Texas Tech University


[Major revision–posted 9/29/23 (replaces 10/16/13 edition)]
[PDF Version]

 Texas Tech University Double T

Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 66.01: Texas Tech University Libraries

DATE: September 29, 2023

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to ensure understanding and a standardized approach to matters relating to the Libraries.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in September of odd-numbered years by the Dean of Libraries, the Vice Provost for Administrative Affairs, and the Vice Provost for Faculty Success with substantive revisions presented to the Provost and Senior Vice President (PSVP).


1.  Mission and Vision

Through individualized service, the Texas Tech University Libraries connect users with resources that advance intellectual inquiry and discovery. The Texas Tech University Libraries will have the resources necessary to offer uncompromising service, be a research library of international stature, enhance the reputation of the university and the value of education, and be a key component in the intellectual life of the university.

2.  Values

The values of the Libraries are:

  • learning
  • service
  • accountability
  • collaboration
  • mutual respect
  • initiative

3.  Description

a.   The Libraries are members of the Texas Digital Library; Association of Research Libraries; Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), an international bibliographic network; Amigos Library Services, a seven-state regional network; TexShare, Texas Institutions of Higher Education; the Greater Western Library Alliance; and the Ex Libris Users of North America. These memberships facilitate cataloging, communication, and resource sharing.

b.   An online catalog provides bibliographic and circulation information for collections of the Libraries. The online catalog and other electronic collections and services can be accessed from any library workstation or any networked computer anywhere in the world.

c.    In addition to the online catalog, the Libraries' website provides access to many bibliographic and full-text databases, electronic books, and journals. It is also used in the transmission of document delivery requests, and it provides news and information about the Libraries. TTU Libraries will serve TTU's students, staff, and faculty anywhere and at any time.

d.    The University Library collections include materials in support of curriculum and research in the colleges, departments, and centers at Texas Tech University. The University Library is a regional depository for U.S. government documents, U.S. patents and trademarks, and Texas state documents.

e.    Some study carrels are available for individual assignment to faculty, graduate students working on theses and dissertations, as well as undergraduate students. Group study rooms are also available via the online reservation system on the Libraries' website. Six hour study carrels are available for check out at the service desks.

4.  Policies and Procedures for Using the Libraries

a.    Access Services Department

Circulation of books and other material varies, depending on the type of material, the location, and the type of user. Materials such as rare books, reference books, current periodicals, and some U.S. government documents have restrictions on circulation. Materials in the main collection circulate for loan periods based on patron classification. Undergraduate students and staff have a three-week loan period, graduate students and students in the Honors College receive a semester loan, and faculty have a loan period that ends in May of each year. Valid student IDs function as library cards. Faculty and staff use their Tech ID to enable library services. 

The faculty/staff family library card may be issued at the Circulation Desk by making the request. This privilege is extended to the families of all staff and faculty at the rank of full-time instructor and above. Items borrowed by family members may be loaned for a three-week loan period.

Materials may also be borrowed by students and faculty at Wayland Baptist University, South Plains College, and Lubbock Christian University. Community users may also borrow materials after registering.

Most loaned items may be renewed.

The reserve service provides a convenient way for students to access materials selected by faculty for class use. Some materials can be scanned and made available on the Libraries' website. Reserve items include library-owned materials, faculty copies of books or articles, and samples of previous exams and class assignments. Pick-up and delivery services are available for faculty-owned copies.

Students, faculty, and staff have access to materials not owned by Texas Tech through the Document Delivery unit. Materials in remote storage may also be accessed. Document Delivery processes requests for materials that are owned and not owned by the Libraries. Books not owned usually can be obtained within a week, and journal articles can generally be transmitted within 48 hours. Document Delivery materials are delivered twice a day to faculty offices Monday through Friday at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Most Document Delivery materials will be delivered electronically. Requests can be submitted using the Document Delivery webpages. There are no charges for items acquired through Document Delivery.

Faculty borrowing privileges include a loan period that ends in May of each year. A renewal-bymail service is offered to faculty. Faculty privilege is extended to all faculty at the rank of full-time instructor and above.

The University Library also provides a delivery service for library-owned books and journal articles. Faculty can place a delivery request via the Document Delivery website. Requests for materials not owned by the library are automatically referred to the Document Delivery unit. Any Texas Tech University member with an active eRaider can request items.

The University Library provides a delivery and pick-up service for materials loaned out to faculty and for faculty-owned materials for class reserve use.

For DMS materials see http://library.ttu.edu/services/technology/dms/policies.php.

Disabled persons requiring special assistance should contact any service desk. The Libraries follow guidelines set forth by Student Disability Services and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

b.    Acquisition of Library Materials

Research, Instruction & Outreach librarians work closely with faculty and students to build and manage collections to support the teaching and research mission of the university.

The Libraries also acquire current materials through diverse means such as an approval plan that covers books recently published in the U.S. and some foreign countries, through vendors of electronic products, and through individual orders.

Periodicals and other serials are reviewed on a regular basis for both cancellations and subscription decisions.

c.    Information Access and Assistance

The service desks are prepared to assist with both general and specific research questions. Subject librarians are assigned as liaisons to each academic program on campus, and they consult with faculty and students for research projects, theses, and dissertations. Questions are answered online via chat, e-mail, or in person.

Electronic databases, online indexes, full-text e-journals, e-books, and e-documents can be accessed in the Libraries, on campus, and by remote access. Special formats (microforms, newspapers, current periodicals, government documents, patents and trademarks, maps, geographic information systems data, and science data sets) are also available.

Information literacy instruction includes a one-credit course (LIBR 1100), general database demonstrations, subject-specific classroom instruction, workshops, and individual instruction and research assistance.

Services to University College mirror those available to on-campus students, except when restrained by legal contracts and licenses.

d.    Special Collections

The Libraries hold numerous special collections, which, due to their unique nature, require restricted use and handling. Because these collections consist of original materials, circulation is not permitted.

(1)   Southwest Collection: Located in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, the Southwest Collection serves as both the university archive and as a regional repository of historical information pertaining to the American Southwest. Use inquiries should be addressed to Southwest Collection staff. Portions of this collection can be accessed online at http://swco.ttu.edu.

(2)    Rare Books/Special Collections: Located in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, the Rare Books/Special Collections unit is composed of several categories of rare books and manuscript materials dating from 1493. Use inquiries should be addressed to staff.

(3)    Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative: Located in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, the Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative functions as one of the world's primary repositories of traditional Turkish folk tales. The archive can be accessed online at http://aton.ttu.edu.

(4)   University Archives: Located in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library, the University Archives collects, preserves, and makes available materials pertaining to the history of the Texas Tech University System. It also oversees the university's records management program. An overview of its holdings and resources can be accessed at http://swco.ttu.edu/University_Archive/mainpage.php.

(5)   The James Sowell Family Collection in Literature, Community, and the Natural World contains the personal papers of award-winning contemporary American writers whose work deals with the natural world, the significance of communities, and questions of social justice. In addition to published books, materials available for research include correspondence, drafts of manuscripts, research notebooks, diaries, calendars, photographs, and film. A complete list of writers in the Sowell Collection can be found on the website www.swco.ttu.edu/Sowell/SowellCollectionSWC.php.

e.    Architecture Library

The Architecture Library is a branch of the University Libraries. Located in the Architecture Building, the collection primarily includes books, journals, and media on architecture-related materials, including design, urban planning, drawing, and construction. The Architecture Library continues to develop and maintain an architecture digital image collection for instruction and study. The Architecture Library offers full service for circulation, reserve, and reference. A broad range of library instruction classes and workshops are offered from the freshman to the graduate level.

5.  Goals

a.    Public Services

TTU Libraries provide public services such as circulation, interlibrary loan, research assistance, and a one-hour for-credit course. The Libraries strive for interactions between employees and users to be positive and productive.


  • Provide exemplary library services to the TTU community and beyond.
  • Create library-wide online resources such as datasets, dashboards, and libguides to meet the growing needs of users and allow for access for a greater number of users.
  • Outreach to departments and colleges at TTU to provide instruction to students and faculty and obtain input from students and faculty on resources and collections to enhance and complement scholarship/research endeavors.

b.    Support Services

Support services at TTU Libraries ensure the continual access and awareness of library systems, services, and materials.


  • Conduct ongoing assessments of current systems, services, and collections through user experience, system testing, surveys, and discussions to provide the highest quality resources and experience for library users.
  • Accessibility to library website and services.
  • Create awareness campaigns with marketing and outreach materials to promote new and continuing library services.

c.    Technology Services

The TTU Libraries provide current technology to the TTU community. As technology services evolve, the TTU Libraries ensure that users have access to the latest services available and continue to look at technology trends as they develop.


  • Provide timely, cutting-edge technology for users.
  • Facilitate partnerships to ensure TTU Libraries are able to provide cutting-edge services to TTU community.
  • Provide access to library resources and collections to all TTU Libraries users via online accessibility.

d.    Library as Place/Facilities

Library as Place/Facilities provides study spaces, labs and studios, space for events and exhibits and more.


  • Transform Libraries' buildings/Spaces to meet the changing needs of education and research.
  • Create more learning spaces for users.
  • Enhance current study areas.
  • Secure offsite storage.

e.    Professional Development

Professional development at the TTU Libraries encourages a continual learning environment.


  • Provide ongoing professional development opportunities for all library employees to refine and enhance knowledge and trends in libraries.


Operating Policies & Procedures