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Mission & Governance

Our mission drives us to provide exceptional library services to The Claremont Colleges

Mission Statement

We partner with faculty, students, and staff to provide a vital physical and digital center for research, teaching, learning, and other forms of intellectual engagement at The Claremont Colleges. To fulfill our purpose we:

  • Collaborate with the colleges to advance their educational missions
  • Understand and meet the information needs of faculty, students, and staff
  • Provide our users with seamless and enduring access to the world of knowledge
  • Foster new research at the colleges and make it freely available and easily discoverable to the global community through open access
  • Empower our users to navigate the complexities of the scholarly information landscape to maximize their success
  • Sponsor creative and exciting publications, exhibitions, programs, and events that are designed to stimulate intellectual curiosity, captivate audiences, and lead to new scholarly collaborations
  • Support our innovative librarians and staff to improve advocacy for user needs by continually developing their knowledge, skills, and expertise

Library governance includes three key stakeholder groups: academic administration, faculty, and students. Through the Joint Governance Committee (JGC), the Faculty Library Advisory Committee (FLAC), and the Board of Student Stakeholders (BOSS), the library is routinely engaged in strategic conversations to ensure our mission is successful in supporting The Claremont Colleges through research, teaching, and learning.

Joint Governance Committee

The Joint Governance Committee provides strategic oversight of library programs, services, and collections. The committee consists of the president and chief academic officer of each member institution. The Chief Executive Officer of the CUC and the Dean of the Library will be non-voting members. It meets at least three times per academic year, usually in conjunction with a meeting of the Council of Presidents, to consider or act on strategic matters relating to the library.

Faculty Library Advisory Council

The Faculty Library Advisory Committee (FLAC) serves under the charge of the Academic Deans Committee (ADC) to provide input and feedback regarding the current and future activities of The Claremont Colleges Library. FLAC provides guidance to the library on faculty and student research, teaching, and learning needs. By strengthening relationships, collaboration, and communication between the library and the faculty, FLAC seeks to promote the value of the library to the colleges.

Board of Student Stakeholders

The Board of Student Stakeholders (BOSS) is a committee of Claremont Colleges students who meet monthly to provide input on library services, policies, collections, spaces, programming, and technology. Members of BOSS provide feedback on current library initiatives, and serve as ambassadors and advocates for the Library across the 7Cs. They work together every year to complete a $3000 library improvement project of their choice.

Why are we VIT@L?

An image of the library's brand logo.

“Vital” suggests that the library is necessary and lively; crucial and energetic. The colors are those of the seven colleges the library serves, plus The Claremont Colleges Services, of which it is a part. The colors are arranged in ascending order by date of the college’s founding, from the most recent (Keck Graduate Institute) to the oldest (Pomona College). The V suggests an open book, the universal symbol of knowledge; V is followed by IT, the acronym for information technology; then @, the standard precursor to an electronic address; and L, indicative of the library. In short, users can find a wealth of analog and digital resources, services, and programs at their Vital Library.

Core Values

Our Core Values explain why we take such pride in our work. They are the source of our passion, energy, professionalism, and productivity. These commonly shared values guide everything we do.

The library user is at the heart of everything we do. We collaborate with faculty, students, staff, and other researchers and learners to understand and meet their information needs.
We advocate for, support, and further intellectual freedom while respecting and celebrating differences of identity, experience, and perspective.
We are a visionary, learning organization. We explore advances that enhance the user experience and engage in creative solutions to maximize our collective resources.
We are partners with The Claremont Colleges in their educational missions and strive to advance excellence in research, teaching, and learning.
We are committed to developing independent and critical thinking throughout The Claremont Colleges by encouraging and promoting sophisticated information and digital literacy skills.
We are a vital center for intellectual engagement at the heart of The Claremont Colleges.
We encourage intellectual curiosity and enable discovery by providing guidance and access to the universe of information resources.
We carefully manage our resources and services to provide The Claremont Colleges with enduring access to the world of knowledge.
Strategic Plan

The library’s strategic direction through the year 2020 is built on seven strategic initiatives designed to transform the current organization into our Next Generation Library. The seven initiatives include:

  • Fully align our resources and services to the colleges’ educational and research missions
  • Expand the universe of discoverable information and create new pathways to knowledge
  • Empower confident, critical, and creative information users and producers
  • Establish the Next Generation Library as the vital center for intellectual engagement and academic community building at The Claremont Colleges
  • Contribute substantially to faculty and student success and the distinction of the colleges
  • Cultivate and manage information resources, services, physical and virtual spaces, and human resources within a sustainable financial model
  • Partner with the colleges and The Claremont Colleges Services to determine, attain, and sustain the funding required for this plan to succeed
Commitment to Privacy

The Claremont Colleges Library is committed to protecting the privacy of all library users in accordance with the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights and Code of Ethics. The library has policies in place to ensure that we “protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.” (ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom).

The library also has procedures in place to enact these policies. The library will continuously assess and amend procedures as technology and legal changes arise.

The library may store personally identifiable information in its computer systems including, but not limited to, the integrated library management system, in order to perform essential tasks such as facilitating circulation of materials and providing access to online resources. We do not archive or otherwise maintain the borrowing history of our users in our main library system.

The library collects anonymized data on user behavior and usage of information resources in order to best serve our community of scholars. We are committed to ensuring that our external vendors and other partners protect the privacy of our users.

In accordance with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. 1861, as amended by the USA PATRIOT ACT (Public Law 107-56), the library may be obligated to release personally identifiable information to federal law enforcement agents, if requested. This same law prohibits the library from informing individuals if such a request has been made. We endeavor to have no personally identifiable information to release.

Use of the library’s website and linked information resources implies agreement with this policy

Our History

The dedication of Carnegie Library, Smiley Hall, and Brackett Observatory was held as one ceremony in 1908 during Pomona College’s twentieth year. Perhaps the most significant of the three was the Carnegie Library, funded by a grant from Andrew Carnegie’s library building program with matching funds raised by a trustee-led campaign, because it signaled the college’s growing maturity. At its opening, Carnegie housed approximately 8,000 books drawn together from campus locations; by 1923 library holdings numbered 40,0002 (with thousands more distributed among several departmental libraries) including significant special collections. In 1925, Willis Kerr was hired as Carnegie Librarian; his recruitment was consequential for future library development for the consortium…

Continue reading the full brief history of the Libraries of the Claremont Colleges by downloading our included PDF.

History provided by Carrie Marsh, Director of Special Collections and Libraries

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