Mission Statement & Policies

The mission of Holyoke Community College Library is to ensure that Holyoke Community College faculty, staff, and students become efficient and effective consumers of information. This will be accomplished by matching users with information to meet their immediate needs as well as by teaching critical problem solving and information seeking skills to meet their future needs.

The Library Instruction Room was created to support student research needs. The room is available whenever the library is open, and closes fifteen minutes before the library does. While the room is usually available to all students, it is also used for Library Instruction classes that are led by one of the librarians or by the faculty themselves. If it is needed, faculty can also schedule up to two follow-up class to provide additional research time in the library. The room contains over half of the library's public computers and is heavily used so cannot be scheduled for classes that are not focused on library research because of the students' growing need for computer access to do research.

Priority Use of the Library Instruction Room/Computer Lab
  1. The library lab is primarily an instructional lab reserved for library instruction sessions taught by librarians at the request of teaching faculty.
  2. The library lab is also available for faculty taught library instruction sessions coordinated through the library.
  3. The library lab is available for library related staff training.
  4. The library lab is available for use of students when no classes are scheduled.
  5. During an instructional session only enrolled students of the class and the instructor may be in the room.
Scheduling Procedures
  1. HCC faculty may schedule library instructional session by contacting 413.552.2424 or by using the online form.
  2. Faculty may schedule an additional session in order to assist their students with research but because of the heavy use, this is limited to one additional session.
  3. The lab is not available for use by non-library classes.
  4. The lab closes 15 minutes before the library closes.
  5. The room is cleared out and reserved for your class. Please notify the library of any cancellations, and arrive on time.
  6. Faculty is expected to be present for the duration of the instruction sessions.
General Computer Use
  1. The lab's schedule for each day is posted next to the entrance.
  2. All patrons using computers at the HCC Library must abide by the Acceptable Use of Information Systems Policy.
  3. There is no printer in the lab; all print jobs are sent to the printer located in the reference area.
  4. Problems related print accounts resetting should be directed to the Welcome Center.

This policy is intended to serve as a statement of the guidelines used to acquire and maintain materials for the Library collection. Rising costs, increases in publishing output, and an escalating demand for information in a variety of formats require that the Library thoughtfully select materials that support the mission of the College. The collection must be deliberately shaped and developed in order to make the wisest use of the Library's financial resources.


The goal of the Library collection at HCC is quality, not quantity. A collection has quality for its purpose to the degree that it is relevant and appropriate in quantity to the number of students and faculty who use it. Quality is compromised either when new material is not added or when inappropriate material is retained. The Library needs the highest possible percentage of materials that are likely to be used by those working within the institution's current and anticipated academic programs.

Responsibility for Selection

The Library relies upon its own staff and the classroom faculty for purchase recommendations. It is the professional responsibility of faculty to make recommendations in their respective disciplines. The Collection Development Librarian has primary responsibility for collection-related decisions and coordinates the selection process. Final decisions concerning acquisitions rest with the Library staff who can best judge the balance of the total collection.


The Library maintains control of its budget and does not assign allocations to departments or divisions. This is done so that the Library can maintain flexibility to meet unanticipated demands and take advantage of economical purchase opportunities.

Intellectual Freedom

The Library supports both the American Library Association's "Bill of Rights" and "The Freedom to Read Statement," as well as the "Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries" as adopted by the Association of College and Research Libraries. The HCC Library considers these documents to be part of its Collection Development Policy.

Considerations of Acquisition

The Library's first priority is to provide materials to students in support of curriculum requirements for all academic and career programs offered at Holyoke Community College. Secondly, the Library responds to more advanced faculty research needs when funds are available. Finally, as funds permit, the Library will purchase general materials to meet the needs of the local community.

The primary factors that influence the acquisition decision are:

  • Relevance to the educational programs of the College.
  • Balance in the collection.
  • Accuracy and objectivity.
  • Professional recommendations.
  • Reputation of the author, publisher, or producer.
Policies by Format of Material
  • Textbooks are not normally purchased unless they constitute a major reference or research work in the field that is otherwise not available. For their greater durability, hardbound editions are generally the preferred format. Paperbacks may be purchased for topics that change rapidly, if a hardcover is not available, or if duplicate copies of a specific book are needed. The purchase of duplicates is discouraged unless there is multiple demand and heavy continuous use of a title.
  • The Library acquires primarily English language materials. Items written in other than English are purchased when they support the curricula of the College.
  • Literary fiction is purchased according to the same criteria as other Library materials.
  • Popular fiction is generally not purchased since the region's local public libraries cover this area quite well. Popular non-fiction is evaluated according to the criteria in place for other Library materials. Materials in electronic format will be evaluated by the same criteria as print material.
  • Collection development decisions will be made in the context of cooperation with the C/WMARS library network and the anticipated seamless access of library users to the holdings of the 50+ member libraries.
Collection Maintenance

Evaluation of the Library collection is undertaken as time and other duties permit. Faculty members are encouraged to survey their subject areas and recommend additions to and withdrawals from the collection. Materials no longer appropriate for the collection are withdrawn.

The Holyoke Community College Library extends borrowing privileges to its own students, faculty, and staff as well as the students, faculty, and staff of CLGS institutions (Cooperating Libraries of Greater Springfield), and the general public. Students must present a validated HCC photo identification card at the circulation desk in order to borrow library material. CLGS users are required to present a valid I.D. card from their college. The general public may apply for an HCC resident card. Students from area secondary and grammar schools may apply for an HCC library card by presenting their school I.D. or a letter from their school librarian on school letterhead. All users are entitled to full use of the HCC Library and accept the obligations and responsibilities that this courtesy entails.

Replacement Cards

Members of the HCC community who lose their photo I.D.s must obtain a replacement card from the Assessment Center in Frost 271. Non-HCC users will be issued a library card at the circulation desk. 

Borrowing Terms

Library books and most AV material circulate for three weeks. Video tapes and DVDs may be charged out for 2 days with a limit of two items per patron. Secondary and grammar school students are limited to 3 books per patron and no renewal. For other patrons, items may be renewed if no hold has been placed on the item. Items must be brought into the Library for renewal or you can renew them online. Renewals are not taken over the telephone.

The HCC Library extends circulation privileges to library users outside of its immediate community of students, faculty, and staff. Patrons who are not students, faculty, and staff are allowed an overall charge limit of 10 items on their HCC account. This includes a limit of 2 DVDs/VHS. HCC secondary and pre-secondary school patrons have an overall limit charge of 3 items (no DVD/VHS.)

Returning Library Material

Library material may be returned during regular business hours. After hours, books may be returned to the book return outside of the Library entrance. AV materials must not be put in the book return box.

Overdue Charges

The service fee for overdue library material is 20 cents per day per item. Overdue DVDs and videotapes are $1.00 per day.

Delinquent Accounts

Borrowing privileges may be suspended for any patron with excessive overdue material or fines at the HCC Library and other libraries in the C/WMARS network. Please contact the Circulation Desk with questions regarding individual accounts. Failure to settle delinquent accounts may result in the registrar's office withholding grades and transcripts.

It is the responsibility of the Dean of Library Services to ensure that material in the HCC Library is available to the greatest number of users. Therefore, in exceptional cases, the Dean of Library Services reserves the right to limit the number of items that a patron may borrow if the patron has demonstrated a consistent abuse of circulation privileges at the HCC Library or any other C/WMARS library. Full borrowing privileges will be restored at the discretion of the Dean of Library Services at the end of the semester if the patron has no outstanding obligations to any C/W MARS library.

More Information

Please contact the Circulation Desk at 413.552.2372.

All patrons using computers at the HCC Library must abide by the Acceptable Use of Information Systems Policy.

HCC students, faculty, and staff have preferred access to library computers when the library is busy.

All patrons are asked to be considerate of other users during busy times and limit their search sessions to 45 minutes.

If your research leads you to a book or article not available at the Holyoke Community College Library or its network, you may request the item through Interlibrary Loan

HCC Students

Students requesting material on Reserve must have an HCC ID.

How to Access Material

A binder at the Reserve Desk provides a list of all materials in alphabetical order by instructors' names. The list of reserve materials is also accessible through the online catalog.

Borrowing Terms
2-Hour May be signed out for a 2-hour period
24-Hour May be signed out at any time during library hours and is due back on the next scheduled school day. Not renewable.
48-Hour May be signed out any time during library hours and is due back two days later, or the next scheduled school day. Not renewable.
1 Week  Primarily for students who have class only once or twice a week. Material may be signed out at any time, but is due back the following week.

Overdue Fees

Two-hour reserve material charges are 25 cents an hour on the day taken out, $2 a day after that. 24-Hour and 48-Hour reserve material charges are $1 a day. All reserve charges stop at $10. 

Patrons with delinquent accounts will be denied borrowing privileges and are not issued grades, diplomas, or transcripts. Library material is considered state property and any student responsible for its defacement will be treated according to the Student Discipline Policy outlined in the HCC Policy Guide.

Call the Circulation Desk 413.552.2372 for more information.

Holyoke Community College Library is pleased to accept donations of books and other material that support the mission of the library and complements its collection. Donated material is treated as new acquisitions and is evaluated by the same standards used in the selection of new purchases.

Academic libraries have specific needs that exclude items that people often wish to donate. In most cases, the library will not accept textbooks, standard editions of classical works already in the collection, mass marketed paperbacks, condensed books, unauthorized or non-commercially produced CDs, DVDs, VHSs, and other digitized material. The library will not accept most periodicals unless an issue fills a specific gap in the current print collection. Material that is highlighted, damaged, stained, moldy, or brittle will not be accepted.

Upon receipt of material, the library becomes the owner of the donation and, as such, reserves the right to determine its retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations related to its use, maintenance, and removal.

All materials are considered non-cash charitable donations. The library is happy to provide a letter of acknowledgment but cannot provide appraisals of value or itemized lists.

People who wish to make a donation to the library are encouraged to contact the Dean of Library Services to discuss the suitability of the donation.