Library Policy

Library Rules

The Library Manager proposes the Library Rules, which are reviewed by the Library Consultative Committee and approved by the St Mark’s Council.
These rules came into effect from January 2003, were reviewed and approved in May 2010.

Hours of Opening

  1. The library hours of opening shall be determined by the Library Manager after consulting the Library Consultative Committee and the Director of St Mark’s.
  2. The Rules of the Library shall be displayed and made available to users of the library.
  3. Any changes to standard opening hours shall be publicised in advance, through normal communication channels, and posted at the library entrance.

Entry to the Library

  1. Users may enter and remain only in the public areas of the Library
  2. Once a person enters the Library, he or she is taken to have accepted the Rules and to have agreed to abide by them.
  3. Children should be under the supervision of an adult who shall be responsible for their conduct in the Library.

General Conduct within the Library

  1. Users shall at all times conduct themselves in a quiet and orderly manner so as not to disturb other library users.
  2. Any person not behaving appropriately within the library may be requested to produce relevant identification by a library staff member. He or she may be asked to leave the Library.
  3. Mobile telephones shall not be used in the Library.
  4. Eating, drinking and smoking is not permitted within the library building.
  5. No animals, other than guide dogs, may be brought into the library.
  6. Any items brought into the library shall remain the responsibility of the owner.
  7. Seating in the main study or reading areas may not be reserved.
  8. Articles left unattended for long periods in the library may be removed by the Library staff and treated as lost property.
  9. A person should not use any parts of the library building for any kind of group meeting or discussion without the permission of the Library Manager.

Use of the Library

  1. Library staff may permit any person to use any facility of the library and determine its conditions of use.
  2. Charges may be applied to the use of the library materials, services or other facilities; schedules of charges and fines shall be published in the library leaflets.
  3. Library materials shall not be marked, damaged or deliberately misplaced.
  4. The privacy of patron and loan records shall be maintained.
  5. Conditions applying to the availability and loan of Library material should be strictly adhered to.
  6. Library materials shall not be removed from the library building unless a loan transaction has been properly carried out.
  7. Items on the open access shelves of the library are for loan. Special Collections such as the Rare Books and the Tippett Collection are not for loan. Reference materials and periodicals are to be used in the Library only.
  8. Loan periods shall be determined by the Library Manager, advised to the faculty staff, Library Consultative Committee, published widely within St. Mark’s and distributed to all users.
  9. The Library Manager, in consultation with Faculty staff, may modify loan conditions temporarily to cater for items on high demand.
  10. Material on loan may be recalled by the library staff at any time.
  11. Users leaving the library may be required to have their bags and other items presented to Library staff for inspection.

Library Borrower Card and Responsibilities

  1. Students and staff of Charles Sturt University are entitled to be issued with a borrower card. This card shall be presented to the Issue Desk staff to borrow library materials.
  2. A user’s borrower card shall not be used by persons other than the registered card holder.
  3. Library members shall report the loss of their card immediately to the Library Staff. Borrowing privileges may be withheld until a new card is issued.
  4. A borrower shall remain responsible for material issued against his/her library card until the material is returned to the library and the loan is discharged by the library staff.
  5. Borrowing privileges may be suspended if a borrower has overdue items, outstanding library fines, or is in some other way in breach of these Rules.
  6. Fines for the late return of items shall be imposed. Fines may be waived only by the Library Manager or a nominated delegate.
  7. Failure to return a loan shall incur a maximum fine plus a replacement charge for the item loaned.
  8. Outstanding library fines or debts may prevent the issue of final grades for the session or re-enrolment in a subsequent session.

Misconduct or Breach of these Rules

  1. Where a person is in breach of these Rules, the Library Manager may suspend that person for a period not exceeding two weeks from attendance at, or from the use of all or any of the facilities of the library.
  2. Where the Library Manager exercises his or her authority under these Rules to suspend or restrict a persons access to the Library, the matter shall be reported in writing to the Director of St. Mark’s.
  3. Where the Library Manager believes that a breach of these Rules has occurred, he or she may recommend to the Director of St Mark’s that the matter be dealt with under the Charles Sturt University by laws or rules relating to student or staff misconduct.
  4. A person aggrieved by a decision of the Library Manager under these Rules, may appeal to the Director of St. Mark’s.

Development Policy

Profile of the Library

St Mark's National Memorial Library was established in 1957 by Bishop Ernest Burgmann. The general collection has strong links with the spiritual and religious history of Canberra and southern New South Wales. It includes the libraries of former bishops of the Diocese of Goulburn, including the first bishop, Mesac Thomas. It has been built up to reflect classical, philosophical and religious interests of the nineteenth and twentieth century scholars.
The Library while Anglican in foundation, has endeavoured throughout its history to maintain an open and ecumenical acquisition policy, deliberately reflecting a wide range of theological works. Within the limitations of budget resources the library has always sought to keep up to date with major international trends in both books and journals.

The Library Collection

The collection consists of the following:

  • Monographs : 90,000
  • Serial subscriptions : 300
  • Tippett Collection : 20,000
  • Rare Books : 1,000

The collection consists of monographs, serials, (including a number from the nineteenth century), a pamphlet collection, a microfilm collection, and a rare book collection. These rare materials have historical significance because they are held only in St. Mark's or are scarce in Australian libraries, and because they belonged to prominent persons.
An especially significant collection is the library of the late Dr Alan Tippett, presented to St Mark's Centre in 1984. This comprises a substantial collection of monographs, manuscripts, serials, articles, letters and slides relating to anthropology and missiology, with special reference to the South Pacific region.
Another special addition that supplements the Tippett Collection is the Needham Library of the Australian Board of Missions.

Purpose of this collection development policy

The aim of this document is to provide a policy document which identifies and outlines the general framework for the development and maintenance of the library collections.
The main objectives of this policy are to:
provide guidelines for the selection and acquisition of resources so that the materials acquired are relevant to the needs of St Mark's staff and clients;
assist in setting standards of quality for the inclusion (and exclusion) of resources;
establish an on-going process of collection evaluation and appraisal;
assist staff in a more effective budget planning and administration;
inform library clients and other libraries of the nature and scope of the collection and
maintain the physical condition of the collection at an appropriate level.

Clients served:

Staff of St Mark's and Charles Sturt University;.
Theological Students of St Mark's and Charles Sturt University;.
Staff and students from institutions with whom St Mark's and Charles Sturt University Libraries have made reciprocal arrangements;.
Clergy and lay members of their parishes or congregations;.
Researchers engaged in specialised research in theology and related disciplines;.
Members of the general public including postal members;.
Other libraries through Inter-Library Loan and Document Delivery services.

Access to the collections

On site access to the collection is via the OPAC and the Card Catalogue as parts of the older collection are still in the card catalogue. These records are gradually being added to the on-line catalogue as resources permit.
The main collection is open access but the Tippett and the Rare Books collections may have certain restrictions on accessing them.


The Library receives funding for books, journals and other resources each year. The Library Manager in consultation with Faculty staff allocates the funds based on broad subject disciplines.
There is no recurrent budget allocation for the Special Collections.
Special provision is made in the budget for electronic and CD-ROM resources.

Bibliographic access

The Library is a member of UNILINC and Aleph, a shared Library system is used by member libraries of the Charles Sturt University. The Library catalogue is available on the Internet via the Charles Sturt University web site:
The Library holdings of St Mark's and other UNILINC members are included in KINETICA (National Bibliographic database of materials held in Australian libraries) managed by the National Library of Australia.

Gifts and donations

Gifts of library materials are welcomed provided that they fall within the library's collection priorities, and have always made a significant contribution to St Mark's Library. Once donations are accepted, they are added to the collection and become the property of the St Mark's National Theological Centre. In general, a gift is not accepted if the donor wishes to place any limitations on the use of the item or its disposal.
All major donations and those specifying conditions of access must be approved by the Director of St Mark's on the recommendation of the Library Manager.
The Library will only accept items that enhance the collection. Materials not accepted may be donated to other libraries or organisations or offered for sale.
All materials should normally be in good condition, and not require binding or repair.
Rare, expensive and significant items may be housed in appropriate accommodation.
Serial donations should be in good physical condition and substantially complete.
The Library is also pleased to receive donations of money and such donations are tax deductable.

Collecting guidelines

The Library's collecting priorities in theology/religion are focused on scholarly materials, both primary and secondary and on subject-related materials relevant to undergraduate courses. The library will seek to maintain resources relevant to the following areas of study:

  • Biblical studies and biblical languages
  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Church history
  • Historical theology
  • Contemporary theology
  • Philosopy and ethics
  • Australian religious history and sociology
  • Christian worship
  • Pastoral and counselling studies
  • Christian ethics
  • Missiology
  • Ecumenical studies
  • Comparative religion
  • Anglican history and thought
  • Parish life and education
  • Ageing and pastoral care
  • Christianity, Science and Ecology
  • Feminist Theology
  • Rural Ministry
  • Comparative Religion
  • Economics and Theology
  • Youth Ministry

The Library also collects popular and devotional works by well regarded and known authors. Popular contemporary religious and juvenile literature are not collected.
English is the preferred language except for important works required for particular research and the essential texts for work in the Biblical languages.
Preference is given to hardcover editions. Paperback editions are acquired if that is the only format available.
Electronic journal subscriptions are actively pursued.
Multiple copies of titles should not be acquired or purchased.
Damaged or missing items should be replaced wherever possible.

Responsibility for selection of Library Materials

Responsibility for selecting library materials is shared between the Library and faculty staff.
All full-time faculty staff are expected to act as subject specialists in the areas of their specialisation and make recommendations for purchase.
Part-time faculty staff are also encouraged where possible to make recommendations.
Students and other library users are invited to make recommendations on purchases.

Placing purchase recommendations

The library will provide the following selection aids and links:
links to publishers' websites;
links to bookselling sites; and
online and alerting services
At regular intervals the Librarian shall circulate to faculty staff publishers' catalogues, book announcements, new title information leaflets and slips
Selection may also be made from book notices, reviews, journals, newspapers, books and other scholarly reviews.
Selection of new journals follows the collection guidelines listed above but also issues of electronic access and fulltext database held by the Library.
Journal subscriptions are expensive and price increases occur faster than the inflation rate. It is important to check for the increases regularly to monitor inflation and fluctuations in exchange rates. Therefore, all recommendations for new subscriptions and extensive back issues must be submitted to the Library Manager for consideration. Each subscription recommendation will be considered on a case by case basis, and a decision made on the principle that the cancellation of an existing subscription is of the equivalent dollar value.
All purchase recommendations are submitted to the Library Manager. The final decision to order the title and commit Library funds rests with the Library Manager as delegate of St.Mark's Director.
The Library Manager, in consultation with Faculty staff and members of the Library Consultative Committee (hyperlink here for Cte), will monitor the overall shape and quality of the collection, giving particular attention to the Reference Collection and to areas inadequately covered by faculty recommendations.

Purchase of library material directly by faculty staff

One-off purchases of books and conference reports may be made.
Wherever possible, prior consultation should take place with the Library Manager. The purchased item must fit the selection guidelines as stated in the Library's Collection Development Policy.
The item must be in excellent physical condition.
Proof of payment must be retained (e.g credit card slip, cash register docket etc.).
The item must be delivered to the Library with proof of payment.
Reimbursement will be in Australian dollars. If the item is purchased overseas, the conversion from the foreign currency will be calculated at the rate active on the day of reimbursement.

Formats Collected

Library materials collected vary in format. Every effort is made to select the most appropriate formats. This is determined largely by the space and storage requirements as well as the special equipment needed to operate and access them fully.
The main formats of the collections are:
monographs form the largest part of the Library collection;
audio visual materials;
electronic documents;


The general and journal collections should be weeded as and when required of:
excessive duplicates;
obsolete and superseded editions;
items damaged beyond repair;
discontinued journal titles;
incomplete runs of journal issues; and
titles no longer relevant to the collection scope.
The process of weeding or deselection is the responsibility of the Library Manager. He or she should make the decision after careful consultation with the relevant Faculty staff member in whose subject area the item belongs.

Review of the Collection Development Policy

In order for the Collection Development Policy to remain current and relevant, there should be a regular review from time to time. It is suggested that the review of the policy should be carried out every five years.