Institute for Christian Teaching

Education Department of Seventh-day Adventists



















Keith Clouten


Library Director

Canadian Union College

College Heights, Alberta, Canada





Prepared for the

Tenth Faith and Learning Seminar

held at Union College

Lincoln, Nebraska

June 1992


099- 92 Institute for Christian Teaching

12501 Old Columbia Pike

Silver Spring, MD 20904, USA



            The Library's role in the secular four-year liberal arts college is clearly defined and well understood, as it has been for decades. Ask just about any college professor or president, and he will tell you that the library is at the center of the institution, the beating heart of the academic organism. Ask any college librarian, and she will point you to an impressive bibliography of books and articles defining the role and supporting philosophy of the four-year campus library.

Visit the library of any Seventh-day Adventist college in North America and you may conclude that it fits comfortably into the secular role and philosophy. Apart from noticing a small "Spirit of Prophecy" collection and directional signs to a "Heritage Room" where most Adventist publications are sequestered, you will notice that the library resembles that of a typical secular liberals arts college, and discover that the library is evaluated by the same standards that are applied to secular campuses. Adventist institutions appear fairly comfortable with this situation, perhaps because there has not been a serious attempt to define a unique framework and philosophy for their campus libraries.

Should it make a difference that the campus is Seventh-day Adventist? Does the library of an Adventist college or university have a unique role? The question does not appear to have been addressed in the rather sparse literature on Adventist libraries and librarianship.

It is the purpose of this paper to probe this question and explore the role and particular features which should characterize the library of a four-year Seventh-day Adventist liberal arts college.

The Adventist Environment

The Adventist church had its origin in the Millerite movement during the first half of the nineteenth century. The movement was concentrated in the northeastern corner of the United States, the region known as New England, where the legacy of the pilgrim settlement was still evident in the religious fervor of the population.

It comes as no surprise that the combined influences of Puritanism, pietism and Wesleyan perfectionism among the first generation of Seventh-day Adventists was strong, shaping behavior, attitudes, and mores.1 That influence is seen even today in the strictness of Sabbath observance, in staunchly defended moral standards governing Adventist life in areas such as dress and adornment, theater attendance, and recreation.

Ellen White was a product of this same environment, and the numerous references in her writings to the selection of reading matter, especially the reading of novels, reflects the typical attitudes of her time. As a matter of fact, she is hardly more outspoken on this subject than her seriously minded contemporaries, such as those who contributed letters and articles to early volumes of The Library Journal.2 However, the topic of fiction and appropriate reading continues to be a source of debate and misunderstanding within segments of the Adventist church today.

Ellen White's inspired counsels and instructions on education had a major influence on the establishment and growth of the church's remarkable system of education, kindergarten through graduate level. Worldwide, education became a major feature of the work and institutional presence of the church. Within North America, the church's expansion into new areas was followed by the opening of church schools, where the lambs of the flock could receive a Christian education in which Jesus Christ and the Bible had a pre-eminent place.

Today the church's education picture in North America reveals a pattern of more than a thousand elementary schools, mainly very small in size, nearly one hundred secondary schools, most of them also small by public school standards, and thirteen liberal arts colleges and universities. The small size and budgets of most Adventist grade schools and academies means that their libraries-if they exist at all-tend to be poorly funded and grossly inadequate by modern standards.3

The important Valuegenesis study conducted by the S.D.A. Church in the late 1980's and early '90's reveals both the achievements and problems of its educational system in North America.4 Among its successes is the remarkable fact that 66% of graduates from Adventist academies enter a four-year college or university upon graduation, compared to only 30% of public school graduates. Among the challenges are problems of teacher turnover, teacher recruitment, and inadequate provision for handicapped and gifted students.

A 1990 summary of the Valuegenesis study5, as it applied to church schools and colleges identifies dozens of specific problems and challenges facing the church's education program. Surprisingly, though, the school library is not identified as a problem area. In fact, libraries do not receive a single mention in the document. This is more than surprising; it is disturbing in view of the already mentioned lack of even minimal library facilities in many church schools. It is doubly disturbing when one considers the key role of the library in contemporary education, with an emphasis on integration of library resources with classroom instruction.

This observation also sits rather uncomfortably alongside another Valuegenesis conclusion that Adventist parents want the very best academically for their children and youth.

So we have a situation where, on one hand, libraries in today's world are considered essential ingredients in the education process, and where on the other hand, most Seventh-day Adventist elementary and secondary schools possess either inadequate libraries or none at all. An observer might be tempted to conclude that libraries in Adventist schools are considered at best nonessential or at worst undesirable.

However, we see a markedly different picture as we look at Adventist colleges and universities in North America. Here all institutions have libraries, which, if they do not actually exceed the established collection standards, are at least close to meeting them.

An observer might be tempted to ask, though, whether the comparatively bright library picture at the post-secondary level is not entirely due to the requirements of accreditation. Or, to put the more basic question: Is the Adventist system of belief and behavior friendly or unfriendly to the development of library collections? To answer this question, we turn to the writings of the founding mother of Adventist education, Ellen G. White.

Ellen White, Education and Libraries

Although Ellen White scarcely mentions the library in all her writings on education (not surprising in light of the typical schools of her time), she does elaborate some principles of Christian education which impact on the question of library resources in support of the educational program.

In the opening chapter of her book Education Ellen White describes one of the great objectives of Christian education:

"Every human being, created in the image of God, is endowed with a power akin to that of the Creator-individuality, power to think and to do.... It is the work of true education to develop this power, to train the youth to be thinkers, and not mere reflectors of other men's thoughts."6

The concept is repeated over and over again in her writings. Youth are to be trained "to think and act for themselves"; failure to do so will result in young people who "are trained, like the animals, and not educated."7

Her words resonate well with modem educational theory. In the face of the twentieth century knowledge explosion, students must be taught to research, think critically and independently, interpret and evaluate information, synthesize data. Lecture and textbook methods of instruction receive the frown of disapproval. But creative learning and research methods are accomplished only with access to a wide range of learning resources. The library becomes indeed the heart of the campus. Without question, Ellen White's philosophy supports these methods of instruction.

Other important principles impact the use of learning resources. She stresses education for individuality and creativity.8 She emphasizes education for life, not terminating with formal schooling.9 She was critical of educational ideas with "too narrow and too low a range."10 She stressed the total integration of faith and learning when she wrote that, "by some, education is placed next to religion, but true education is religion."11 And she herself possessed and used an extensive personal library of books reflecting a variety of subjects and viewpoints.

There is, then, substantial evidence that the Adventist philosophy of education, based on the writings of Ellen White, is strongly supportive of a library-based education program. Indeed, we believe that Ellen White's concepts were as up-to-date as the 1990's, with its emphasis on individual learning methods and development of critical thinking.

The Role of the Library in the Adventist College

With this background, we will explore some unique characteristics of libraries in the church's four-year liberal arts colleges.

1.         The library should not only contain a broad and balanced collection of learning resources, but provide access to the world of information.

Academic libraries facing the 21st century find themselves in a period of change and transition. The conjunction of the knowledge explosion with new information technologies has created a situation where traditional expectations for college libraries have undergone drastic change.

It is no longer appropriate to ask whether a library meets the established quantitative collection standards. One must ask instead whether a library provides patron access to a large pool of resources through electronic devices such as CD-ROM, and whether the library has developed resource-sharing arrangements with other libraries within its geographic region. In truth, no academic library of today can be an island, pretending to be self-sufficient for its campus.

Arthur De Jong, a Christian college president, believes that excellence at a church-related college includes the student's "acquisitions of important knowledge along with the accompanying skills; but as much-or more-it means learning how to learn, developing the desire to continue to learn, to be curious, to develop and use one's imagination, and to satisfy a creative mind."12

A system of education which emphasizes acquisition of learning and thinking skills requires a comprehensive and balanced library collection, with the most up-to-date resources. There is every reason to expect the Adventist college library to meet these expectations and achieve excellence in its collections and bibliographic services.

2.         The library's collection and organization should reflect a Seventh-day Adventist Christian perspective or worldview.

The Adventist philosophy of education emphasizes two concepts which go hand in hand—the concept that education has to do with the whole person (not merely the intellect), and the total integration of faith and learning. The reality has not often met the ideal in either of these elements, but that does not lessen their importance or remove them from educational objectives.

Nor are these concepts unique to Adventist education. An influential Christian educator, Arthur Holmes, writes:

"Why a Christian college? Its distinctive should be an education that cultivates the creative and active integration of faith and learning, of faith and culture. This is its unique task in higher education today."13

Holmes is adamant that "the Christian college refuses to compartmentalize religion. It retains a unifying Christian worldview and brings it to bear in understanding and participating in the various arts and sciences, as well as in nonacademic aspects of campus life."14

Adventist libraries which separate their denominational materials into a self-contained collection such as a "Heritage Room" are quite literally compartmentalizing religion. Whatever the reasons for the separation, the practice perpetuates the idea that religious life and study are quite distinct from secular pursuits. This is not to deny that a "Heritage Room" is an appropriate facility for preserving unique and rare materials, but placing most church publications there seems to reinforce the separation of the sacred and the secular.

Co-authors Walsh and Middleton15 contend that the Christian is inundated with secular influences in virtually every aspect of life, not least in exposure to books and magazines. The truth is that the vast proportion of twentieth century publications convey perspectives which are in conflict with a Christian perspective. College students come in contact with these secular viewpoints in the years when they are forming their own worldviews.

The church college library cannot and should not prevent the acquisition of secular worldview materials, but it can and should act positively to redress the balance by giving prominence to selecting materials with a Christian perspective. Significant and increasing numbers of scholarly publications in a wide range of disciplines, compatible with a Christian worldview, are being published, and it is the librarian's responsibility to identify and acquire these materials.16

Such an emphasis in collection building will attract interest beyond the campus through the library's bibliographic networking and resource-sharing. It will enable the Christian college library to make a unique and significant contribution to the total bibliographic resources of its geographic region.

3.         The library's collections should represent a diversity of ideas and viewpoints on topics of study and interest.

Responsible academic freedom demands that the college library not restrict itself to collecting materials, which support only one side of a question. Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."17 Freedom is an important gift of God, and it includes the freedom to discover truth. Christian faith does not try to suppress truth. "The word of God puts no padlock on the mind."18 As someone has said, "The universe is fireproof, and it is safe to strike a match anywhere."

An official Seventh-day Adventist statement on academic freedom supports this view:

"Roots of the Christian university are found in a principle that has long undergirded the development of all higher education--the belief that the best education is attained when intellectual growth occurs within an environment in which Biblically based concepts are central to the aims of education. ... For the church college or university, academic freedom has an additional significance. It is more important than it is in the secular institution, not less, for it is essential to the well-being of the church itself."19

Within the environment of a Christian college, students must be encouraged to pursue and investigate truth, testing their discoveries against a scriptural framework. The campus library must therefore provide a diversity of learning materials reflecting a variety of viewpoints and interpretations.

4.         The library's materials selection policy should reflect the unique mission of the institution.

While the Adventist college library must provide a wide range and diversity of materials for study and leisure reading, their selection should be in harmony with the mission and objectives of the institution. What is this mission?

Ellen White summarized the purpose of Adventist education this way:

"To restore in man the image of his Maker, to bring him back to the perfection in which he was created, to promote the development of body, mind and soul, that the divine purpose in his creation might be realized-this was to be the work of redemption. This is the object of education, the great object of life."20

Whatever meanings we assign to "the image of God", it must include the gift of free choice, the power to think, the ability to decide for God or against Him. Whatever the Christian college does for its students, it must never deny their freedom to think and act for themselves. Indeed it is called upon to develop and restore this power within its young people.

But the power of free choice is not all that is comprehended in the "image of God". The phrase assumes a choice in favor of God, a free decision to love and serve Him. The Christian college must provide a positive environment conducive to a choice for God.

            The library must share this purpose. Indeed the choice of the student to serve God or turn from Him may very well be made within the quiet halls of the library, as he or she contemplates the message of a book or magazine article.

How can the library fulfill its mission responsibly? How does it tread the narrow path between the demands of free inquiry on one hand and the redemptive purpose on the other? Edward Heppenstall articulates the problem succinctly:

'The purpose of the Christian college is to instruct and capture the life of the student for Christ without violating his freedom or bypassing his right to think for himself."21


Academic freedom on the Adventist campus must not mean that the redemptive mission of the institution takes second place. One can not be sacrificed for the other. For the library, a philosophical resolution of the problem may occur in its collection development policy.22 A thoughtfully worded statement within the policy should guide librarians and teachers in the choice of library materials.

This may raise the specter of literary censorship. The American Library Association's "Freedom to Read Statemen"23 is designed to protect the citizen's right to exercise freedom in the choice of reading material. It is a crucial right, and one, which every Seventh-day Adventist must be prepared to defend.

But how do we reconcile the freedom to read with the Christian librarian's obligation to reject books which compromise the ideals of the institution? Is this censorship?

In an unpublished paper, William Hessel argues that applying selection criteria that are based on the objectives of the Christian college is not practicing censorship:

"Liberty is not license, and the freedom of exploration and expression is not total but relative. Freedom is not an absolute in practice and to recognize that at the outset should cause libraries to set forth selection policies that are creditable and realistic, ones that recognize there is a weighing of values in book selection and that sometimes it is determined that certain moral, social or church values take precedence over the value of freedom of exploration and expression."24

In a landmark article published in 1953, Lester Asheim defends the librarian's right to practice materials selection based on value criteria:

"Selection, then, begins with a presumption in favor of liberty of thought, censorship, with a presumption in favor of thought control. Selection's approach to the book is positive, seeking its value in the book as a book and in the book as a whole. Censorship's approach is negative, seeking for vulnerable characteristics wherever they can be found. ... In other words, selection is democratic while censorship is authoritarian."25

The Adventist college librarian has the special opportunity of making positive selections of reading material which will challenge the minds of students and assist them in making the most important decisions of their lives.

It goes almost without saying that no Christian college library operates without a carefully and prayerfully prepared collection development policy. Without a policy, the library is like a ship adrift without a chart or compass. Possessing such a written policy for scrutiny by evaluation teams and accrediting bodies will create an awareness and appreciation of the unique nature of the institution and the values for which it stands.

5.         The library should conduct a strong program of bibliographic instruction.

It is likely that college freshmen, coming from small Adventist secondary schools or academies, have minimal library skills. Given the increasingly complex nature of information retrieval and reference resources, it is highly desirable for the Adventist college library to have a strong program of bibliographic instruction. Without such a program, students will generally manage to "get by" in their studies and graduate, but they may well be deprived graduates, not the truly educated persons that Holmes describes:

"The educated person shows independence and creativity of mind to fashion new skills and techniques, new patterns of thought, She has acquired research ability, the power to gather, sift, and manipulate new facts and materials, and to handle altogether novel situations. The educated Christian exercises critical judgment and manifests the ability to interpret and to evaluate information, particularly in the light of the Christian revelation. In a word, if she is to act creatively and to speak with cogency and clarity to the minds of her fellows,, the educated Christian must be at home in the world of ideas and people."26

A carefully designed program of bibliographic instruction should deal not only with methods of research, but introduce students to a range of reference tools for accessing Christian literature. The Seventh-day Adventist Periodical Index will be an essential tool for finding Adventist perspectives on a given topic. Assistance might also be given in finding literature offering Christian viewpoints on a topic.

6.         The library should welcome opportunities to provide meaningful student employment wherever feasible.

A unique feature of the Adventist philosophy of education is the work/study ethic, emphasizing integration of work with the study program. This is based on two concepts in Christian education. The first is the concept of "wholeness" in education, a concern with the growth and maturity of the whole person. Character development includes an understanding and respect for the dignity of labor. The second concept is that of education for life-preparation for the years beyond formal schooling.

The work/study program has historically been a strong feature of Adventist schools, and continues to be significant on many campuses. Erosion of the program has been due to a variety of factors, including changes in socio-economic conditions, complexity of class schedules, and availability of study grants and scholarships.

On campuses where conditions are appropriate, libraries should consider the benefits of part-time student employment within the library's operation. The benefits to the student are perhaps obvious-assistance with college expenses, learning important values and work ethics, time management, and acquisition of useful skills.

However, we tend to overlook the real benefits of such a program to the library and its staff. There may, of course, be economic benefits. But if our educational philosophy is sound, and training of the hand is as important as training of the mind, then members of the library staff have unique opportunities to teach values and skills to the students they employ. Their influence may be as significant as that of the classroom teacher. And staff members are personally blessed as they work closely with students, providing friendship and counseling. Their work may be redemptive activity.

7.         The library may explore creative ways of serving its community.

The major function of an academic librarian is mediation between the student and information resources. This function is of critical importance to the academic program. Students are taught the research skills essential to a quality education.

Librarians may find creative ways to support the Christian objectives of the institution as they provide services to both on-campus and off-campus communities. Unique opportunities exist to promote a Christian worldview.

Even the design and decor of the library may reflect its Christian philosophy. The appearance and design of the library building; the choice of art objects, paintings and exhibits; the use of Christian symbols such as a simple cross or an open Bible; providing an appropriately furnished room for spiritual meditation-there is scope for imaginative ideas.

Unique opportunities may also be found in library services and functions. A few ideas follow:

·        Book review discussion meetings, such as a Book-of-the-Month Club.

·        Current awareness services to off-campus groups such as community leaders and professionals, clergy, and business people.

·        Seminars, with local or guest speakers, offering Christian perspectives on topics of current interest.

·        Centralized library service (acquisitions and cataloging) for church schools lacking libraries of their own.

·        Public readings by Christian authors from their own works.

Ideas are limited only by the creative imagination of librarians and the budget of the library.

The Challenge

Little attention appears to have been given to the special role of the library within a Christian college. The literature of Christian educational theory and practice seems to have ignored the library, despite the well-mouthed phrase that it is the heart of the campus.

In this paper we have taken some small tentative steps to demonstrate that the library of a Seventh-day Adventist college does have a unique mission and role in fulfilling the objectives of Christian education, as well as in developing and supporting a Christian worldview. Hopefully, others will follow with larger and bolder steps to place the library closer to the forefront of higher education in the Adventist college.

Over three thousand years ago, a wise man understood the ultimate dynamics of research:


"If you look for wisdom as for silver,

And search for it as for hidden treasure,

Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,

And find the knowledge of God."27


Those words are a fitting inscription for any Christian college library.




1.         Ronald L. Numbers and Jonathan M. Butler, The Disappointed. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987). See chapter 11, "The Making of a New Order", pp.189-208. Also Melvin Dieter, The Holiness Revival of the Nineteenth Century. (Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1980). See chapter 2.


2.         See Appendix A.


3.         An interesting exception to this situation are schools within the Southern Union of the United States, where a cooperative library project known as ANGEL operates from the campus of Southern College.


4.         Roger L. Dudley and V. Bailey Gillespie. Valuegenesis: Faith in the Balance. (La Sierra

            University Press, 1992)


5.         Risk and Promise: a Report of the Project Affirmation Taskforces. (North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, 1990)


6.         Ellen G. White, Education. p.17


7.         Ellen G. White. Fundamentals of Christian Education. p.17


8.         Ellen G. White. Education. p.17


9.         Ibid., p. 13


10.       Ibid.


11.       Ellen G. White. Counsels to Teachers. p.108


12.       Arthur DeJong. Reclaiming a Mission. (Eerdmans, 1990) p.148


13.       Arthur Holmes. The Idea of a Christian College. Revised edition. (Eerdmans, 1987) p.6


14.       Ibid., P.9


15.       Brian Walsh and J. R. Middleton. The Transforming Vision. (Inter Varsity Press, 1984)


16.       Useful sources for bibliographies on faith and learning materials are the Institute for Christian Teaching (General Conference Office of Education), and the Institute for Christian Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada.


17.       John 8:32 (NIV)


18.       Edward Heppenstall. "Academic Freedom and the Quest for Truth." Spectrum, 1(4):34-40, 1969.  p.37


19.       Academic Freedom in Seventh-day Adventist Institutions of Higher Education. (General

            Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 1989?)


20.       Ellen G. White, Education. p.15,16


21.       Edward Heppenstall. Op. cit. p.39


22.       See Appendix B for one library's mission statement and collection development goals.


23.       American Library Association. Freedom to Read Statement.


24.       William H. Hessel. Censorship in Church-Related College Libraries-Is there a Difference?

            [Unpublished paper]


25.       Lester Asheim. "Not Censorship But Selection." Wilson Library Bulletin, 28:63-67,

            September 1953. p.67


26.       Arthur Holmes. The Idea of a Christian College. Revised edition. (Eerdmans, 1987). p.5


27.       Proverbs 2:4,5 (NIV)







Following is a comparison of excerpts from Ellen White with excerpts from items published in The Library Journal during 1876 and 1877.


Ellen White


The course that many parents pursue in allowing their children to be indolent and to gratify their desire for reading romance is unfitting them for real life. Novel and storybook reading are the greatest evils in which youth can indulge. Novel and lovestory readers always fail to make good, practical mothers. They are air-castle builders, living in an unreal, an imaginary world. They become sentimental and have sick fancies. Their artificial life spoils them for anything useful." (Counsels on Health, P.187-188)


"From what the Lord has shown me, the women of this class [those with an exaggerated concept of their qualities] have had their imaginations perverted by novel reading, daydreaming, and castle-building-living in an imaginary world. They do not bring their own ideas down to the common, useful duties of life." (Mind, Character and Personality, vol.2, p.588)


"Young ladies will read novels, excusing themselves from active labor because they are in delicate health. ... They eat, and sleep, and read novels, and talk of the fashions, while their lives are useless." (Fundamentals of Christian Education, p.35-36)


"I am acquainted with a number of women who have thought their marriage a misfortune. They have read novels until their imaginations have become diseased, and they live in a world of their own creating. ... From what the Lord has shown me, the women of this class have had their imaginations perverted by novel reading, day-dreaming, and castle-building, living in an imaginary world." (Testimonies for the Church, vol.2, p.462-463.)


"If you want your children to bless you, teach them to be useful and self-denying. Restrict their reading. They should not be allowed to pour over the pages of novels or story books, filled with the tales of lust and knavery, for it will not leave a heavenly influence on their minds."


(Testimonies on the Case of Elder E.P. Daniels, p.18)


"I appeal to parents to control the reading of their children. Much reading does them only harm. Especially do not permit upon your tables the magazines and newspapers wherein are found love stories." (Testimonies for the Church, vol.2, P.410)


The Library Journal


"Our Association [the Young Men's Christian Association of New York] aims to reject not only the immoral, but the sensational and the trivial-such works as fill the mind with false, wild ideas of life. I believe the influence of this class of books is decidedly injurious, and their reading should be discouraged." (Statement by Mr. Pool in the report of a discussion entitled "Novel Reading", in The American Library Journal, 1 (1876): 98)


"How we, who have the dispensing of knowledge to young minds just coming from the guiding hand of the teacher and thrown upon their own judgment in the future development of their intellects, are to meet their wants, is a question the seriousness of which, I fear, is too much overlooked. Are we to throw open to them all the literature of the day, and let the good and the bad, the profitable and the pernicious, pass unguarded into their inexperienced hands?


"Do novels teach them contentment with their lowly but honest occupations? The factory girl, as she tends her loom or her spinning-jenny, turns over in her thoughts the fortunes of the heroine of the last novel she has read, raised by impossible suppositions incidents from humble life to princely fortune, and she pines for a lover to so lift her into notoriety. Her mind is filled with false ideas of life, and she is prepared easily to be beguiled into an improper marriage. ...


'"The boy reads of equally false deeds of daring-fortunes made by unjust dealings, glossed over so as to half conceal their iniquity-and his bewildered mind is unfitted for the hard duties of life, only by patient grappling with which he can reach that position which will lead him to competence and respectability.


"We hear that such and such works of fiction are classical and may be safely read by educated minds as recreation. As the world contains so much that is better, I can readily dispense with these books." (William Kite, "Fiction in Public Libraries". The American Library Journal, 1 (1876): 277-279. Note: Kite represented the Free Library at Germantown, PA.)


"Novels unfit the mind for close and attentive reading and study, weaken its energies, and render it unhealthy. ... If we take the majority of the present day novels, the sensational fiction, which is so eagerly sought and read at our libraries, it is a matter of considerable doubt if they ought to find a place in them at all. To their character and tendency the testimony of public writers, of teachers, and the thinking portion of the community, is pretty uniform. ... A too liberal supply of novels tends to foster a taste for them at the expense of books of a more useful and profitable character." (Peter Cowell, "On the Admission of Fiction in Free Public Libraries." The Library Journal, II (1877): 152-159.)


'The librarian who should allow an immoral novel in his library for circulation would be as culpable as the manager of a picture gallery who should hang an indecent picture on his walls." (William F. Poole, "Some Popular Objections to Public Libraries." American Library Journal, I (1876): 50. Poole was head librarian of Chicago Public Library).







The following is the opening section of the college's Collection Development Policy.




1.         Within the context of a Seventh-day Adventist college of higher education, the mission of Canadian Union College library is to provide bibliographic resources and services which:


1.1       Supports the academic program.


1.2       Encourages students to develop a Christian worldview and commitment.


1.3       Enhances development of personal information skills.


2.         The library seeks to provide learning resource materials and services to its campus clientele, specifically:


2.1       College students and faculty


2.2       Park view Adventist Academy students and faculty


2.3       Students enrolled in graduate programs offered on the campus.


3.         In fulfilling its mission, the library operates with these assumptions:


3.1       Access to a diversity of viewpoints and perspectives is foundational to Seventh-day Adventist educational philosophy and goals.


3.2       The library is central and integral to the academic program at CUC.


3.3       Students are encouraged and assisted to discover, evaluate and utilize information resources that are relevant both to class topics and their general interests.


3.4       Resource self-sufficiency is not a realistic goal of an academic library. Remote database access, inter-library loan, and resource sharing with other libraries are necessary components of library development and services.


3.5       The library serves a primarily undergraduate campus and does not provide materials exclusively for faculty research.




The goals for the library's collection development are:


1.         To provide in-depth resources in support of campus academic programs.


2.         To provide at least minimal resources in most fields of knowledge.


3.         To acquire materials which support or reflect a Christian worldview.


4.         To provide materials which foster personal development and positive moral and spiritual values.


5.         To collect and preserve both published and manuscript materials relating to the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada.