Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Library Team Values Statement


Twelve core values were collaboratively defined and developed by the E.M. White Library Team: Access, Care, Collaboration, Confidentiality, Craft, Ingenuity, Learning, Safety, Service, Sustainability, Transparency, Trust
articulate our shared commitments in our work, our relationships in working together to provide library services and serve the mission of the Seminary. All of the values work together, but trust and safety are particularly essential as a foundation for enacting the rest of these values. They enable us to support each other, help each other to offer our best, and hold each other accountable. The statement of description is adapted from the values statement of the Digital Collection Management Section, Library of Congress.

We are builders, promoters, maintainers and supporters of the library collections, patrons, and each other. We care for the collections of the Library; and we create an environment that ensures the people who care and use the collections feel safe and supported and their voices represented. We model an ethic of care in all our interactions: to bring kindness, generosity, patience, and compassion to our work.

We support the learning and research needs of faculty, students, and staff. We are open to the points of view of colleagues across the Seminary, strive to fulfill their library information needs, and respect their varied experiences and expertise. As one cohesive unit, our success is also dependent on the success of the Seminary’s mission of education for Christian ministry and counseling careers.

We apply the established professional principles and values of critical librarianship[1]  in our craft and resolve any friction or tension between them with discerning judgment that is anchored in reflective practices of standards, consortia, and interoperable services. We improve critical librarianship by building a  community of practice that is committed to lifelong learning by sharing and refining the modern digital teaching library. Our practice of librarianship integrates cultural heritage institutions, records management and innovative practices.

We continuously and creatively improve every aspect of our work and are always curious about new ways to do things. We establish and maintain flexible workflows, processes, and meetings. We take opportunities to course correct and allow ourselves the freedom to fail. We are adaptable and resourceful in order to scale up the Library’s ability to manage growth in collections and changes in their  use. We use automation, space, and systems innovatively and efficiently in ways that empower us and our patrons.

We are committed to continual learning and creating opportunities to learn together. We learn from others across the field and the Seminary. We share and teach others about what we have learned. We stay informed on current research and apply our learning to develop novel solutions. We are reflective and deliberate about distilling, synthesizing, and sharing what we learn in our work to improve digital and traditional library services.

We are committed to establishing and maintaining a safe and trusted space to do our work. Trust and safety are foundational requirements to enable us to learn, collaborate, build trust, and hone our craft. We work to identify and mitigate potential sources of harm to each other, the organization, collections, and services. We work to ensure that everyone can feel safe and supported in their work, and there is work-life balance. Our work is freeing and fulfilling,

We serve across the Seminary in ways that are consistent, responsible, supportive, transparent, and professional.

We ensure stable and enduring content, systems, practices, collaborations, and selves by maintaining work-life balance. We plan our work and commitments to deliver results while allowing time to be mindful, thoughtful, and deliberate in our approaches and methods. We increase our personal and team capacity while considering and planning for personal, organizational, fiscal, and environmental  sustainability.

We ensure the trustworthiness of the Library’s collections, services, and ourselves. We extend trust to others across the Library and build trust through achieving results.  We plan for and provide dependable service to ensure enduring access to print, digital, and other formats content. We respect and support each other and other units in the Seminary to exercise autonomy  in accomplishing our shared mission. We are open and transparent about the work we do: we update equally about successes and setbacks. We strive to become trusted experts and innovative leaders in digital and traditional Library services for theological education.


A core principle of Critical Librarianship is "harm reduction." To learn about Critical Librarianship, visit, critlib. No endorsement is implied by this hyperlink.

 Adopted Dec. 7, 2020 (to be reviewed and revised periodically as we live into it)

Jill, Bobi, Burton, Anita