Mission Statement

The Irvine Sullivan Ingram Library supports the mission of the institution and the changing needs of the University through its collections and services. The Ingram Library selects and manages its resources in order to support the broad educational mission of the University and to provide its large and diverse community of students, faculty and staff with access to recorded information. Collection development directly supports the University instruction, research, and public service responsibilities which include curriculum related instruction, extracurricular learning, research, and other campus educational objectives.

General Policies

As the institution continues to grow, the policy of the Technical Services team will be to purchase and make available the necessary materials to accommodate growth to support the programs that are added or expanded, especially when it comes to graduate research. The library collects materials in all formats in order to offer the proper research materials for the programs offered by the university.

Selection Criteria

Collection development decisions are based on both objective data and the subjective judgments of library faculty, department liaisons, and in consultation with academic departments. Discipline-specific differences in instruction, research, and reliance on library materials must be considered. Objective data to be considered include financial resources available, programs and courses offered, publishing output, enrollment, circulation of materials, interlibrary loans, and comparison with standard bibliographies.

The Ingram Library supports the statements on collection development contained within the "Standards for College Libraries" adopted by the American Library Association's Association of College and Research Libraries.  Since accrediting agencies, such as the Southern Association, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, generally use these standards to evaluate library collections, it is important that the library use these resources as a matter of consistency.

The Ingram Library recognizes that the free access to ideas and full freedom of expression are fundamental to the educational process. The Library will attempt to purchase materials which represent a wide variety of viewpoints on religious, political, sexual, social, economic, scientific, and moral issues. To this end, the Library subscribes to and complies with the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and its accompanying statement of interpretation including, but not limited to statements on Intellectual Freedom, the Freedom to Read, Freedom to View, Access to Electronic Information, Services and Networks, Challenged Materials, and Statement on Labeling.

The Library does not add or withdraw, at the request of any individual or group, material which has been chosen or excluded on the basis of stated selection criteria. An individual or group questioning the appropriateness of material within the collection will be referred to the Dean of University Libraries.

The American Library Association's Code of Ethics states that "Librarians must protect each user's right to privacy with respect to information sought, received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired. In addition to Ingram Library adheres to the American Library Association's "Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records" and "Confidentiality of Library Users." Confidentiality is also protected under Georgia law.  Official Code of Georgia, Annotated, Paragraph 24-9-46.

The Ingram Library complies fully with all of the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law (17 U.S.C.) and its amendments. The Library strongly supports the Fair Use section of the Copyright Law (17 U.S.C. 107) which permits and protects citizens' rights to reproduce and make other uses of copyrighted works for the purposes of teaching, scholarship and research.

Budgeting and Allocations

The allocation formula includes information which is ascertained for each academic department. Specific information includes number of undergraduate majors, number of graduate majors, number of faculty and number of different courses taught by the department as listed in the University catalog.  We track how programs are growing from data supplied by UWG’s Institutional Research Panel.

Requesting materials

There are two ways for students and faculty to request materials. There is an online form located on the library’s Online Contact Form page.

This online form allows a requestor to choose “Item the library should purchase” from a drop-down menu. This generates an email with the information to a departmental email address that gets checked several times a week.  If users prefer to just send an email, those can be sent to acqdept@westga.edu. This is the method of requesting all material, regardless of format.

Faculty Publishing

It is a general policy to order one copy of a book that has been published by a member of the UWG faculty.  In some cases, we will order two copies; one will go on the shelf and will be available for check out, the second copy will be a part of Special Collections. 

Buying materials for faculty research

As a general policy we will not purchase materials strictly for a specific faculty member’s research, but we reserve the right to make that decision on a case-by-case basis.

Last Copy in USG

In the case of possible titles for discard, the department will look to see if other copies exist within the USG.  The Ingram Library may decide to retain a copy of a possible discard if there are no other copies available from any USG schools.  In some cases, the last copy that exists among the USG libraries will be sent to the University of Georgia so one copy exists for the purpose of interlibrary loan. 

Policies by Format


The library adds to the book collection in a variety of ways.  This includes both Firm Orders and Standing Orders; the library also has an Approval Plan with its primary book distributor.  The funds requested for a fiscal year for any kind of book order is primarily based on the budget that we spent the previous fiscal year.  While this is just one part of the allocation formula, the Acquisitions team will make adjustments to the amount of money we request for book buying based on information that we get from our various publishing partners.

Book buying for the benefit of the individual academic departments occurs in several ways.  The Acquisitions department has a General Fund that we use for a significant portion of Firm Order purchases, especially for titles that are interdisciplinary.  Each academic unit also has a designated amount that the faculty gets to spend at their discretion in order to support current class curriculum; DVD and multimedia materials can be requested with book buying funds.  The Ingram Library has a liaison program and each liaison has their own budget that is used to enhance research materials in their given field in order to help grow the collection.   

Due to small print runs or hard-to-find materials, it is not uncommon that we have to purchase a used title.  In these cases, we search for the title in a variety of ways in order to find the best possible copy for the most competitive price.   


The serials collection at the Ingram Library is available in print, electronic or microfilm/micro card.  In some cases, there will be overlap between formats.  Some of our vendors offer beneficial pricing for online and print access to research material, and the department is responsible for making the final decision on dual formats based on budgetary concerns and the needs of the academic departments.  The Acquisitions department uses the service of a subscription agent. In the cases when a subscription isn’t available through an agent, we will commit to a direct subscription in order to offer the material to students and faculty.  During times of budgetary restraint, the department will make an informed decision about which serial titles can be cut by looking at any available usage statistics and whether certain titles are no longer needed due to the changes within an academic unit. Library liaisons are also asked to be a part of the decision making process when we need to make cuts to the serial offerings.  Due to some issues with available space for items in print, the department reserves the right to convert a print subscription to electronic access only. 

Electronic Resources

The Ingram Library offers several hundred databases for student and faculty research. These resources include aggregated journal/serial content, newspaper collections, eBooks, and historical artifacts and documents that have been digitized. Our electronic resources are licensed in accordance with the purchasing regulations of the Board of Regents and in conjunction with the University of West Georgia’s Office of Business and Financial Services and University Counsel. Our resources are available to all who are on campus and within our IP range, and any resources that are available off campus are password protected.

The possible selection of an electronic resource is sometimes referred to the Electronic Resources Committee. The committee is comprised of three people: the Head of the Technical Services department, one member of the Instructional Services team, and the departmental liaison for which the content would benefit most. The committee votes on a recommendation, and a final report is drafted by the Head of Technical Services for the Dean and Associate Dean of Libraries. 

Theses and Dissertations

The library is responsible for the binding of theses and dissertations. One copy of every thesis and dissertation will be kept in the general collection and made available for circulation. The library makes no other decisions regarding the number of bound copies needed. It is the responsibility of the student to assess how many copies they will need to print.