Guidelines for Libraries Serving Dental Hygiene Education Programs
The Standards Committee of the Dental Section of the Medical Library Association prepared the Guidelines for Libraries Serving Dental Hygiene Education Programs as a reference document. The Guidelines are designed to assist librarians and their institutions in completing the Commission on Dental Accreditation self-study report in the following three programs:
In preparing this document, the Standards Committee used selected guidelines developed for medical and dental school, college, and university libraries" (1, 6, 7). The committee relied primarily on the standards approved by the Association of College and Research Libraries Board of Directors in 1986 (7). Since the majority of the dental hygiene collections are located in college-level institutions, the Committee selectively included the sections applicable to libraries serving a variety of academic and technological programs.
Throughout this document the verbs "must or shall, should, and may or could" are used according to the definitions given in the Accreditation Standards for Dental Hygiene Education Programs, as approved by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (9):
Definition of Terms
1.1 The term library as used in this document, whether functioning administratively as a separate dental or health sciences library, or as a college library, is defined as a legally established operation of the parent institution. The library should be a designated area of rooms or building(s) within the institution; and its mission, activities, and mode of operations shall be recognized in the official written documentation of the institution.
1.2 In order for a library to meet the minimum standards for accreditation in dental hygiene education it must have a defined collection which must be established as either (i) part of the collection of a separate health sciences or dental library; (ii) part of an integrated collection of a combined health sciences library; or (iii) part of the collection in a college library.
1.3 The separate dental library or combined health sciences library or college library housing the dental hygiene collection, and which directly supports the dental hygiene education programs, shall develop a written statement of its objectives in accord with the goals and purposes of the parent institution.
1.4 The development of library objectives shall be the responsibility of the library staff, in consultation with faculty, students, and administrative officers.
1.5 The statement of library objectives shall be reviewed periodically by the library staff and shall be revised as necessary.
2.1 The term learning resources as used in this document is defined to be those material resources which (i) directly support the mission of the library and the institution, and (ii) may be housed in the library or outside the library facility.
2.2 The learning resources department's relationship to the library and its responsibility to the dental hygiene education programs of the institution shall be articulated in written documentation of the library and institution.
2.3 Learning resources, whether housed in a designated area of the library or in a separate facility in the institution, may include computer hardware or media equipment, machine readable data forms, audiovisual media, and other technological hardware and media used in teaching or learning as well as for information management, storage, and transfer.
2.4 Learning resources, whether as a part of the library or separate from the library, should be administered by qualified professional staff (either a librarian or media and/or computer specialist) with the appropriate training and/or education.
3.1 The general terms collection or dental hygiene collections, as used in this document, shall refer to that informational material, in whatever format, covering all aspects of the science and profession of dental hygiene which is housed in a library, whether as part of a dental collection or as part of an integrated health sciences or college library collection.
3.2 The scope of the collection shall include dental hygiene information for conducting academic course work at college level programs leading to an associate or higher degree, and for patient care. Access to other biomedical and scientific information should be provided as well. The collection should be housed in a library or libraries located in either the parent institution or in an affiliated educational institution such as a college or university.
3.3 The library's collection should be comprised of all types of recorded information, including print materials in all formats, audiovisual materials, machine-readable materials utilizing new technology such as executable programs or CD-ROM disc, and data on computer software, CD-ROM, or videodiscs.
3.31 The dental hygiene book collection shall include current textbooks and monographs published within the last ten years in the English language and cover all the subject areas of oral health. Access to interlibrary loan services to large dental collections with related reference works, theses, proceedings of conferences, workshops, symposia, and other meetings should be made available when needed. Tertiary works relating to oral health, indexes, and bibliographies should also be available.
3.32 The periodical (serial or journal) collection should be current, with back issues, and in the English language. This collection should support the teaching, research, and patient care needs of the program. It should include subscriptions to periodicals published by the American Dental Hygienists' Association and American Dental Association.
3.33 The reference collection should include the Index to Dental Literature in print or electronic format and other selected printed indexes, reference textbooks, dictionaries, directories, bibliographies, and handbooks.
3.34 The dental hygiene program must have access to audiovisual equipment and personnel and the material utilized must support instructional objectives. Audiovisual material such as skeletal and anatomical replicas, clinical photographic resources, movies and videotapes, loops, slides and filmstrips, audio-tapes, graphics, and multimedia self-instructional packages must be available for use in instruction and enhancement of student learning.
3.35 The library should maintain and make available a collection of computer-based programs including interactive teaching/learning programs, word processing, data management, spread sheets, graphics, telecommunication, end-user bibliographic searching, and other programs based on user needs and the educational requirements of the parent institution.
4.1 The library professional staff shall be responsible for all aspects of collection development within the library, which includes the selection, acquisition, and withdrawal of library materials. These responsibilities shall be described in a written collection development policy.
4.2 All library materials shall be purchased and processed through the appropriate department(s) of the separate dental library, the combined health sciences library, or the central library.
4.3 Faculty, students, and other users of the collection shall be provided with the appropriate means for recommending the acquisition and/or withdrawal of library materials.
4.4 The collection should be classified and cataloged according to a standard classification system.
4.5 There shall be a card, online, or other machine readable catalog of the library's complete collection which permits easy identification and retrieval of items by author, title, subject, key word, call number, or any combination of these.
4.6 The current collections shall be easily identifiable and arranged for efficient retrieval. Materials kept in closed stacks or in offsite storage should be available upon request within a reasonable period of time. If materials are not available for any reason, other provisions, such as interlibrary loan should be made available in order to secure the requested materials.
4.7 If the separate dental library is a branch of the university or college library, its holdings should be included in the printed, online, or other machine readable database catalogs of the university, college, or health sciences libraries.
4.8 The library collection should be housed under environmental conditions which help to preserve and conserve the print and non-print materials. Special attention should be paid to proper temperature levels, humidity and dust control, and lighting levels in the library facility and storage areas which house the collection.
5.1 The library staff (professional and support) shall be of high quality and in sufficient numbers to meet the changing needs of the library's primary users, changes in the curriculum, changes in programs and services offered by the library, the rate of growth of the collection, and the rapid changes in library technology and information management.
5.2 Librarians, including the director, shall have a graduate degree from an American Library Association accredited program.
5.3 Librarians should participate in professional activities which contribute to the parent institution and the professions of librarianship and dental hygiene. The institution should provide adequate financial support for the professional development of the library staff.
5.4 Professional librarians in academic institutions may be members of the faculty of the parent institution with all the rights and privileges of other faculty.
5.5 The professional librarian responsible for the dental hygiene collection should have representation on the curriculum and research committees and task forces of the institution, especially those committees and task forces which have financial or other impact on the library and its programs.
5.6 The procedures for appointment, retention, and termination of the library staff, as well as the responsibilities and authority of the library staff, shall be defined in writing by the institution.
5.7 The support staff (library technicians, clerks, and full- or part-time assistants) shall be assigned responsibilities appropriate to their qualifications, education, training, experience, and capabilities.
5.8 The number of librarians and support staff should be determined by the number of primary users (faculty, students, staff), the size of the dental hygiene collection, the level of reference and technical services and support provided, and whether or not the library is a separate entity, or part of a decentralized or centralized health sciences library, or a college library.
5.81 If the library is a separate entity but serves many programs, including a dental hygiene education program and other allied dental programs, the full-time staff should consist of two or more professional librarians and two or more support staff.
5.82 If the library is a combined health sciences or college library and serves many programs, then at least one full-time professional librarian should be responsible for collection development for the dental hygiene program. This librarian shall function as the library's liaison with the dental hygiene faculty.
5.9 Library policies and procedures concerning library staff shall be in accord with institutional guidelines and sound personnel management.
6.1 The library shall establish and maintain a range and quality of services to support the institution's teaching, research, and patient care programs and encourage optimal library use.
6.2 The library shall collect and maintain a reference collection that supports the academic programs of the parent institution.
6.3 The library staff shall provide information and instruction to the user through orientation sessions, individualized or group instruction, workshops, and/or credit or non-credit courses. These shall include, but not be limited to, a variety of professional reference services and end-user bibliographic instruction programs designed to take full advantage of the "state of the art" resources available in the library and/or in the institution.
6.4 The library should keep readers abreast of new or innovative trends in dentistry and dental hygiene by providing users with reasonable access to current awareness services, such as regular table of contents and other selective dissemination of information services, available either in-house or from commercial vendors.
6.5 There shall be a written circulation policy which clearly states the loan periods for all library materials including restrictions on special materials, such as reference, reserve, journals, audiovisuals, computer programs, CD-ROM, etc.
6.6 The size and quality of the collection should be enhanced through the use of interlibrary loan and through participation in library cooperative agreements or programs with local, regional, and national library networks.
6.7 Both the library and learning resources component shall have hours of operation which provide maximum use of the collection, services, resources, and facilities. These resources and services must be readily accessible to students and faculty; and the hours of operation shall be consistent with reasonable demand and time schedules, staffing, and operational calendars of the library and the parent institution.
6.8 The library should provide resources, services, or referral in support of continuing education for the dental hygiene program graduates of the parent institution and dental hygiene practitioners in the community.
7.1 The parent institution shall provide adequate housing for the dental hygiene collection in either a separate library, a combined health sciences library, or a college library.
7.2 The library shall provide adequate and well-planned study and reading space for its users.
7.3 The library shall provide sufficient office and workroom space for the library staff.
7.4 The library should furnish and maintain facilities and equipment such as microcomputers, CD-ROM technology, computer-assisted instruction, computer bibliographic search services, information access and retrieval, telecommunication, telefacsimile, and/or other technologies as they become available.
7.5 The library should respond to the ever changing role and uses of computer technology and should provide the necessary space for the adaptation of new programs and the acquisition of new equipment.
7.6 The library must be handicapped accessible and be located in a building which is in compliance with current federal, state, and city public laws, and their amendments.
8.1 The responsibility and flow of authority under which the library is empowered to act shall be recognized in writing. This may be documented in the institution's bylaws, trustees' minutes, or a public law.
8.2 The library should articulate its roles and functions through written mission statements, goals, and objectives. These statements should be evaluated regularly and revised every five to ten years.
8.3 The resources of the library shall include all print and non-print materials including audiovisuals and other mixed media and machine readable data forms purchased or acquired in any manner, and used in the library to aid students, faculty, and staff of every department and office of the sponsoring institution.
8.4 The library shall be administered in a manner which permits and encourages the fullest and most effective use of the library's and the institution's available resources.
8.5 The library director of a separate dental library shall report to the president, dean, university librarian, or chief academic officer of the institution. If the dental collection is an integral part of a larger health sciences library, a university, or a college library, then a clear, direct link should exist between the library administration and the dental hygiene program administration and faculty.
8.6 Job tasks and responsibilities of each library staff member shall be defined in writing by the library administration in consultation with the library staff and other relevant personnel agencies of the institution. These tasks and responsibilities should be reviewed annually by the library administration and should be mutually agreed upon by the library staff member and the library administration.
8.7 The library shall maintain a written policy manual specifying its hours, staffing, circulation, reference and other services for library users.
8.8 The library shall maintain a procedure guide for its staff covering internal and external operations.
8.9 The library should publish an annual report which is made available to the institution and its members.
8.10 The library committee should be made up of representatives from different departments and/or specialties and should include at least one student. The committee shall function in an informative and advisory, rather than administrative and executive capacity.
8.11 The librarian(s) should maintain a systematic and continuous program for evaluating the library's performance, for informing the community of its accomplishments, and for identifying needed improvements.
8.12 A policy statement shall define the status of library staff members in academic institutions in relation to academic rank, tenure, sabbatical or professional leaves, group life and health insurance, retirement, and any other provisions and benefits which the institution may make for its administrative, instructional, and professional staff.
9.1 The operating budget for the library must be adequate to provide staff salaries and wages which are competitive regionally and nationally.
9.2 The library's budget must also provide funds for equipment and supplies, development of new library programs and services, maintenance of ongoing library services and programs, professional development of the library staff, and the acquisition of informational materials and resources.
9.3 The library's budget shall take into account the size of collection; the number of people served; the extent and growth of the institution's educational, clinical, and research programs; the amount of research support, extension projects, and other sources of income: the advances in technology: and, the library's need to maintain and enhance its present equipment and facility.
9.4 The library's budget must be competitive with other area institutions in order to attract and maintain experienced and qualified staff.
9.5 A policy statement shall indicate who is responsible for the preparation and administration of the library's budget.
9.6 A policy statement shall clearly define who shall maintain an internal accounting system, approve invoices for payment, monitor purchases, and be fiscally responsible for all library expenditures.
Medical Library Association
Last Updated: 2008 December 02