Texas Tech University


[Moderate revision—posted 9/29/23 (replaces 10/10/14 edition)]
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 Texas Tech University Double T

Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 66.02: Branch Libraries/Archives

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 organization, funding, and management of branch libraries and archives.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in September of even-numbered years by the Dean of Libraries and the Vice Provost for Administrative Affairs with substantive revisions forwarded to the Provost and Senior Vice President.


1.  Definition

A branch library and/or archive is defined as a collection associated with a specific discipline and with quarters separate from the University Library consisting of a collection of information in various formats, a regular staffing level, including a professional librarian or archivist, and an established service schedule. A branch library/archive is administered by the University Library.

Although a library/archive, otherwise defined as a branch library/archive, is to be responsive to the general policies and guidelines set forth, any library/archive at a graduate professional school shall be operated pursuant to all standards appropriate to that professional school. 

2.  Establishment of a Branch Library/Archive

a.    Needs Analysis

A needs analysis shall be made under the direction of the dean/administrative unit of the requesting college or unit to determine if it is in the best interest of the university to establish a branch library/archive. This analysis includes the requirements of the primary clientele as well as those of the entire academic community. Supporting data concerning the following points should accompany the needs analysis.

(1)    Description of the Proposed Branch Library/Archive

A description of the proposed branch library/archive and its services must include:

• The user services to be provided
• Hours of operation
• On-site staffing requirements
• The primary users and their information needs
• The location of the proposed branch in relation to the primary user
• Access to online catalogs
• Security, space, and equipment requirements
• Total development and operating costs, including appropriate financial arrangements

Collection development, administrative organization, and operation plans also must be examined.

(2)    Description of Existing Library/Archive Services

A description of existing library/archive services must contain:

• The information needs of the university, defining both general and special requirements
• The geographic location of the present library/archival facilities in relation to the user locations
• User services, online catalogs, and specialized information/access systems
• Collection development procedures and physical organization of the collection
• Space and equipment requirements
• Growth projections to meet changing times

(3)    Comparative Analysis of Existing and Proposed Library/Archive Services

A comparative analysis of proposed branch services and existing library/archive services must be provided using all of the factors identified in sections 2.a.(1) and 2.a.(2).

b.    Proposal Approval

A branch library/archive proposal containing the needs analysis must have the written approval of the dean or administrative unit. The written proposal will be transmitted to the Dean of Libraries and the PSVP or designee for review.

The Dean of Libraries will evaluate the administrative and financial feasibility of the proposed branch library/archive as well as all other pertinent data. The dean and the PSVP designee will supply a statement of feasibility with a recommendation to the PSVP, who will make the final decision.

3.  General Policies and Guidelines

a.    The university strongly endorses the concept of a centralized library/archive system unless a program needs special services and materials that the University Library cannot provide or provide as well as a branch library/archive.

b.    Management responsibility of all branch library/archival resources rests with the University Libraries' administration. Funds for the establishment of branch libraries/archives must come primarily from the requesting college. Financial arrangements will be negotiated in each case among the PSVP, the relevant college dean, or administrative unit officer, and the Dean of Libraries.

Library/archive services may be utilized most efficiently when all library/archive resources are considered part of one system, with consistent procedures for collection development and consistent policies for user access, accounting, and systems analysis. Centralized planning and direction usually facilitate the most effective use of financial resources allocated for library/archive services. All funds that may be provided for the development of collections, for equipping, or for staffing the libraries/archives in the university shall be administered through the various accounts comprising the overall University Libraries' budgets.

c.    All branch libraries/archives shall be administered by and be a part of the Texas Tech University Libraries. Branch library/archive personnel shall report to the administration of the Texas Tech University Libraries. This relationship should be defined in job descriptions and outlined on organization charts. When a branch library/archive is created, the Dean of Libraries and the college dean or administrative unit designee may jointly form a small committee consisting of library/archive personnel and relevant faculty to maintain ongoing advisory oversight of the branch library/archive.

d.    All holdings, where appropriate, shall become part of the general library bibliographic database and will be reflected in the campus-wide online catalog.

e.    Branch libraries/archives will be formally reviewed and evaluated every five years. For justified reasons, a review at other than the regular period may be initiated by the PSVP, and/or by the Dean of Libraries. The purpose of this review will be to evaluate the collection and services. The evaluation will also determine if this branch library/archive continues to be in the best interest of the university.

Operating Policies & Procedures