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Gadsden State Community College



The Reference Department of each GSCC Library:

Policy Statement

Assistance in the location of materials and utilization of equipment shall be available to all users. Bibliographic search and preparation services are available to professional personnel subject to the limitations of staff and time required to perform such services.


  1. General library instruction or orientation will be conducted each term at instructor request.
  2. Requests for special library instruction pertinent to the needs of the class must be made well in advance through the Reference Librarians {Meadows-- 256-549-8498, McClellan Center--256-238-8342, Ayers Campus Library--256-835-5435}.
  3. Instructors who bring entire classes "en masse" to a GSCC Library should notify the Reference Department in advance. Classes scheduled for Library Instruction will be given first priority.  Classes are not double booked--two classes scheduled at the same time.
  4. Any instructor who sends an entire class to Library during regularly scheduled class periods must accompany the class during the period unless special permission is granted. Your presence allows students to ask questions about the assignment the staff is unable to interpret.
  5. Bibliographic search and preparation services for professional personnel of the College may be conducted by the Reference Department staff contingent on the time the staff may have available to perform such services. Requests for these services must be made well in advance of the time needed.

Information Literacy

(Defined and discussed by the Association of College and Research Libraries)

Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." (ALA, 1989) This additional form of literacy is increasingly important in today’s environment of rapid technological change and proliferating information resources. Individuals are faced with diverse, abundant information choices--in their academic studies, in the workplace, and in their personal lives.

Information is available through libraries, community resources, special interest organizations, media, and the Internet--and increasingly, information comes to individuals in unfiltered formats, raising questions about its authenticity, validity, and reliability. In addition, information is available through multiple media, including graphical, aural, and textual, and these pose new challenges for individuals in evaluating and understanding it. The uncertain quality and expanding quantity of information pose large challenges for society. The sheer abundance of information will not in itself create a more informed citizenry without a complementary cluster of abilities necessary to use information effectively.

Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning. An information literate individual is able to:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally

American Library Association. Presidential Committee on Information Literacy. Final Report. (Chicago: American Library Association, 1989.)

Electronic Use

Computers and Internet

The Libraries of GSCC also provide access to the Alabama Virtual Library and other resources that may be available via the web. At Meadows Library and the McClellan Center Library, these computers do not provide access to word processing or other supplemental course material.

Using the Internet and related electronic resources in the Reference Center of the Meadows Library constitutes acceptance of the Library's Network Acceptable Use Policy. Network access is a service we are pleased to provide, but use of this service is a privilege not an entitlement.

GSCC Libraries provide computer workstations for student and faculty research. The databases and tools provided on these computers are the property of Gadsden State Community College and are provided equally to all library users. The Library staff will be glad to assist you in learning to search for information on these databases but cannot provide in-depth training on computer use.

As a part of the resources of the Library, these computers are connected to the Internet. Each user of these work stations is responsible for his or her activities on the Internet. Activities that are illegal will result in your Internet use being suspended indefinitely. In addition, activities which harass or offend those working around you are not permitted. Library workstations and the resources they access are provided for course-related assignments, scholarly research, and other activities directly related to the educational, research and public service mission of Gadsden State Community College. Therefore, this mission takes precedence over recreational and casual use of the workstations. Casual Internet use is available only when the computers are not needed for course related research. The Library staff reserves the right to ask you to use computer facilities in the computer labs if there is a need.

Each user is responsible for his or her own search. Library staff cannot provide training in the use of the Internet. Word processing and other applications software cannot be used at Meadows Library or McClellan Center Library due to the limited number of workstations.

The Library cannot guarantee the accuracy or reliability of information obtained via the Internet. Links to information on the Internet may not always be valid and even valid sites may sometimes be unavailable. Information needs may be more quickly and easily supplied by the Library's traditional print resources, and the Library staff may direct you to those sources.

The Library cannot guarantee the privacy or security of any Internet transaction or interaction. Finally there may be times with the Internet or other electronic resources are not available due to necessary/routine maintenance or technical difficulties affecting the campus or state networks.

Additional information on electronic use can be found in the "Policies on Computer Use and Internet Access" section of the Gadsden State Community College Catalog and Student Handbook

Interlibrary Loan


In order to enhance the ability of the GSCC Library System to provide all the resources and services needed by its users, cooperative relations with other libraries and agencies should be considered. Cooperative relationships must not, however, be used by the College to avoid responsibility to provide adequate and accessible library resources and services {Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, Criteria for Accreditation, 1991 edition, p. 32}.


Gadsden State Community College cooperates with other institutions, libraries, and agencies in requesting and lending items which may not be available locally. GSCC Library System is also a member of the Library Management Network which shares a variety of services and resources.


  1. Written requests for Interlibrary Loan must include complete bibliographic information. GSCC adheres to the Interlibrary Loan Code in every respect in dealing with other institutions.
  2. Interlibrary Loan Request Forms should be turned in at the Reference Department. You may ask for these forms to be sent to you via handmail. A request cannot be sent until the signed form has been received by the Reference Department.
  3. When Interlibrary Loan materials are received, you will be notified promptly.
  4. Interlibrary Loan materials must be returned on time in order for the Library to return these materials to the lending library or agency.