Front Entrance of UofSC Aiken

ALIB 107

Policies and Procedures


ALIB 107


Library Services


Access and Services to Clientele


March 19, 2010

Reviewed on:


Issued by:

Director of the Library

Authorized by:

Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

I. Policy

The Library of the University of South Carolina Aiken is mandated by its mission to support the educational, teaching, research, and administrative needs of faculty, students, and staff on the USCA campus. The Library takes an active role in the support of USCA's overall mission and provides access to relevant information through the development of library collections, their organization and arrangement for access and use, and the provision of appropriate information and instructional services. To be most effective in fulfilling its mission, the Library offers an array of basic services funded by the University for current students, staff, and faculty; other services to USCA's primary clientele may be offered on a full or partial cost recovery basis.

The Library is committed to making its unique or distinctive collections available to the local, regional and national scholarly community as a supplementary source once local resources have been exhausted. The Library provides access for these users through either on-site consultation or other methods under conditions that do not jeopardize the effectiveness of its services to its primary clientele. In addition, the Library makes its services and collections available to the public at large on a limited basis and to the extent feasible.

 II.  Procedure

a. Categories of Clientele

The Library distinguishes among three basic categories of users for the purpose of apportioning resources and services: primary clientele, cooperative/contractual clientele, and external clientele. The Library reserves the right to assign to institutions and individuals the appropriate category of service or use.

i. Primary Clientele

The primary clientele consists of current faculty, students and staff at the University of South Carolina Aiken as outlined above. This category of users is accorded the highest priority for service and resources.

ii. Cooperative/Contractual or Other Special Arrangements Clientele

The second group of users is defined by cooperative agreements, or contractual or special arrangement entered into by the Library. Cooperative agreements, such as those with other USC System Libraries and the Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries (PASCAL), secure reciprocal benefits to the Library. At the Library's discretion, contractual arrangements may be made between institutions and USCA on behalf of users. Some arrangements may represent a commitment by the Library or the University to provide specific resources and/or services to a distinct group of individuals, e.g., select donors, alumni. Agreements may be limited to services specifically designated, and do not necessarily provide for the range of resources and services offered to the Library's primary clientele. Some contractual agreements may be based on fees rather than reciprocal benefits.


  • VIP cardholders
  • Alumni cardholders
  • Aiken County teachers (must be currently employed)
  • Gifted students
  • Teacher Cadets
  • Academy of Lifelong Learners
  • PASCAL institution students with current ids
  • Other USC students, faculty, and staff
  • Immediate family of USCA faculty and staff
  • Retired USCA faculty (residing in the vicinity)

iii. External Clientele

 External users are those not described in the groupings above, including cardholders not officially affiliated with the University or covered by a contractual arrangement, and non-cardholders.


  • General public
  • Students other than those designated elsewhere
  • Faculty members other than those listed elsewhere
  • Non-cardholders

It is the Library's policy to provide reasonable access for all categories of users, but the Library makes a distinction between access (library use) and borrowing (home use) privileges. Borrowing privileges are accorded only to designated categories of clientele by policy or by specific agreement.

External patrons are expected to explore the resources of their primary libraries first, e.g., public, school, and to use the USCA Library as a library of last resort. The Library does not act as a substitute for those institutions or agencies which do not provide adequate core library resources of their own); it conserves on behalf of USCA students, faculty and staff those heavily-used materials which other libraries can reasonably be expected to provide. Payment of a fee for borrowing privileges will not, for example, entitle outside patrons to unrestricted access to materials such as reserve books, journals and non-print materials that are in heavy demand on campus. On the other hand, recognizing its role as a local, regional, state and national resource, the Library provides access whenever possible to the rarer and more specialized items in USCA's collections, since these may be available only at USCA. The status of the Library as a federal depository for government publications, a state documents depository and a DOE Special Collection depository carries with it specific requirements to provide access and services to the general public for those materials in whichever Library collection they may be housed.

c.  Access to Services

The Library's primary clientele has priority in the use of reference and information services and equipment, particularly at periods of peak use. Consequently, payment of established charges for library privileges does not ensure the same level of service for non USCA patrons. Reference, instruction, and special circulation services to the outside community can be extended only when they do not interfere with services to the campus community. In some cases the Library may provide certain services to external or contractual users on a cost-recovery basis.

All access and services are subject to restrictions at periods of high use by primary clientele, or by the need to conserve or protect Library materials or equipment.

III.  Related Policies

IV.  Reason for Revision

      Annual Review