Library Designation Policy

Library Designation Policy

There are three designated libraries within the University of Alabama at Birmingham: Lister Hill Library; Mervyn H. Sterne Library; and Reynolds Historical Library.
Effective Date:
Responsible Party:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Faculty, Staff, Students
Material Original Source:

University of Alabama at Birmingham


September 20, 1996

(Replaces policy dated May 16, 1989.)


Within higher education, designating a facility as a "library" has significant accreditation and funding implications. An institution of higher education may designate as libraries only those facilities which have the resources, services, and staff to support adequately the broad range of educational programs of the institution. Such facilities provide overall library services to a broad spectrum of clientele.

Policy Statement

Currently, the only facilities at the University of Alabama at Birmingham which fit the criteria for libraries as outlined in the Background section are the following:

  1. Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences, including its subsidiaries and branches such as the UAB University Hospital Library Extension and the University of Alabama School of Medicine Huntsville Program Library
  2. Mervyn H. Sterne Library, including its subsidiaries and branches such as the Educational Technology Services
  3. Reynolds Historical Library, including its subsidiaries and branches such as the Alabama Museum of the Health Sciences.

Subsidiaries and branches of UAB's libraries are those facilities which are a part of a centralized collection and acquisition program, whose collections are cataloged, and which are accessible to the entire UAB community.

The three facilities listed above are the only ones at UAB which may be referred to officially as libraries and which may be treated as such for accreditation, funding, and accounting purposes. All other library-type facilities, whether at the institution, school, department, or division levels, which are not a part of UAB's libraries are discouraged from using the term "library" as a part of their name. They may be designated as "reading rooms," "resource centers," etc., but use of the term "libraries" should be avoided whenever possible. Any UAB facility other than those specifically listed above which uses the term "library" as part of its official name will not be treated as a library for financial, accounting, or other purposes.

The facility naming process requires approval of the President and of the Board of Trustees. Any facility requesting use of the term "library" in its name must go through that approval process at which time the considerations outlined in this policy will be taken into account.


The Office of the Provost is responsible for implementation of this policy.