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Macy S. Ferguson. “But Why Can I Only Check Out Five Items?”: Policy Making for Public Patrons in Academic Libraries. A Master’s Paper for the M.S. in L.S. degree. May, 2020. 38 pages. Advisor: Ronald E. Bergquist

Public academic libraries have a unique user base. They primarily serve university students and faculty, but are also open to the public due to the nature of their funding and reporting structure. This study looks at the policies and mission statements of the library systems at all post-secondary University of North Carolina member institutions regarding access for public, unaffiliated patrons. The policies and statements were retrieved solely from each institution’s main library’s or library system’s website and analyzed for

similarities, discrepancies, trends, and items of interest. The objective of this analysis was to gain a sense for what access looks like for unaffiliated North Carolina citizens at academic UNC system libraries.


Academic libraries -- United States -- Case studies. Libraries -- Circulation analysis.





Macy S. Ferguson

A Master’s paper submitted to the faculty of the School of Information and Library Science of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in

Library Science.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina May 2020

Approved by



Somewhat understandably, most people, both in and outside of the library and information science field, do not think of public patrons from the local community when considering the user base of academic libraries. Academic libraries are, for the most part, structured primarily with the needs of the university students, faculty, and staff in mind. But for libraries at public universities, public patrons are permitted to access services and collections as well. Public university libraries have a more established obligation to not only serve, but actively consider, the needs of public patrons than other academic library environments do. However, by no means does this mean that there are uniform practices for policy making in regards to public patrons at public academic libraries. It is often dependent on staffing, connection to the local community, funding sources, and the structure of collections and service. Therefore, there is utility in unveiling what goes into the creation of policies such as how many items public patrons can check out at a time or how much computer time they are limited to, and particularly how an academic library’s position at a public university influences or shapes their approach to policy making.


and their libraries tend to be largely funded by private donations and endowments, therefore they would not provide a substantial amount of data for this study’s research question. Furthermore, private universities are organizationally less accessible for the purposes of sampling and gathering data with any uniformity. The subjects of this study’s sample, academic library systems within members of the University of North Carolina (UNC) system, are all under a shared administrative umbrella at the state level that ensures they have a shared population, the citizens of North Carolina, in mind when engaging in policy making. The UNC system mission is stated as:

The University of North Carolina is a public, multi-campus university dedicated to the service of North Carolina and its people. It encompasses the 17 diverse constituent institutions and other educational, research, and public service organizations. Each shares in the overall mission of the University. That mission is to discover, create, transmit, and apply knowledge to address the needs of individuals and society (UNC Board of Governors. “Our Mission.”).

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, an academic library is defined as:

the library associated with a degree-granting institution of higher education. Academic libraries are identified by the post-secondary institution of which they are a part and provide all of the following:

1. An organized collection of printed or other materials or a combination thereof; 2. A staff trained to provide and interpret such materials as required to meet the informational, cultural, recreational, or educational needs of clientele;

3. An established schedule in which services of the staff are available to clientele; 4. The physical facilities necessary to support such a collection, staff, and


(“Library Statistics Program - Academic Libraries”).

This definition does not enumerate the intended population for academic library


affiliations. This is an important framework for the results and analysis of this study and helps put them in the broader context of academic library policies towards users not affiliated with the university.

Public libraries are similarly defined by their available services, affiliations, and systems of supervision. The Institute for Museum and Library Services states that:

A public library is established under state laws or regulations to serve a

community, district, or region. Under this definition, a public library must, at a minimum, meet the following criteria:

• Contain an organized collection of printed or other library materials, or a combination thereof;

• Have paid staff;

• Have an established schedule in which the services of the staff are available to the public;

• Have the facilities necessary to support such a collection, staff, and schedule; and

• Be supported in whole or in part with public funds. (Pelczar, 2).

Similar to public libraries, the UNC member library systems’ establishment is tied to the state. By these definitions and the UNC system’s mission, it can be argued that public academic libraries, at least the ones in this study, can be regarded as a hybrid of both public and academic libraries in terms of structure and services. Though it is not widely, or explicitly, discussed in the literature on unaffiliated users’ relationship to public academic libraries, it is largely understood that these institutions make space in their collections, facilities, and services for public patrons due to their dual nature as both academic and public libraries.


patrons create for structuring services and access such as the challenge of user authentication. There have also been broad surveys of academic library policies for public patrons and the prevailing levels of access for public patrons. In most cases, the approach to public patrons is passive in that academic librarians serve them as time and staffing allows. There have been various articles published on how academic libraries could support this patron base without compromising their own health, library budgets, or the needs of the academic community. There is also an existential tension over and skepticism of the pursuit to serve unaffiliated users in academic libraries overall. However, there is a lack of literature connecting the observed behaviors of public patrons, the structure of public academic libraries, and their resulting policies for public patrons.


background for answering these questions through a presentation and analysis of the existing and accessible policies at each university library system in the UNC system that relate to public, unaffiliated patron access to library collections and services.

This research will lead to a better understanding of what policies look like for public, unaffiliated users in public academic libraries and how they are or are not influenced by university or library mission statements. This study can help public academic libraries be more reflective in their policy making and provide points of reference for one another when approaching this process. Lastly, the results of this research will not only make members of the UNC community more cognizant of the role of state citizens as patrons of academic libraries, but will also increase awareness of all that needs to be considered in the creation of policies at academic libraries from loan periods to collection purchasing to service hours and availability.

Literature Review


sources on all types of academic libraries that have engaged in cognizant policy making in regards to public patrons.

Possible approaches to and attitudes about public patron use in academic libraries have been analyzed with a scholarly as well as professional and organizational lens. The author wanted the study’s sources to reflect the vitality and currency of this conversation across the library science field. This paper’s sources include scholarly articles,

conference proceedings and presentations, professional development materials such as webinars, website articles from practitioners, and articles in publications from relevant professional organizations like the American Library Association. The search for sources proved that this is a topic that needs to be revisited as about half of the academic

literature on this topic is from 2010 or earlier i.e. more than 10 years old. Much about the services libraries provide, and the way they deliver them, has changed in recent years. Sentiments around the public’s right to scholarship have also surged in light of renewed attention in the scholarly communications field to the cost to universities to access research that their own scholars have produced. This has resulted in a nationwide

conversation about the public’s lack of access to research they help fund. In the words of an article published by The Atlantic in March 2019,

In the United States, research funding often comes from government agencies—in other words, from taxpayers. Yet if members of the public tried to read new academic research, they would very quickly hit paywalls. This puts the public in the odd position of having to pay for research twice—first to fund it, and a second time to access its results (Zhang 2019).


information delivery and the structure of academic libraries calls for a fresh investigation into the current relationship between academic libraries, particularly those at public institutions, and their local and statewide communities.

Six salient themes emerged from the literature: services access for public patrons, collections access for public patrons, outreach/community engagement of academic libraries, public patron conduct and perception in academic libraries, funding sources and financial models, and general research and resources on public patrons in academic libraries. Across these themes, case studies are the most prevalent and cover

environments such as urban academic libraries with strong ties to the local community, land grant funded universities, and academic libraries across certain states like Florida and North Carolina. In the areas of collections and services access, studies typically take a more wholesale approach to collections and a more specific investigation of services such as virtual reference. As aforementioned, these themes, though not directly applicable to the study of the policymaking process, helped build an understanding of the state of public patron use of academic libraries and shed light on what academic libraries are considering and using as data points when building policies.

Services Access for Public Patrons


librarians themselves can take a more holistic approach to their service of library patrons which includes public patrons. Some articles in this category are helpful for getting a sense for how academic libraries see public patrons fitting into their service model on a philosophical, conceptual level. But there are also articles that provide a more specific, granular insight into how access to services for public patrons actually plays out in reality. The articles referenced for this paper analyze particular academic library environments such as law libraries and Public and Land-Grant Universities as well as specific services such as the physical reference desk and virtual reference service. Collections Access for Public Patrons

It is often the case that an academic library holds items or collections that public libraries do not provide. This is most often what brings public patrons to academic

libraries and why it is important for this study to look at the levels of access to collections for public patrons. The collections of academic libraries are incredibly diverse in their scope, format, demarcation, and accessibility. Many of the articles regarding collections are broad surveys on the accessibility of, and the considerations surrounding such accessibility, academic library collections as a whole. These types of articles are helpful for seeing how such a survey or analysis can be conducted.


sense for the collection types and environments that are actually included in an analysis of public patron policy in academic libraries.

Outreach/Community Collaboration Oriented Research

It is apparent from the literature and this paper’s study that the level of outreach and community partnership an academic library engages in can play a role in their policymaking in regards to public patrons. From the few articles available, it is apparent that building robust popular reading collections are a popular form of engaging with public patrons and capitalizing on the collections, patron communities, and services of both academic and public libraries. It is also apparent that local public libraries are key to, and possibly define, how an academic library goes about engaging with public patrons and their needs and interests.

Public Patron Conduct and Perception in Academic Libraries

The topic of public patron behavior and conduct in the context of academic libraries has been extensively studied and written on. The literature covers not only the behavior of patrons, but also the impact of perceptions of public patron behavior and questions the assumption that the public patrons themselves are the source of any issues around public patron access in academic libraries. The articles discuss more specifically the legal implications of public patron behavior and how it impacts the security

infrastructure of an academic library, which can determine access. Financial or Funding Focused Research

For many libraries, the level of service and resources they are able to provide is dependent upon budgets, funding, and other financial constraints. As Singh and


Library,” “Unaffiliated users are both welcomed and feared by academic librarians as they feel the weight of added labor, time constraints, public underfunding, and potential overuse by a minority of unaffiliated patrons” (Singh & Emmelhainz, 2). There is also the question of contractual obligations associated with accepting certain sources of funding or housing certain collections and resources. There are not as many sources on this topic as the author hoped, but the relevant articles referenced in this paper address two

important issues for funding structures for public patron access - do patrons have automatic access as taxpayers at publicly funded institutions and are fee-based models feasible for meeting public patron needs in an academic library?

General Research & Resources on Public Patrons in Academic Libraries

Since public patrons are often not the primary user group at academic libraries, there is not a consensus in the literature or in the field about how academic libraries should serve public patrons and incorporate their needs. As a result, there is a plethora of available literature addressing and discussing the general philosophy behind and state of public patron use of academic libraries. Since they span from 1994-2011, these articles and resources are helpful for understanding how attitudes toward this phenomenon as a whole have changed and evolved over the years and if there are recurring or salient issues and attitudes across the field. This contingent of sources includes broad surveys of the state and history of public patron use in academic libraries over time as well as

professional resources and presentations for specifically serving community users. Library Policies and Statements


This study compiled what is available on the university libraries’ webpages in regards to access and privileges for public, unaffiliated patrons. There is a fair amount of specific information for some universities like UNC Charlotte available through this method, but little for others such as Winston-Salem State University whose library website does not have any specific information regarding public or unaffiliated patrons. Within this collection of policies, statements relating to public patron access exist within the mission of academic libraries, their borrowing or circulation pages, and more explicit policies regarding different levels of access and privileges depending on the category of user. Policies relevant to public patrons exist in and affect a wide range of services and resources from printing and scanning to computer usage to the cost of borrowing.



university. In regards to policies, the author included circulation policies, service and reference policies, mission statements, and any other publicly available statements that are relevant to public or unaffiliated patron access.

Using content analysis to narrow in on the aspects of UNC library policies that detail access for unaffiliated patron access enabled the author to get an overview of the state of unaffiliated patron access at UNC libraries as well as make connections and draw patterns across libraries. This method allowed for the extraction of particular language in the policies that sheds light on the obligations or motivations behind the policies

themselves such as mention of contractual financial obligations or commitment to community building.

The author analyzed policies from the university library system or designated “main” library at each university in the UNC system which consists of 17 campuses ranging from coastal to urban to rural and affluent to disadvantaged environments. The various campuses in the system also range in size of student body and the size of the local community or city that they are located in. The 17 campuses include:

1. Appalachian State University 2. East Carolina University 3. Elizabeth City State University 4. Fayetteville State University


9. UNC Chapel Hill 10. UNC Charlotte 11. UNC Greensboro 12. UNC Pembroke 13. UNC Wilmington 14. UNC School of the Arts 15. Western Carolina University 16. Winston-Salem State University

17. NC School of Science and Mathematics (“Our 17 Campuses”).

This study omitted #14, UNC School of the Arts, and #17, NC School of Science and Mathematics, from the sample since they are secondary schools rather than academic universities. In the interest of transparency, the author wants to acknowledge that she is an employee of the R.B. House Undergraduate Library at UNC Chapel Hill (UNC CH). The author works there as a graduate assistant in Research and Instruction Services. In this paper, the author has endeavored to make any analysis or statements regarding UNC Chapel Hill libraries and their policies based entirely off of publicly available knowledge independent of the author’s personal insight and experiences as an employee.


tangentially affiliated to the university. Since this is a study investigating the UNC system member libraries’ openness to the general public, namely tax paying North Carolina citizens, the author analyzed policies regarding NC residents, area residents, the general public, and Friends of the Library when the former were not provided or when area residents/the general public were directed to become a Friend of the Library to gain borrowing privileges. As a result, throughout this paper the patrons of interest are referred to as “public patrons,” “unaffiliated patrons,” and, for greatest clarity, “public, unaffiliated patrons.” For this study is not interested in just public patrons, as in patrons that live in the state or local community, nor just unaffiliated patrons, i.e. patrons that are not connected to the university by current or former student/staff/faculty status or

occupation, but rather patrons that fall under both designations.

The author expected that the variability of accessibility and detail of the policies at the various libraries in the UNC system would impact the analysis and possibly skew this paper’s conclusions. The accessibility of policies is fairly uniform across institutions. The majority are publicly available online and relatively easy to find. There are a couple libraries that do not have explicit policies regarding public patrons available online, namely UNC Pembroke and Winston-Salem State University. In the case of UNC Pembroke, the author defaulted to the information on their Friends of the Library


to locate any appropriate grouping of policies or statements available for unaffiliated or public patrons on their website.


Though this study’s sample was predetermined and consisted of just 15

institutions, it was quite an undertaking to locate and read all of the relevant information regarding patron access for each of the libraries and library systems. Availability of information is generally positive with all but one of the libraries having some information for public, unaffiliated patrons published on their website. Overall, the information and policies varied in terms of explicitness regarding public, unaffiliated patrons. Clear, nuanced policies applying to unaffiliated patrons were most abundant when it came to item checkout limits and loan periods. Clear policies were harder to locate when it came to overarching access to borrowing and physical use of the library. Access for public, unaffiliated patrons was most often defined by state or local residency or Friend of the Library membership. A few libraries in the UNC system, such as East Carolina

University’s (ECU) Joyner Library and Fayetteville State’s Charles W. Chesnutt Library, also extend community or resident borrower cards to locally stationed members of the U.S. military. The author addresses the distinction between resident status and Friend of the Library in greater detail in the Discussion section of this paper.

Borrowing Privileges


most common amount. UNC Wilmington is the only library in the system that offers to waive the fee for citizens over the age of 65 (“North Carolina Resident Borrowers”).

Presentation of valid ID such as a driver’s license is also a congruent requirement across libraries for application for a borrower’s card. Libraries also generally enforce an age requirement where applicants for a borrower’s card need to be at least 18 or have a guardian sign their application if they are younger than 18. UNC CH is the lone library in the UNC system to require a patron’s Social Security Number as a part of the borrower’s card application process. They cite the North Carolina Setoff Debt Collection Act, §105A-3 as their justification for mandating this piece of information (“UNC Borrower’s Cards”).

Length and Amount of Checkout

Loan periods for unaffiliated patrons are fairly similar across libraries, typically somewhere around 20-30 days, but the item limits varied from four to no stated limit. The items available for check out are typically limited to books, government documents, DVDs, CD’s, cassette tapes, and VHS’s. Items in the periodicals, reserves, reference, online collections, and special collections are generally not available for check out or offsite use for unaffiliated patrons.


Library, Law Library and Journalism (Park) Library circulate books for 30 days regardless of the user’s affiliation (“Borrowing & Loan Policies”).

UNC CH stood out as the only library or library system that required unaffiliated borrowers to go through a trial period of sorts before being granted full borrowing privileges:

State residents who purchase a card are limited to a total of five books checked out at any one time for the first year they have the Borrower’s card. After one year of problem-free borrowing the limit on the number of items checked out may be lifted when the card is renewed for a second year (“UNC Borrower’s Cards”). Types of Items and Services

A few of the libraries explicitly state the services that public or unaffiliated patrons are not eligible for. UNC CH, Appalachian State, and UNC Wilmington clarify that unaffiliated patrons cannot check out reserves items or specialty equipment. UNC Wilmington notes that public patrons cannot request holds for items. UNC Wilmington, UNC Asheville, UNC Charlotte, and Appalachian State state that interlibrary loan services are not available to public patrons. UNC CH makes it clear that community borrower cards do not include offsite access to online materials. UNC Charlotte also outlines that Friends of the Library, their designation for unaffiliated users that want borrowing privileges, can only access online licensed materials onsite (“Check Out, Renew, Return”).

In House Use


E. Shepard Library, “general citizens may use CMC (Curriculum Materials Center) materials within the library but may not check them out” (“Shepard Library Department Policies”). It’s a similar case at UNC Charlotte’s Atkins Library, except Atkins also extends in-house services to the general public such as research help (“Friends of Atkins Library”). Atkins also points members of the public to becoming a Friend of the Library to gain borrowing privileges, whereas Shepard Library does not provide any information on the extension of such services and resources to members of the general public.

UNC CH’s library system makes a point to clarify that “everyone”, not just NC or area residents, is welcome to access and use the libraries in person on-site (“Visitor Information”). NC A&T implies that members of the general public are allowed to enter and use the F.D. Bluford Library by mandating that anyone without an Aggie OneCard ID exit the library by 12 a.m. (“Regulations”).

NC State’s libraries is the only system that specifies the nature of a patron’s use of the library in describing access to the building: “any individual over the age of 18 with an academic study or research need may have access to library facilities between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., subject to adherence to library rules” (“RUL 02.61.05 – Use of the NC State University Libraries”).

Technology Use


2.5.6 Patrons who do not have a Unity ID may request to use designated guest computers with access to the Libraries’ catalog, databases, and other electronic resources. The Libraries does not provide any general computing or software access for those unaffiliated with NC State University (“RUL 02.61.05 – Use of the NC State University Libraries”).


There are trends and points of interest in the analyzed missions, statements, and policies in regards to alignment with the university’s mission, terms of access, the library’s relationship to or role in the local community, and acknowledgement of state funding. The author wanted to draw attention to these areas of the research because they are particularly relevant to public academic universities and speak to the specific

considerations they face when crafting policies for public, unaffiliated patrons. University Mission


mission statements cited a commitment to the broad development of services, resources, and research that serves and advances the needs and futures of North Carolinians. The author did not interpret this as a commitment to the immediate service of community members outside of the campus since it could reference the development of research that would later serve the interests of North Carolinians as a whole.

There were only six UNC universities that expressed a commitment to presently serving their immediate communities or the community of North Carolina in their mission statements: UNC Chapel Hill, Appalachian State, Western Carolina, UNC Charlotte, Elizabeth State, and Fayetteville State. Out of those six, only three had library systems or main libraries with mission statements that mirrored the language of direct service to community patrons: UNC Charlotte, Elizabeth City State, and Fayetteville State. For example, Fayetteville State University’s mission states:

Fayetteville State University (FSU) is a public comprehensive regional university that promotes the educational, social, cultural, and economic transformation of southeastern North Carolina and beyond...the university extends its services and programs to the community” (FSU Board of Trustees).

FSU’s main library, Charles Waddell Chesnutt Library, similarly states in its mission “the Chesnutt Library assumes its special role as a major cultural resource for the community and the region at large” (“About.” Fayetteville State University).

Appalachian State and Western Carolina’s main libraries stated their support of the University’s mission in their mission statements, therefore implicitly sharing a commitment to extending services and resources to, and even crafting them in light of, the local community.


vagueness as a commitment to openness in light of UNC Chapel Hill’s university mission statement. The mission statement of UNC CH University Libraries reads, “We collect and curate what matters to Carolina. We help our users find, evaluate, and use

information to create knowledge” (“Mission Statement.” UNC University Libraries). “Carolina” could refer to the UNC Chapel Hill community or North Carolina at large. But in light of the University’s mission stating, “We also extend knowledge-based services and other resources of the University to the citizens of North Carolina,” it is reasonable to interpret the University Libraries’ mission as a commitment to North Carolina citizens. The choice to use the broad term “users”, rather than listing faculty, undergraduates, graduates, etc., as most of the other UNC library system mission statements do, reinforces the openness of UNC CH University Libraries’ services and resources to a broader community.

A few UNC member library mission statements, such as ECU and NC State, mentioned collaboration and sharing with community partners. This struck the author as more of an established working relationship where the partners help contribute to or provide services or resources alongside the library rather than an expressed openness to community members. However, these are notable examples of the campus library practicing community outreach and establishing ties and services beyond the immediate academic community.

Friends vs. Residents


for similar purposes, overall these are two very different designations. Status as a state resident has a civic connotation. Predicating access on that implies that you have a right as a state citizen to access the library and its services. It implies that you have already contributed to the library. However, Friends of the Library groups typically have a philanthropic, fundraising function where members raise money to support the library or donate their own money to support the library. Friends of the Library typically operate on a voluntary basis, without an expectation of reward or a returned service, but rather to serve and advocate for the library. According to United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), “Friends extend a library’s capacity through dollar gifts, volunteer and program support, and through advocacy” (Reed, 1). Therefore, it is odd to see unaffiliated patrons classified as Friends of the Library since they are seeking services or resources from the library in return for their membership. This distinction is embodied by the referencing of the cost for borrowing as an “annual donation” for Friends rather than as a fee for resident borrowers.


Community Connection

A contingent of libraries within the UNC system seem to structure their policies based on an understood relationship with or role within the local or regional community. One way this is manifested is in the mission statements of libraries which is the case for Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State, and UNC Charlotte. In their mission statements, they express a commitment to serving, or building their services and resources in light of, the local or regional community. For example, UNC Charlotte’s Atkins Library’s mission statement reads, “Advance teaching, learning, research, innovation, and collaboration for UNC Charlotte and the greater Charlotte community by connecting people with expertise, information, services, technologies, spaces, and experiences” (“Mission, Vision, and Values.”).

Western Carolina’s Hunter Library and Appalachian State’s Belk Library also fall into this category because in their mission statements express support for and

commitment to their universities’ missions which express a special relationship or commitment to the local community or region. Hunter Library’s mission reads, “In support of Western Carolina University’s mission, Hunter Library serves the curricular and research needs of students, faculty, and staff while encouraging academic success, fostering critical thinking, and enriching the community” (“About Hunter Library”).


residents who own property are eligible for a library card. You must be 18 years or older and live in the following counties: Ashe, Avery, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Watauga, Wilkes” (“Community Borrowers and Alumni”).

A&T State’s Bluford Library’s relationship with the local community as it relates to patron services manifests in a different manner. Bluford Library requires that:

Citizens in the community who are not enrolled in secondary school, college or university and who have needs for materials unavailable through the services of the Greensboro Public Library should request a written referral from a librarian at one of the Public Library's locations in order to borrow material at the Bluford Library (“Non-University Borrowers’ Privileges”).

Bluford Library is the only library within the UNC system requiring a referral from a local public library to gain borrowing privileges. This implies a working relationship with the local public library that is not evident in the policies of other UNC institution

libraries. But this policy also implies that the Bluford Library believes it should be an absolute last resort for public, unaffiliated patrons that do not otherwise have access to educational resources.

UNC CH University Libraries’ Trial Period


responsibility of checking out and returning items, which, at face value, is paternalistic to say the least. It is also perplexing that they charge the same amount for that first year even though there is a big difference between a five item check out limit and no limit. One would think that there would at least be a reduced charge for reduced privileges. As previously noted, there could be greater context and reasoning for this trial period that likely makes the policy justifiable in a budgetary sense. But is it worth the less-than-welcoming and presumptive message that it sends to unaffiliated borrowers whose taxes also go towards the funding of the library?

Acknowledgement of Tax Contributions

Notably, UNC Charlotte’s Atkins Library is the only library in the UNC system that explicitly acknowledges that unaffiliated NC citizens have a right to the library as a tax payer:

The J. Murrey Atkins Library is partially supported by state funds and welcomes the public to enjoy a variety of services and resources within the building. The public may get help with research, use books and other materials in the building, and access scholarly articles and other resources through seven designated guest computers. The public may also conduct research with our rare books and archives, which focus on the history of Charlotte (“Friends of Atkins Library”). It is interesting that out of the 15 UNC system academic libraries only one library


public’s role in and access to public, state academic libraries could inspire them to contribute to the libraries individually or advocate for greater funding for state

universities. Instead of seeing unaffiliated patrons as potential liabilities, public academic libraries everywhere, and especially in the UNC system, could benefit from viewing them as untapped advocates and champions for the civic and societal value of library services. Dates, Revisions, and Suggestions for Future Research

The large majority of library policies reviewed for this paper do not include dates of publication or revision. There is also little to no information on the process behind the policies such as how often they are revisited or who is involved in the policy making. It is important to include the dates for user policies so that patrons, administrators, and sister libraries know how recent the policies are, i.e. if they are still relevant and if they have been revisited within a reasonable timeframe. Including and making users aware of this information may also prompt library staff and administrators to revisit policies more often. Because this information is not publicly available and therefore not a part of this research, there is great need and potential for these findings to be expanded on with the addition of contextual information such as interviews with or surveys of library



While the wide range of settings and sizes of the universities and library systems in the UNC system can help explain the variety in policies towards unaffiliated patrons in academic libraries, the lack of uniformity is still concerning considering the tenets of the UNC system and the nature of “public” libraries. One would think that within a system defined by shared statehood, the member libraries would have a similar, if not shared, view of how state residency determines access. The author expected the policies to differ, but more so in level of access rather than by definition of access. The author was

expecting all of the UNC system libraries to determine unaffiliated patron access by NC state citizenship, but that was not the case. North Carolina citizenship, along with geographic importance and identity, plays a strong, but not conclusive, role in

determining access for public patrons as well as for the library’s sense of responsibility for serving the local community.

This is where it would be helpful to have insight from librarians or administrators at each institution to see if there are particular incidents or experiences that have shaped their policy and determinations for access. Such insight would be helpful for not only understanding the relationship between policies across institutions, but also for the relationship, or lack thereof, between university missions and campus library missions when it comes to service to unaffiliated patrons.


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20. Hang Tat Leong, Jack. "Community Engagement – Building Bridges between University and Community by Academic Libraries in the 21st Century" Libri, 63.3 (2013): 220-231. Retrieved 4 Sep. 2019, from doi:10.1515/libri-2013-0017 21. Dube, Miranda. “Academic Library Service to Domestic Violence and Sexual

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23. Albrecht, Steve. “Top 10 Security Risk Factors for Public and Academic Libraries.” Information Today, Inc., Information Today, Inc., June 2018,

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24. Lipinski, Tomas. “Legal Aspects of Patron Conduct and Access in Academic Libraries.” CARLI Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois, CARLI Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois, 16 June 2014, https://www.carli.illinois.edu/sites/files/pub_serv/PSCSecurityForum-Lipinski.pdf.

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27. Keller, Margaret S. Perceptions of Unaffiliated Users In Academic Libraries and Other Issues Associated with This User Group. 2007.



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31. Bobp, Mary Ellen, and Debora Richey. “Serving Secondary Users: Can It Continue?” College & Undergraduate Libraries, vol. 1, no. 2, 1994, pp. 1–16, doi:https://doi-org.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/10.1300/J106v01n02_01.

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Libraries; Community Use-Dealers Choice; Fees and Modified Privileges for Outside Borrowers?; Alumni, Overdue Books, and Interlibrary Loans; Safeguards; Exit Controls and the Statewide Card; The Work of the Public Library Supplementing the Resources of the College Library; Implications for College Libraries." College & Research Libraries [Online], 28.3 (1967): 184-202. Web. 2 Sep. 2019

34. Dole, W. and Hill, J. (2011), "Community users in North American academic libraries", New Library World, Vol. 112 No. 3/4, pp. 141-149. https://doi-org.libproxy.lib.unc.edu/10.1108/03074801111117041

35. Academic Libraries and Community (Non-University) Patrons Florida Library Webinars Led by June Power, Access Services/Reference Librarian for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke


36. Zhang, Sarah. “The Real Cost of Knowledge The University of California Has Broken with One of the World’s Largest Academic Publishers. Is This the End of a Very Profitable Business Model?” The Atlantic, Mar. 2019,


37. Reed, Sally Gardener. “Libraries Need Friends: A Toolkit to Create Friends Groups or to Revitalize the One You Have.” ALA: American Library Association, United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations. , Aug. 2012,


38. William H. Weare Jr. & Matthew Stevenson (2012) Circulation Policies for External Users: A Comparative Study of Public Urban Research Institutions, Journal of Access Services, 9:3, 111-133, DOI: 10.1080/15367967.2012.684563 39. “Library Statistics Program - Academic Libraries.” National Center for Education

Statistics (NCES), National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/libraries/academic.asp.

40. Pelczar, Marisa, et al. “Public Libraries Survey Fiscal Year 2017.” Institute of Museum and Library Services, Institute of Museum and Library Services, June 2019, https://www.imls.gov/sites/default/files/fy2017_pls_tables.pdf.

Policies, Statements, Missions

41. UNC Board of Governors. “Our Mission.” The University of North Carolina System, The University of North Carolina, https://www.northcarolina.edu/About-Our-System/Our-Mission.

42. “Our 17 Campuses.” The University of North Carolina System, The University of North Carolina, https://www.northcarolina.edu/content/our-17-campuses.

43. “Mission Statement.” UNC University Libraries, UNC University Libraries, https://library.unc.edu/about/mission/.

44. “UNC Borrower’s Cards.” UNC University Libraries, UNC University Libraries, https://library.unc.edu/services/circulation/borrowers/.

45. “Borrowing & Loan Policies.” UNC University Libraries, UNC University Libraries, https://library.unc.edu/services/circulation/loans/.

46. UNC Board of Governors. “Mission and Values.” The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014, https://www.unc.edu/about/mission/.

47. “Mission & Vision Statements.” NC State University Libraries, NC State University Libraries, https://lib.ncsu.edu/about-the-libraries/mission. 48. NC State University Board of Trustees, and UNC Board of Governors.

“University Mission.” NC State University, NC State University, 2011, https://leadership.ncsu.edu/university-mission/.

49. “Service Philosophy.” NC State University Libraries, NC State University Libraries, https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/service-philosophy.

50. “Patron Types and ID Required.” NC State University Libraries, NC State University Libraries, https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/borrow/patrontypes.


52. “Mission, Goals and Customer Service Values.” UNC Greensboro, UNC Greensboro, 2018, https://library.uncg.edu/info/mission_statement.aspx. 53. Chancellor Linda P. Brady, and UNC Board of Governors. “The UNCG Vision

and Mission Statement.” UNC Greensboro, UNC Greensboro, 2012, http://www.uncg.edu/inside-uncg/mission/.

54. “Non-UNCG Patrons.” UNC Greensboro, UNC Greensboro,


55. “About: About Us.” Ramsey Library at UNC Asheville, D. Hiden Ramsey Library at UNC Asheville, https://library.unca.edu/about/AboutUs.

56. “About Us: Policies.” Ramsey Library at UNC Asheville, D. Hiden Ramsey Library at UNC Asheville, https://library.unca.edu/about/policies.

57. “About Us: Circulation Policies.” Ramsey Library at UNC Asheville, D. Hiden Ramsey Library at UNC Asheville,


58. “Circulation Periods.” Ramsey Library at UNC Asheville, D. Hiden Ramsey Library at UNC Asheville, http://ramseylibrary.unca.edu/policy/circ_chart.pdf. 59. “Our Mission & Values.” University of North Carolina Asheville, UNC

Asheville, https://www.unca.edu/about/mission-values/.

60. “Policies.” Belk Library and Information Commons, Appalachian State University, https://library.appstate.edu/about/policies.

61. “Community Borrowers and Alumni.” Appalachian State University, Appalachian State University, https://library.appstate.edu/services/community-borrowers-and-alumni.

62. “Mission, Vision and Values.” Appalachian State University, Appalachian State University, https://www.appstate.edu/about/mission-values/.

63. “Mission and Vision.” Appalachian State University, Appalachian State University, 2007, https://library.appstate.edu/about/library-facts-and-planning/mission-and-vision.

64. “North Carolina Resident Borrowers.” University of North Carolina Wilmington, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 2019,

https://library.uncw.edu/policies/north_carolina_resident_borrowers. 65. “Strategic Plan 2016-21.” University of North Carolina Wilmington, UNC


66. Randall Library Faculty. “Mission, Vision, and Values.” University of North Carolina Wilmington, UNC Wilmington, 2018,


67. “About Western Carolina.” Western Carolina University, Western Carolina University, https://www.wcu.edu/discover/index.aspx.

68. “About Hunter Library.” Western Carolina University, Western Carolina University, https://www.wcu.edu/hunter-library/about-hunter-library/.

69. “Hunter Library Circulation.” Western Carolina University, Western Carolina University, https://www.wcu.edu/hunter-library/services/circulation.aspx. 70. “Shepard Library - About Us.” NC Central University, North Carolina Central

University, 2019, http://web.nccu.edu/shepardlibrary/about/about.html. 71. “Libraries.” NC Central University, North Carolina Central University,


72. “NCCU Mission.” NC Central University, North Carolina Central University, https://legacy.nccu.edu/discover/mission.cfm.

73. FSU Board of Trustees. “Our Mission Statement.” Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville State University, 2008,


74. “About.” Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville State University, https://www.uncfsu.edu/library/about.

75. “Circulation Guidelines Borrowing Privileges.” Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville State University, July 2018,


76. “Divisions and Departments.” ECU, East Carolina University, https://library.ecu.edu/about/divisions-and-departments/.

77. Board of Trustees, and Board of Governors. “University Mission.” ECU, East Carolina University, 2014, https://chancellor.ecu.edu/university-mission/. 78. “General Circulation Procedure.” ECU, East Carolina University,

https://library.ecu.edu/services/general-circulation-procedure/#registration. 79. “G.R. Little Library Circulation Policy.” Elizabeth City State University,

Elizabeth City State University,



81. Midgette-Spence, Juanita. “Library Administration.” Elizabeth City State University, Elizabeth City State University,


82. “Mission Statement.” UNC Pembroke, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, https://www.uncp.edu/about/mission-statement.

83. “Mission Statement.” UNC Pembroke, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, https://www.uncp.edu/academics/library/about-library/mission-statement.

84. “Friends of the Library.” UNC Pembroke, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, https://www.uncp.edu/academics/library/about-library/friends-library. 85. “Visitor Information.” UNC University Libraries, UNC University Libraries,


86. “Friends of Atkins Library.” UNC Charlotte, UNC Charlotte, https://library.uncc.edu/friends.

87. “Check Out, Renew, Return.” UNC Charlotte, UNC Charlotte, https://library.uncc.edu/check-out-request/check-out-renew-return. 88. “Mission, Vision, and Values.” UNC Charlotte, UNC Charlotte,

https://library.uncc.edu/about/our-organization/mission-vision-and-values. 89. “About Us.” UNC Charlotte, UNC Charlotte,


90. “Mission and University Values.” Salem State University, Winston-Salem State University,


91. “About O’Kelly.” Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem State

University, https://www.wssu.edu/academics/cg-okelly-library/about-okelly.html. 92. N.C. A&T Board of Trustees, and UNC Board of Governors. “Mission and

Vision.” North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, 2018,


93. “Regulations.” North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University,






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