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About Us

These guidelines cover services provided in the HCC libraries and electronic resource centers. Please contact the librarian or circulation staff on duty with questions or concerns. You may also use our online comment form.

  • 1.001 Librarians' Forum
  • 1.002 Library Council
  • 1.003 Standing Committees
  • 1.004 Records Management (in progress)

1.001 Librarians' Forum

1.001.1 Mission

The mission of the Librarians Forum at Houston Community College is to support the institution's commitment to excellence through the creation, implementation, and maintenance of quality library programs. At HCCS, the Librarians Forum exists to ensure coherence and excellence across the System.

1.001.2 Membership

All full time librarians working anywhere within the HCC System shall, meeting together, constitute the Librarians Forum

1.001.3 Meetings

The Librarians Forum will meet a minimum of two times a year. The meetings will coincide with the Instructional Day scheduled for the period just prior to the beginning of the Fall Semester and just prior to the beginning of the Spring Semester. When possible, meetings will take place at the same location as the Instructional Day.

Additional meetings may be scheduled as the need arises or to address specific professional issues.

1.001.4 Organization of the Meetings

The Executive Director, Library Services will host the Librarian Forum meeting. The Executive Director, Library Services will be responsible for scheduling a room for the meeting, assembling an agenda, based on input from all full time librarians, chairing the meeting, and having minutes of the meeting taken and distributed.

1.001.5 Duties and Responsibilities

The Librarians Forum will address issues that are of common concern across the system. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Library Mission Statement
  • Electronic Subscriptions
  • Circulation Policy and Procedure
  • Collection Development Policy and Procedure
  • Distance Education
  • Hubbed Programs
  • HCCS Libraries Homepage
  • Library Program Review
  • Library Instruction, including competencies, online orientations and outcome measures

1.001.6 Consensus

The Librarians Forum will attempt to reach consensus on any issue before it, but if consensus is not reached, a formal vote may be taken. Consensus is defined as general agreement among the librarians present, with those in disagreement willing to abide by the decision of the majority.

Decisions made by the Librarians Forum will be presented as recommendations to the Library Council for formal action and implementation.

1.002 Library Council


The College Library Directors, the District Director, and the Executive Director meet together on a regular basis to discuss and make decisions effecting policy and procedure across the system.


Decisions are reached based on a consensus of the members, however, if it is not possible to reach a consensus a vote may be taken.


To be implemented, four of the six members must approve any policy which effects both public and support services, and four of the five college directors must approve any policy or procedure that affects only the public services functions of the libraries.


At least four members must be present for action to be taken that affects both technical and public services and four college directors must be present to vote on issues affecting public services.


Proxy votes are not recognized.


Meetings are held at various sites throughout the system.


The District director coordinates the meetings and is responsible for scheduling a meeting room, establishing an agenda from input from all members and publishing minutes of the meeting.


The areas, which usually require decisions from this group include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Collection Development Policy
  • Circulation Policy and Procedure
  • Library Program Review
  • Library Automation
  • Electronic Subscriptions
  • Bibliographic Instruction Outcomes
  • Library Home and Web Pages
  • SACS and THECB Accreditation issues
  • TIF and Title V Issues (and other grant opportunities that may present themselves)

1.003 Standing Committees

Library Council has established a number of committees of librarians, and when appropriate support staff, from throughout the system who work on various issues and present their findings and recommendations to the group for final action and implementation.

The following committees have been established:

  • 1.003.1 Circulation Policy & Procedure
  • 1.003.2 Library Instruction
  • 1.003.3 Library Training Academy Committee
  • 1.003.4 Unused
  • 1.003.5 Unused
  • 1.003.6 Marketing & PR Committee
  • 1.003.7 Database Committee
  • 1.003.8 Web Committee
  • 1.003.9 Library Online Learning

1.003.3 Library Training Academy Committee Mission

The Houston Community College Library Training Academy (LTA) exists to provide professional development opportunities for all HCC library staff, enabling them to successfully support students and faculty throughout the HCC System and through learner-centered experiences. The mission of the LTA is to meet the directives set forth each academic year by the Executive Library Director, and identify professional development training opportunities on diverse topics and on diverse platforms.

1.003.6 Marketing & Public Relations Committee Mission

The HCC Library Marketing-Public Relations (MPR) Committee is comprised of HCC librarians who seek to promote awareness of the myriad of services and learning resources available through HCC Libraries. Innovative marketing approaches will be researched and used to encourage increased usage of the excellent online and in-person resources provided by our academic librarians and library staff.

1.003.7 Database Committee Mission

To coordinate the selection, organization and evaluation of a collection of databases that supports the courses and degrees offered, and to facilitate access to those resources. Scope

Establishes and implements standards and procedures for the selection and evaluation of the HCC library databases and facilitates access to those resources. Responsibilities
  • The ultimate responsibility for the Library database selections rests with the Library Council.
  • To promote the use of the online databases to the library staff and to HCC students, faculty, and staff.
  • To initiate, review, and coordinate database trials.
  • To provide a variety of methods for faculty and students to have input into the selection of databases.
  • To recommend changes to the selection of databases to the Library Council for approval. Goals
  • To maintain and distribute usage statistics.
  • To develop a method or instrument for the evaluation of trial Databases.
  • To solicit feedback pertaining to the various databases.
  • To compile, summarize and distribute findings to librarians/faculty.
  • To recommend the selection of databases.
  • To assist in the development of instructional materials concerning the use of databases.
  • To coordinate and develop training for the use of databases.
  • To facilitate ease of access to databases.
  • To monitor spending as it relates to the databases included in the Educational Software budget. Membership

Library Directors appoint at least one member per college whose term shall expire only by negotiation with the Library Directors.

1.003.8 Web Committee Mission

To develop and maintain a current, interactive, and easily navigable HCC libraries web site that supports and enhances the Library mission by delivering access to information resources, library use instruction, staff assistance, and library services to HCC students, faculty, and staff, and to non-HCC library patrons when appropriate.

This mission statement was updated 03/01/2018. Scope

The Web Committee establishes and implements standards and procedures for the HCC libraries web pages. Responsibilities
  • Ultimate responsibility for the Library web page rests with Library Council.
  • The Web Committee is responsible for recommending policies and standards for Library web pages to Library Council, and for soliciting system-wide input concerning Library web development and maintenance.
  • The Web Committee is responsible for coordinating web development and maintenance activities of all Library committees and individuals.
  • The Web Committee provides oversight of the library web and reviews pages for adherence to the policies, procedures, and standards set forth in this document and for compliance with HCC Brand Standards and with HCC Web Guidelines.
  • The Web Committee is responsible for assisting content creators in meeting these standards, policies, and procedures, and mediating policy and procedure issues among authors and groups. Goals
  • To promote development and maintenance of the library web site to meet all present and future needs.
  • To evaluate to what degree the HCC Library Web meets the needs of our community of users.
  • To solicit input from our community of users and to take suggestions and concerns into account during site maintenance and design activities. Membership

Library Council has appointed at least one member per college whose term shall expire only by negotiation with the Library Director. Library Web Standards

All recommendations for maintenance and development to the Library Web will be evaluated according to the following criteria: General & Legal
  • Pages must contain current and accurate information
  • Pages must provide information that is equally accessible to all members of the HCC community of users.
  • Pages must be identified as official publications of Houston Community College, and as HCC Library pages.
  • Pages must include a copyright statement. Content

The following elements are required content for each HCC library web page:

  • Relevant and descriptive title tag in the format: [title of page], HCC libraries
  • Contact and feedback information as listed in the Feedback section, below
  • Date of last update
  • Link to HCC libraries homepage
  • Library resources, information, instruction, and research assistance only. Individuals' pages related to these purposes are permitted.

The following elements are suggested:

  • Dublin Core header
  • Relevant metadata keywords
  • Annotations to resources Design
  • Design pages with header and footer elements standardized across all related pages. Maintain a standard page layout and navigation method throught related pages. Build alternatives into designs that require non-standard elements or techniques.
  • Design pages that draw attention to the content rather than the design.
  • Provide easy-to-use navigation among related pages.
  • Avoid excessive use of frames.
  • Avoid excessive use of click-throughs.
  • Design pages that load quickly. Minimize the file size and number of images displayed on any one page.
  • Use simple and direct language.
  • Use a consistent style or presentation for related pages.
  • Comply with our adopted W3C standard.
  • Use colors, styles and fonts that complement each other.
  • Make pages compatible and operable with a wide variety of browsers, browser settings, display settings, and operating systems.
  • Avoid pages with too little content.
  • Use consistent headings and subheadings to organize the content.
  • Pages should be clear and uncluttered.
  • Use of the 216 "browser safe" colors is preferable.
  • When referring to a document available on the Web, make it a link. Avoid using click here.
  • Write minimum text in lists or menus.
  • Be sparing in the use of bold, italics, etc. Accessibility

The HCC Library Web Committee has adopted the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 W3C Recommendation (WCAG 2.0) as the primary guideline to meet the objectives of the agency's Accessibility policy. These guidelines explain how to make Web content accessible to people with disabilities. The guidelines are intended for all Web content developers and site designers. The primary goal is to promote accessibility. However, following them will also make Web content more available to all users (e.g., browser, wireless phone, etc.). These guidelines do not discourage content developers from using images, video, etc., but rather explain how to make multimedia content more accessible to a wide audience.

Agency webmasters should try to achieve WCAG Conformance Level "AAA" using the full checklist of W3C guidelines.

  • Universal Design
    • Include a document type declaration (DOCTYPE) in your web pages. This declares what version of HTML you are using in your documents, and assists the browser in rendering your pages correctly.
    • Avoid the use of HTML tags or extensions which are supported by only one browser.
    • Use headings, lists, and consistent structure.
    • Avoid the unnecessary use of icons, graphics and photographs. Note: This will also facilitate access to users of non-graphical browsers or slow Internet connections.
    • Check web pages and images at different monitor resolutions, monitor sizes and color depth settings.
    • Use plain backgrounds and simple layouts to improve the readability of text.
    • Ensure that foreground and background color combinations provide sufficient contrast when viewed by someone having color deficits or when viewed on a black and white screen.
    • Maintain a standard page layout and navigation method throughout the web site.
    • Do not abbreviate dates; for example, use December 1, 2000 rather than 12/1/00.
    • Ensure that dynamic content is accessible or provide an alternative presentation or page.
    • Until user agents allow users to freeze moving content, avoid movement in pages.
    • Test your web pages with a variety of web technologies; including ,but not limited to, graphical browsers with the images turned off, browsers with JavaScript disabled, a text based browser, using only your keyboard, and using assistive
    • technology.
  • Text-Based Design (To be removed)
    • Avoid using side by side presentation of text, for example, columns and tables.
    • End all sentences, headers, list items, etc. with a period or other suitable punctuation.
    • All on line forms must be accessible!
    • Avoid/Limit the use of bitmap images of text, unless a textual alternative is also provided.
    • Consider using numbers instead of bullets to help the user to remember items.
    • Provide meaningful and descriptive text for hyperlinks, don't use short hand, e.g. "click here"; instead "Follow this link to our News Page". (Screen readers can search specifically for linked text, "click here" provides no indication of where the link will take them.)
    • If documents are provided in a specialized format (e.g. PDF (Portable Document Format) , etc.) provide the equivalent text in HTML or plain text format.
  • Graphics and Images
    • Keep the number of colors in your pages to a minimum.
    • Minimize the file size and number of images you display on any one page.
    • Design your background image at the lowest color depth and resolution you can.
    • Ensure that text can always be clearly read at any location against the background.
    • Avoid/Limit using image maps.
    • Use the ALT tag attribute with image files to provide meaningful text for all images/pictures. Note: null (alt="") for simple images (e.g., a dot or bullet).
  • Audio/Visual Features
    • Provide text transcriptions of all video clips.
    • If possible include captions or text tracts with a description or sounds of the movie.
    • Provide descriptive passages about speakers and events being shown through video clips.
    • Give a written description of any critical information that is contained in audio files contained on your website.
    • If you link to an audio file, inform the user of the audio file format and file size in kilobytes. Maintenance
  • Pages shall be designed so that no non-standard software is required to perform routine updates to links or text
  • Content shall be reviewed for currency and accuracy, and updated as necessary at least once per semester
  • Authors shall link-check their pages at least once per semester, and update or remove any broken links
  • User comments requiring maintenance to any page shall be addressed by the author in a timely manner by updating the information as appropriate and by thanking the user for commenting, if the user's email address is known Feedback

Pages must contain links to

  • HCC Libraries Web Committee contact information
  • An anonymous contact form
  • Individual contact information where appropriate
  • Ask a Librarian

Periodic and ad-hoc surveys may be utilized as tools to evaluate the effectiveness of the HCC Library Web. Web counter and analyzer software may be utilized to gather information concerning the use of HCC Library web pages.

1.003.9 Library Online Learning Committee Mission

The Library Online Learning Committee delivers expert learning and research support in online environments, using the most relevant, high quality, and accessible resources and services.

This mission statement was updated on 02/27/2018.

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