Theological Resources in the Melbourne College of Divinity

Eymard College Library, Box Hill
Collection Policy

May 2005 Please note that Eymard College Library is in a state of transition. It is temporarily closed to the public while the librarian is cataloguing a collection of approx. 8,000 books belonging to the Blessed Sacrament Congregation at St Francis’ Church, Melbourne. It is intended that the two libraries will be merged. The strengths of the collection(s) are Eucharist; Liturgy and works by and about St Peter Julian Eymard.

YTU students may have access to books on Liturgy and Eucharist from both libraries via interlibrary loan by arrangement with the librarian or the Congregation.

1. Profile of the Library
Eymard College Library is owned by the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, an international, Roman Catholic order of priests and brothers, dedicated to the worship of the Eucharist in liturgy and life. The Order was founded in 1856 in France by St. Peter Julian Eymard and fulfils its mission primarily through running city shrines and churches which serve the needs of local populations.

The Library serves the novitiate and scholasticate at Box Hill, supplementing the library needs of a small number (1 - 5 usually) of the Order's men attending Yarra Theological Union for training for the priesthood. [Y.T.U. is approx. 500m in distance, and the Blessed Sacrament Fathers Order is one of its founding members. Y.T.U. boasts a substantial theological library, St. Paschal's, run by the Franciscans, to which students may belong. ]

The Library also serves the needs of the resident community, which currently includes the Provincial and Administrative Council and semi-retired priests with active parish and pastoral ministries. To a lesser extent the library is a resource for other Blessed Sacrament Congregation communities in Australia and overseas.

The Library was founded in 1987 when the scholasticate moved to Box Hill. A large part of the collection came directly from the house of formation at Chatswood in Sydney, and later from Toowoomba when that centre was closed. The bulk of the collection is somewhat outdated now, reflecting its origins as the scholasticate library at Christ the King College, Lower Plenty and the subsequent decrease in numbers of seminarians over the past 30 years. Recent acquisitions tend to be more specifically related to personal needs in the community (e.g. focussing on Eucharist and Spirituality; the demands of study courses being undertaken). Due to the increasing cost of journal subscriptions, the 30 + journal titles are subject indexed each week and provide a current, up to date resource. A Journal Contents List is also circulated at least fortnightly, to the Box Hill and Melbourne communities to draw attention to articles of interest. In short, the Library strives to serve the immediate demands of the community.

The Librarian reports to the Director of Formation, and is paid by the Bursar. Decisions pertaining to the library are made by the community. The Librarian's recommendations are given full consideration, which is appreciated. A very good working relationship exists between the librarian and the community.

2. Relationship to mission
The Library is a supplementary resource for the students. It is not intended to fulfil all their library requirements, as these are met largely by St. Paschal's Library.

The Administrative Staff tend to be busy and mobile, and not large users of the library - however, they are kept aware of its activities, and informed of its acquisitions and journal contents through regular issues of the Journal Contents List.

The library meets the needs of the community at Box Hill in providing books, journals and audio-visual material for their spiritual development, pastoral work and writing of articles.

3. The purpose of the collection development policy statement
The purpose of this Collection Development Policy statement is that

4. Clientele served

Residents have access to the library at all times, visitors by arrangement.

Clients travel to nearby libraries for material not held, sometimes the librarian would make prior contact with these libraries. The library is not a regular and active participant of the inter-library loan system.

5. Access to the Collection

Public access is available by prior arrangement with the librarian or community. Card catalogues and now a terminal access, are available on site. At present there are no off-site access points, though it is hoped that discs of the collection can be distributed to other community houses in the Order, in the future.

There are no formal restrictions on who may work in the library or use the collection, though there is only one central table available, in the office area.

Borrowing privileges are available by arrangement with the librarian / community. There is no fee for borrowing.

The Library does not often receive requests for Inter-Library Loans, but would try to co-operate where possible. Photocopying is 10c per page.

6. Description of the Collection
The Order's interest in spirituality, liturgy and Eucharist has strengthened those areas of the collection over the years, though it is fairly dated now. The recent decline in numbers of candidates for the novitiate / scholasticate has led to a reduction in material purchased for the library.

Eymard College Library has the following categories of material: Reference section (somewhat dated); monographs (the bulk of the collection); indexed Journals (current and retrospective) and some audio visual material.

The Library does not currently select Hebrew / Greek / other language commentaries on the Bible. There is, however, a collection of St. Peter Julian Eymard's biblically based spiritual reflections in French and English.
Generally speaking, the Library collects material only in the English language, however some of the Eymard material (including current journals) is in French or French and English.

The Library has a solid, but dated collection of books in philosophy and spirituality. Current collection policy attempts to collect books and journals on the Eucharist.

There are 32 current periodical subscriptions.

Cataloguing and classification
The books are catalogued by author, title, series and subject entries, with Library of Congress subject headings. The Library uses DDC, 19th edition, with the St. Paschal's Library amendment for the 200 Religion classification.

The Library does not use ABN, and is not a member of ABN. New records are catalogued in machine readable form, and it is likely that the card catalogue will be converted eventually, but work has not commenced on that at this stage.

This is a small collection with some strength in the areas of Eucharist, liturgy and spirituality. A recent donation to the library of books on homosexuality and AIDS from a member's thesis, has considerably strengthened our collection in that area.

Eymard College is not strictly a teaching institution, rather a house of formation, and the library collection, together with support from St. Paschal's Library at Y.T.U. does adequately support the students and members of our community.

The collection, on its own, would not supply the needs of post-graduate research.
Eymard College Library would cooperate, in so far as it could, with the MCD advanced degree program. Obviously there are limitations in terms of the extent and depth of the collection, and special arrangements to visit would have to be made with the community, as the library is staffed only on one day per week.

7. Budget
The overall library expenditure for 1998 was $ 7,300. This includes professional librarian 5 hours per week / 45 weeks p.a.; acquisitions and equipment (not furniture). This has been supervised by the Bursar, not the Librarian. A professional accountant has just been appointed to handle all the finances of the Community, including the library budget. It is yet to be seen what changes this may bring.

There is reasonable certainty that the current collection strengths will be maintained and that collection intensities will be achievable and possibly improved in the future.

8. Selection principles and procedures
Any member of the community may make suggestions for the purchasing of material. The librarian checks that it is not already held / subscribed to; and seeks final approval from the Novice Master or Bursar or Provincial before purchasing.
The librarian scans journals and publishers blurbs for material of interest to the community and after approval will purchase new material.

Subject balance tends to be more a background issue than a driving force in our library. The librarian recommends material within our interests, and with a view to perceived gaps in the collection, but the final responsibility rests with the Order, as to funding. New interests / disciplines arise directly from the activities or interests of the community itself, and these may prompt purchases of new material. Hence new members sometimes add significantly to the collection e.g. a priest from our Perth community donated a large collection of Jungian psychology and spirituality books; these are currently being added to; a novice regularly donates many new literary works to the library.

The criteria guiding those involved in selection are simply the needs of the community and the charism of the Order.

The Library budget is modest, but expensive material would be purchased if deemed necessary and useful to the Community.

Donations most often come from within the Order e.g. when a community house is moved or closed. Material that is relevant, relatively recent and not duplicated is kept. Occasionally
unwanted books / journals are sent to Blessed Sacrament Father mission establishments overseas. All Eymardiana is kept, regardless of age, duplication.

9. Special collections
The Eymard collection is a specialised collection within the library. It is mostly catalogued but with an in-house classification. It is strongly Roman Catholic in nature. It is currently housed in the library 'office' area, with a small display section open to the community and public. We have spoken of finding more suitable accommodation for the collection.
The Archives are held in St. Francis Church, Melbourne and are not the responsibility of the library at this time. It is possible that the Eymard Collection and the Archives could be housed and cared for together.

There are small collections outside of the 200's e.g. Philosophy (pertaining to past studies); recent donation of books on homosexuality and AIDS; biographies; fiction collection. They would probably not be suitable for research purposes. Catalogued material would be accessible to the public by arrangement.

10. Limitations

Generally speaking the library does not collect foreign language theological material, pre-Vatican II material, costly multi volume sets, higher research material. With judicious weeding the present library facility should accommodate the collection for the next 6 - 10 years.

11. Cooperative relationships with other libraries

As alluded to previously, this library is in close proximity to St. Paschal's Library at Y.T.U., a facility used by our students training for the priesthood and / or undertaking theology degrees. The Blessed Sacrament Fathers are founding members of Y.T.U. There is an informal, cooperative arrangement between the member institutions and Y.T.U., and students at Y.T.U. are permitted to use Eymard College library by arrangement, and some do. However there seems to be a reluctance on the part of students to use the smaller libraries, unless introduced through a colleague or friend.The Librarians meet regularly, both at ANZTLA and MCD Library meetings, and the respective members of the religious orders meet regularly. Despite this there has not been any formal cooperation between the libraries in terms of a joint collection policy or merging of the libraries. The librarians compile and share lists of journal subscriptions, standing orders, patristics.

12. Collection evaluation
The library was last reviewed by Fr Ken O'Malley, from the Catholic Theological College, Chicago in 1992 as part of the review of the Y.T. U. libraries. This is the first time that the Conspectus methodology has been undertaken by the Y.T.U. affiliated libraries or those under the M.C.D. umbrella.

13. Preservation activity
Additional space will be required for the library in 5 - 10 years time, unless substantial weeding maintains the status quo. New shelving was purchased 3 - 4 years ago, which provided urgently needed room for periodicals, monographs and audio-visual material. The library is dry and well ventilated, though sunlight is a problem for books near the windows, despite blinds.

14. Weeding
The Librarian weeds the collection. All journals were substantially rationalised two years ago- duplicates and short runs of inconsequential journals were disposed of; and some outdated journals were sent to the missions. With more students and increased funding the reference collection and significant parts of the library could be updated.

15. Review of the collection development policy
It is intended that this CDP be reviewed in 5 years time by the librarian, in consultation with the Director of Formation and the Bursar.

Siobhan Foster
May 1999