The Technical Services covers a wide range of activities.  The Technical Services works behind the scenes cataloging and processing new materials and deaccessioning weeded materials. The activities can be categorized as follows:

3.1.1.1. The Acquisition Section

The Acquisition Section keeps a complete and up-to-date record of all books in the library. This section is also responsible for purchasing new books. Once the books are accessioned and labeled properly, they will be passed to the Cataloging Section.

3.1.1.2. The Listing Section

All books and electronic resources are listed according to national library database.

3.1.1.3. The Preparation Section

The Preparation Section is where the books properly classified and cataloged based on the system used by the library. After which, the books are taken to the Circulation Section. This section is said to serve as the backbone of the whole library since this is where library users go when they need to read and keep themselves updated.

3.1.1.4. Circulation Section or Access Services

Circulation Section handles user accounts and the loaning/returning and shelving of materials. 

3.1.1.5. Collection Development Section

 Collection Development Section orders materials and maintains materials budgets.

3.1.2. Public Services

The most important part of the Public Services is the Circulation Section which is responsible for several tasks such as registering new members and renewing old ones, issuing borrowers' cards and reading materials, collecting fines for books returned late, and many more. This section is in charge of helping users find the references they're looking for as well as conducting regular inventory of books.

3.1.2.1. The Reference Section

The Reference Section of the library serves as the home of encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, yearbooks, atlases, almanacs, and much more. Most of these references are bulky and very heavy which is why they're not allowed to be borrowed by users outside the library.

Staffs a reference desk answering questions from users (using structured reference interviews), instructing users, and developing library programming.

 

3.1.2.2. The Periodical Section

The Periodical Section is the go-to section of the library if you're interested in reading the latest news and events happening around the world. This is where you can find local and international newspapers and magazines.

 

3.1.2.3. The Multimedia or I.T. Section

The Multimedia or I.T. Section houses the visual aids, microfilms, and computers of the library. Photocopying machines, scanners, DVD/CD player and a television are also found in this section. This is also where users can access online resources for free.

 

4.    Library Community

All faculty members, students, staffs and those who have library cards are considered as the library community. Other intuition and universities can use the library under the following conditions:

v  When there is the necessary space to study

v  When there is no urgent need for resources

v  When there is the trust of returning the books

v  When there is inter-libraries collaboration

v  When the applicants submit an ID card

5. Library Resources

The Library Resources are prepared according to the needs of society of the library and they are also relevant to the School’s majors. Library Resources include Persian and English books, published journals, online journals, databases, online books and articles, thesis, research projects, audiovisual educational materials and the content of e-education.

 

6.  The Material Selection Policy Comity

Dean of the School, Research and Technology Vice-dean, Educational Vice-dean, Directors of the departments and Librerians are the members of the Selection Comity.

7.     The Resource Preparation

Modern virtual libraries are increasingly being redefined as places to get unrestricted access to information in many formats and from many sources. They are extending services beyond the physical walls of a building, by providing material accessible by electronic means, and by providing the assistance of librarians in navigating and analyzing very large amounts of information with a variety of digital tools.

As the first step, the resources which support the School’s educational program will take into consideration. Since the Virtual School has both B.Sc. and M.Sc students, the irrelevant cultural and public materials are prepared in a few number. The following steps will take into account the value of the resources considering up-to-date resources, their scientific level, reputation, the writer and the publisher.

With regard to the crucial mission of the School's Library which is preparation of electronic resources, the procedure is done with respect to ownership rights.

The strategies to prepare Library materials:

Libraries are often challenged by individuals and groups concerned about the availability of a wide variety of library materials to everyone. Addressing these challenges requires a balance of carefully crafted library policy, knowledge and understanding of intellectual freedom principles, and sensitivity to community needs and concerns. It also requires effective communication. 

 

7.1. Purchase

·         Publishers, bookstores, national and international book fair

·         Governmental organizations and different insertions 

 7.2. Exchange

Exchange of unnecessary and repetitive resources and new needed ones

 

7.3. Donation

7.4. The products of the Virtual School

 7.5. Memorandum of Understanding

To prepare the resources by the signing MoUs and agreements

8.    Collaborations with other libraries and scientific centers

Since the Library plays a key role in making sure that students have the broad range of resources and ideas they need to develop critical thinking skills, on the other hand because of the wide range of resources, the library can not provide its users with all needed materials, therefore; it is an undeniable fact to collaborate with other universities libraries and scientific centers.

9. Updating the Library

The goals of updating the library materials is: To search in Iran National Library and databases to find the new materials, to stress the need for teachers and librarians, to present students with alternatives and choices and to protect students and staff with new material selection policy.

10. Weeding Library Collections

 Weeding is an essential component of library collection management.  Most libraries simply do not have unlimited space, and we must continually make room for new materials.  Weeding is necessary to remain relevant to our users and true to our missions.  Remember – unless the library exists to archive and preserve materials for the ages, we are not in the business of collecting physical things.  We collect information and provide access to information.  We love books as much as anyone else and sometimes hard decisions have to be made.

For all items, the library weeds the following resources in July, every year:

1. Poor Content:

·         Outdated and obsolete information (especially on subjects that change quickly or require absolute currency, such as science, health and medicine, technology)

·         Trivial subject matter, including topics that are no longer of interest or that were dealt with superficially due to their popularity at a specific point in time, as well as titles related to outdated popular culture

·         Mediocre writing style, especially material that was written quickly to meet popular interest that has passed

·         Inaccurate or false information, including outdated information and sources that have been superseded by new titles or editions

·         Unused sets of books, (although you may keep specific volumes if they meet local needs and are used)

·         Repetitious series, especially series that are no longer popular or that were published to meet a popular demand that no longer exists

·         Superseded editions (in general, it is unnecessary to keep more than one previous edition, discarding as new editions are added)

·         Resources that are not on standard lists or that were never reviewed in standard review sources

·         Unneeded duplicates, especially if they are worn or tattered

·         Self-published or small press materials that are not circulating, especially if they were added as gifts

2.     Materials/Books of Poor Appearance:

·              Worn out, ragged items

·              Poorly bound or poorly printed editions

·              Items that are dirty, shabby, warped, bug infested, or otherwise marked up, mutilated, or ‘edited’ by patrons

·              Books with very small print or poor quality pictures

·              Books with yellowed, brittle, torn, taped, or missing pages

3.     Unused Materials:

 

·         Items that have not circulated within the past 5-10 years and not actually used for reference or in-house research

·         Duplicate copies that are no longer needed, regardless of condition

·         Unused volumes in sets or series

·         Unneeded titles in subject areas that are less frequently used

Checklist of Weeding Factors

 

For all materials, consider:

 

Date—when was the item published? When was it added to the collection?

Author—is the author still read or likely to be read in the future? Is the book a lesser work?

Publisher—was the book self-published or published by an ‘instant’ press that may not have taken care in editing and printing?

Physical condition—is there any factors that make the item unattractive?

Additional copies—are more copies available that may be in better condition?

• Other books on the same subject in the collection—if this book is discarded, what else is available?

 11. Library Software

In this library, we use Azarakhsh software which is special software for Virtual Libraries. This software is organized by Pars Azarakhsh Company that supports all library affairs.

12. Donation

The new books are accepted based on their relevancy and needs of the School. In case that the library does not need the donated books, they will be transferred to other relevant libraries.

13. Loan Rules and Conditions of  Borrowing

 

·         Community and affiliate  members can use books, articles and e-books with their username and password given by the Library

 ·         Loan is done only by library ID card

·         Loans must be returned or renewed on or before the due date: 2 weeks. As long as an item is not overdue or required by another borrower, it may be renewed by contacting Information Services by telephone or by accessing My Library Loans.  

·         Non-equipment loans may be renewed an unlimited number of times; equipment loans may be renewed 2 times. An overdue loan may be renewed by contacting Information Services by telephone.

·         If an attempt to renew a reserve loan is unsuccessful because the item is booked by another user, the item must be returned by its due time.

·         When requested by another borrower, items must be returned by the new due date shown on the recall notice. This date overrides the original due date.

·         Bookings for reserve material may be made in person or by phoning the relevant subject library.

·         Fines may accrue for overdue items and are added to a borrower's record when items are returned

·         If the overdue items are not returned on the due date, the borrower will be deprived of borrowing the books 2 weeks for the first time, one month for the second time and one semester for the third time.

·         Fines and penalties are considered for the lost and damaged loans and they should be reported to the library.

·         In case of items missing or exiting books without permission, librarian will report it to University Displinary Comity. Note: All CDs and DVDs are available to make copies.

·         The borrower can not lend the loans to others.

·         Library opens its doors 8 am to 3 pm. (In some occasions, the time prolonged under the permission of Research Vice-dean.

·         Library makes its attempts to gather the most up-to-date resources but if the materials are against the I.R.I’s laws, they can not be provided.

14. Library Perspective

The University’s reputation by innovation and development of quality of education is an undeniable fact. In this regard, Virtual School Library tends to improve the quality of education in virtual spaces by procurement of the up-to-date resources and modern equipments to use the information.

An international perspective which extends the range of collaboration covered by the library will be taken into consideration.

 

This Library Executive Instructions is approved in January 2013.

 Advantages of the Virtual Libraries

·         Not being required to attend and travel to face-to-face classes and the integration of digital media into the curricula

·         giving the student the opportunity to stay in school when traditional brick and mortar schools will no longer accept them

·         Schedule flexibility is another perceived advantage of online education

·         For individuals who are self driven this type of learning environment allows them to excel at their own pace.

·         Virtual schooling allows individuals an opportunity to engage in critical thinking activities in the environment of their choice

·         Virtual schooling is with the large advancement of information available online, individuals who participate in virtual schooling have the opportunity to integrate other means of technology into their knowledge production.

·         Individuals who participate in virtual schooling have the advantage of building upon their twenty-first century skills which include global awareness, computer literacy, self-directed learning, online communications, and collaboration.

·         As a result of being able to develop and build upon twenty-first century skills, virtualization helps to make the individual more employable.

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Copyright © 2011 Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Virtual School. All rights reserved.