Skip to Content

Library FAQ

How do I contact the library?

Where is the Library?

The library is located on the second floor of the Marvin Burt Liberal Arts Center. It is building M on the campus map.

How long can I check out . . .?

Materials in the Clarence Mitchell Library generally check out for 3 weeks. Items placed on Reserve for course use may have short checkout times or may be restricted to library use only. Items from other PrairieCat items usually check out for 3 weeks. Media from other libraries such as DVDs may sometimes have 1 or 2 week loan periods.

What are library fines?

Overdue materials are charged at 10 cents per day per overdue item. Fines for overdue items from our Reserve collection are 50 cents an hour (for hourly loans) or a dollar a day (for items that may leave the library). Lost materials are charged based on the replacement cost for the item and vary according to material.

How can I get research help?

Consult one of our staff librarians (Laura or Michael) for help with your research. You may contact them by phone or email with questions or to schedule an in-person research consultation. Consultations are also available by telephone or using our screen sharing software, Zoom. Contact us via email at library at to schedule a Zoom session. If the Library is currently closed, try Chat with a Librarian a joint project of Illinois and Wisconsin libraries and is staffed by librarians from around the world to provide research assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,

How can I request an item that is not available at Clarence Mitchell Library?

When Highland students, faculty and staff need library resources beyond the PrairieCat catalog, they may request interlibrary loan (ILL) of books or articles. Interlibrary loan is a service that enables users to borrow materials owned by libraries beyond PrairieCat, from Illinois libraries or libraries throughout the country. An ILL request form is embedded in the links to resources in our databases which are not full text. If you have not located the items in our databases you may still request them via ILL. Contact the library for assistance with Interlibrary Loan.

How can I get help with citing sources?

  • Check out the HCC Student Writing Style and Form Guide created by Highland’s own Success Center staff. This guide is preferred by many Highland instructors for citations and references in term papers. It includes information on formatting in both MLA and APA Styles. With more detailed questions, you may need to consult the MLA or APA style guides themselves, both of which are available in the library. This item is in PDF format and requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • The Writing Center Center provides walk-in individualized assistance to students, no matter what the writing assignment. Located in the College’s Success Center on the ground floor of building M, the Writing Center is staffed by full-time HCC English department faculty. Students are encouraged to bring in writing assignments from any class. The writing center is not open during the summer months.
  • Need further help? Contact a Highland Librarian!

What are your collection development policies?


  • Collection Development for the Clarence Mitchell Library is an ongoing resource allocation process that flows according to the dynamic needs of the Library’s primary community, and the resources allocated to meet those needs. The Library’s primary community consists of HCC students, faculty, and staff. As part of a state-funded institution, the Library also serves and considers the general public. Community college resource needs change in response to accreditation requirements, academic programs, and teaching, and research needs.
  • The general responsibility for selecting and deselecting (or “weeding”) materials and maintaining a well-rounded collection lies with the Library faculty, who manage funds and work in conjunction with various stakeholders who have an interest in the Library collection. These stakeholders include: accrediting agencies for the college and, as required, for its programs, and departments, students, faculty members with their varying instructional and research needs, staff, academic library consortia, and Highland district residents.


Among the general criteria used by the Library faculty in selecting materials are:

Support of Highland’s mission, cost, format, permanence, suitability for the subject matter, timeliness, critical reviews, user demand, collection weakness in a particular subject area, space, and other principles influencing collection development (see below).


The Clarence Mitchell Library has adopted the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights which states that “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” The Library also supports the ALA’s Interpretation of the above, “A balanced collection reflects a diversity of materials, not an equality of numbers. Collection development responsibilities include selecting materials in the languages in common use in the community which the library serves. Collection development and the selection of materials should be done according to professional standards and established selection and review procedures.”


The Library may accept books and multimedia items, which may be added to the main collection on an item-by-item basis at the discretion of our librarians. Gifts received by the Library that are not added to the collection may be put on our giveaway cart, sold in a book sale to raise funds for the library, or disposed of appropriately according to the library’s selection and weeding criteria. The library reserves the right to deselect previously accepted donations/reject donations if they are deemed obsolete, out of scope, or no longer in suitable condition for circulation. The Library reserves the right to refuse to accept any donation.

Collection Development policies approved by Clarence Mitchell Library faculty librarians, January 2024.