The mission of the Wampler Library is to provide materials and services which support not only the educational programs of the College but also provide broad exposure to various disciplines, cultures, and ways of understanding. The library houses over 42,000 print and 74,000 electronic book volumes, 100+ print and 92,000+ electronic magazine, journal, and newspaper issues; 31,000+ digital/electronic media; and 8,000+ reels of microfilm. In addition, the library provides access to 117 electronic research databases licensed by the VCCS and the Library of Virginia, as well as to the vast electronic resources of VIVA (The Virtual Library of Virginia). All library collections are accessible online at https://www.mecc.edu/library/.

There are 39 public access computers in the library which are provided for conducting research and for completing self-paced instruction, classroom assignments, or personal projects. Enrolled students can access online library resources from off campus via the Internet. The library staff provides circulation, reference, and interlibrary loan services, as well as technical assistance with the computers and computer software. The library staff also provides information literacy instruction for using the library’s collections and services for research. Books, magazine articles, or other materials, which are not owned by the Wampler Library can usually be obtained through interlibrary loan. All interlibrary loans are free; the library pays any charges for them.


Students, faculty, and staff must have an ID card to check out materials from the Wampler Library. When MECC students present a current student ID at the time of making copies of academic work, there will be no charge for copies.  ID cards are made in the bookstore.  Local residents who are not students at MECC are welcome to use the Wampler Library and to check out materials but must have valid photo identification to obtain a library card. Community library cards are provided free of charge.


  • Circulating, Juvenile, and Oversize Collections: The materials in these three collections check out for two weeks and can be renewed indefinitely unless a hold is placed on them.
  • Reference Collection: These materials must be used in the library.
  • Media Collection: These materials cannot be checked out of the library, except by MECC faculty members. Students may use the materials from the Media Collection in the library study room.
  • Current Magazines and Newspapers: Issues available in print format may be checked out for overnight use, but this time limit may be extended upon request.
  • Reserve Materials: These items have restricted circulation periods of two-hour, overnight, or one week.
  • Video-based Course Materials: Videotapes and other materials used to support video-based courses are checked out for the entire semester and are due back on the last day of exams.


No late fines are charged at Wampler Library; however, as a reminder, students and community residents will receive three overdue notices when library materials have not been returned by the due date. The first two notices will be sent to students’ e-mail accounts.  When the third and final notice is mailed, students will be blocked, which means they will not be able to receive a financial aid refund, or obtain an official college transcript until the library materials have been returned or replacement costs have been paid.  The unreturned materials are considered lost and a replacement cost is added to the students account.  The replacement cost includes the purchase price of the materials plus a processing fee of $5.00 per item for book jacket covers, spine labels, barcodes, date due pockets and cards, and cataloging service fees. 

Students and community residents who have outstanding library materials will not be allowed to check out additional items from the library until the unreturned materials have been addressed, unless special permission has been granted by the staff based upon communication from faculty for them to do so.

Please note that according to The Code of Virginia, unreturned library materials are considered a theft of public property of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  As required by the Commonwealth of Virginia, unpaid debts for overdue library materials will be submitted to the Virginia Department of Taxation under the Set-Off Debt Collection Program, with the debts deducted from the individual’s state income tax refund or lottery winnings. 


If you need a book or magazine article that is unavailable in the Wampler Library, the library staff will place an interlibrary loan request for the item. Be sure to make interlibrary loan requests at least two weeks before an assignment is due. All interlibrary loans are free. The Wampler Library covers any charges for them.


A photocopier, microfilm reader-printers, and a computer printer are provided in the library for student use. All copies made on the photocopier, the microfilm reader-printers, and the computer printer are 5 cents each, with the exception of copies of academic work made by current MECC students.  When MECC students present a current student ID at the time of making copies of academic work, there will be no charge for copies.  All copying must be in compliance with the United States Copyright Act.


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.


The collection development policy statement serves as both a planning tool and a communication device.  This policy guiding the development of the Wampler Library’s collection enables selectors to work with consistency toward defined goals, thus shaping stronger collections and using limited funds more wisely, informs faculty, students, administrators, and others as to the scope and nature of existing collections, and the plans for continuing development of resources; and provides information which will assist in the budgetary allocation process.

Since a library is not a static institution, no policy statement can be final and definitive.  Collection development must reflect the changing nature of the institution and its programs and curricula; therefore, the collection development policy statement will be reviewed periodically.


The Wampler Library’s collection is developed to provide students and faculty with access to materials which not only support the educational programs and appropriate research activities of the College but also provide broad exposure to various disciplines, cultures, and ways of understandings.  Local residents are welcome to utilize the resources of the Wampler library; however, their needs are not addressed specifically in the development of the academic collection with the exception of special collection and archives.


The Wampler Library supports the programs of study as outlined in the College catalog.  These instructional programs are supported by retrospective collections of standard works as well as by the addition of pertinent current publications.  As new courses and curricula are added at Mountain Empire Community College, appropriate materials will be added to support them.


The major emphasis of the library’s collection development is on providing materials at an introductory, undergraduate college level in support of the College’s programs of study.  The “Open Door” policy of the College allows admission of students with widely varied educational backgrounds; therefore, the library provides materials to support diverse interests and educational levels.  Developing an exhaustive research collection is beyond the scope of this academic collection.

Mountain Empire Community College’s highly selective basic collection serves to introduce and define subjects and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere.  Professional development of the faculty is supported to a degree; however, the sophisticated research materials needed by the faculty are obtained through interlibrary loan with OCLC and through the electronic resources provided by the Virtual Library of Virginia.


1. The following guiding principles have been developed to help promote the development of a sound and useful library collection of the highest quality. Titles added to the collection shall be evaluated in terms of appropriateness for undergraduate use.  Highly technical material is to be purchased only if a definite use is proven.  To meet the needs of students with differing levels of ability, the library shall acquire materials for students ranging in difficulty from the reading level appropriate for adult basic education to that appropriate for college seniors.

2. After the establishment of a core collection, the major emphasis in the acquisition of new titles should be on current publications, especially those which promise to fulfill future as well as current needs. Priority will be given in the following order:

  1. Basic materials for new courses in an expanding curriculum.
  2. Materials requested by instructors to supplement their field.
  3. General reference materials.
  4. Outstanding books in fields not covered by the present curriculum.
  5. General reading material.

3. Duplicate copies are purchased only when required for instructional purposes or for research needs. This does not include textbooks for specific classes unless supported by funds outside the annual budget of Wampler Library.

4. Format shall be considered when more than one edition of a title is available. Preference will be given to well-designed hardback or trade paperback editions for monographs.  For distance education classes, preference will be given to electronic formats. 

5. Materials dealing with all geographical areas should be acquired. Materials dealing with the history, geography, and culture of the service area of the College will be collected in greater depth.

6. Foreign language materials will be purchased only to support classes taught by the College.

7. Newspapers are selected in order to provide local and national coverage. Back issues of local newspapers of the college’s service area shall be purchased annually of the oldest and most recent issue available until the collection is complete, then only the most recent issue shall be purchased.

8. Because serials require the continuing allocation of funds and space, subscription requests are reviewed carefully.  Purchases are very selective.  Serial requests are judged by the following criteria:  authoritativeness, accessibility of contents through indexes held by the library, cost of subscription in relation to its potential use, ability of students to read and understand the material presented, journal holdings in the subject area, usefulness in other subject areas, and the importance of the journal to supporting the instructional programs of the College.  It is recommended that a new periodical be in existence for one year before it is purchased.  Backfiles of magazines and newspapers are collected in a microfilm format for economy of storage, completeness of holdings, and durability of material.  Extensive electronic backfiles of periodicals are also provided by the Virtual Library of Virginia and the Virginia Community College System.  When electronic backfiles are available for a title, microfilm will not be purchased

9. Textbooks are purchased only when a title represents the best source of information in that field and sufficient funds are available.

10. Decisions about replacing missing books are made during the annual inventory of the library collection.

11. Factors to be considered in book selection include:

  1. Permanent or timely value.
  2. Accurate and current information.
  3. Clear presentation and readability.
  4. Reviews in sources such as standard bibliographies, current reviewing magazines, or professional journals.
  5. Physical features, such as illustrations, charts, or bibliographies.
  6. Anticipated maintenance.
  7. Accessibility of information.


Non-book materials in a variety of formats are collected to support the instructional programs of the College.  Primary responsibility for selection of non-book materials rests with the faculty.  Non-book materials should always be previewed before purchase.  These materials must meet the same types of standards as those used to evaluate books for purchase with additional considerations such as suitability for application, quality of production, appropriateness of format to topic, type of equipment required for use, and quality of instructor’s manuals.


Responsibility for the selection of library materials for the College lies with the entire college community.  Faculty members are largely responsible for recommending the acquisition of materials in their subject fields.  Any member of the faculty or staff may request that an item be added to the library collection.  Students may also submit recommendations for purchases.  Specific amounts of money from the acquisitions budget are not allocated to the divisions; however, faculty members are provided, upon request, with a general figure as a guideline for helping them to determine their priorities for materials selection.  The College must encourage individual faculty member’s interest in and commitment to developing the library collection to insure the building of a comprehensive collection.  Responsibility for coordinating the collection as a whole; for aiding the faculty with bibliographic assistance; and for making judgments as to format, degree of completeness, and number of copies of materials of materials to be acquired rests with the Director of Library Services.


Any external funding pursued by the Wampler Library will be in accordance with Section 1.14 of the MECC Policy Manual, and any offers of non-monetary gifts will be considered by college administration in accordance with Section 1.15.


Finally, in order to keep the library collection responsive and pertinent to the needs of the College, an active and continuing program of selection for withdrawal or weeding should be maintained.  Weeding should be considered an integral part of the total organized effort to study and develop the library collection.  Duplicate copies of seldom used titles, superseded editions, and badly damaged copies should be withdrawn from the collection.  Similarly, items should be weeded if they contain outdated or inaccurate information.  Weeding should always involve consultation with the appropriate members of the College faculty.  Discards will be processed in accordance with state policies.

Since the Wampler Library is not a comprehensive research facility or archives, preservation of materials is addressed primarily by maintaining an appropriate environment for its library resources in a variety of formats.  During the annual inventory, worn books are identified and rebound as needed, and damaged or worn out audiovisual items are discarded and replaced.


Development of the library collection should be made on the basis of positive selection, rather than on rejection and restriction, in accordance with the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association (attached).  The Library Bill of Rights affirms the responsibility of libraries to present a fair and unbiased coverage of important subjects – no matter how controversial – in their collections.  The Wampler Library asserts its duty to include in its collection a representative selection of materials on all subjects of interest to its users, including materials on all sides of controversial questions.  Materials on any subject published by a reputable publisher which meet the previously stated evaluative criteria are properly admitted to the library collection.  The Wampler Library affirms its responsibility not to emphasize one subject at the expense of another or to emphasize one side of a subject exclusively.  No attempt to censor or purge reputable library materials on race, sex, religion, political theory, or any controversial subject will be countenanced by the library staff.  All children under the age of fifteen must have parental permission to obtain borrowing privileges; the children’s parents or guardian are then responsible for their children’s use of any of the resources or services offered by the Wampler Library.


The Mountain Empire Community College Archive is established and designated to serve as the college’s institutional repository for the permanent historical records of Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) as well as the archival materials contained within the various Special Research Collections housed at Mountain Empire Community College’s Wampler Library.

The Mountain Empire Community College Archive’s primary purposes are:

  1. To retain official copies of record of the minutes of all MECC Standing Committees per MECC Policy 7.5;
  2. To retain additional, redundant copies of any official MECC records deemed to be “archival records” according to 42.1-77 of the Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA) (Code of Virginia §42.1-76 – §42.1-91) which have been designated by the Library of Virginia (LVA) as having permanent retention periods [this excepts any records which are managed directly by the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), and also excepts any records containing any confidential personally identifiable information (PII), e.g. student records, academic records, personnel records, etc., records which are managed exclusively by those records’ originating departments. Redundant copies of any “archival records” with permanent retention periods are held by MECC Archive in addition to the official copies of record held by originating departments rather than in lieu of originating departments’ copies of such records];
  3. To serve as MECC’s primary repository of institutional memory by documenting the history and culture of MECC, Wise County, and the College’s service region by preserving the sole extant copies of unofficial materials such as photos, multimedia, and ephemera; and
  4. To provide access to original-source research material for administrators, faculty, students, alumni, and other interested members and stakeholders within the MECC community.

The core mission of the Mountain Empire Community College Archive is as follows:

  1. To review, collect, organize, describe, arrange, preserve, and make available and accessible as appropriate all materials that are of enduring historical, legal, fiscal, and/or administrative value and significance to the continuing operations of Mountain Empire Community College and to the history and culture of MECC and the college’s service region;
  2. To provide adequate facilities and operational resources for the continuing retention and appropriate preservation of such records according to established best practices within the archival profession;
  3. To provide information, research, and reference services for such records that will assist the operation of Mountain Empire Community College; and
  4. To implement and engage in records management by formulating policy and procedures for adoption at the organizational level that will ensure the effective collection and preservation of relevant and appropriate archival materials.

The vision of the Mountain Empire Community College Archive is to be well-known on campus and in the broader MECC service area for its unique archival and special collections holdings, patron-friendly and community-friendly policies of appropriate transparent free and open access, and for continual expansion of its role and mission of historical and cultural preservation.  The MECC Archive will realize this vision through continued expansion of archival holdings, exemplary reference service in providing access to these holdings, and through partnerships with historical and cultural preservation organizations based in communities within the MECC service region.

5.15.1  College Archive: Material Transfer

Per MECC Policy 7.5 regarding general procedures for standing committees, all permanent MECC standing committees will distribute all approved minutes, including attendance, of their respective committee “to the library for archival purposes.”  The standing committees and all other divisions, departments, offices, and committees of MECC which record and approve official minutes of the proceedings of meetings as part of their regular business will distribute a digital or paper copy of approved minutes along with all related attachments, handouts, and other materials from the corresponding meeting to the MECC Archives staff.  This transfer of minutes and other related attachments and materials will occur within thirty (30) days of the committee’s following meeting in which minutes and materials to be submitted are read, approved, and recorded.  These approved official minutes and attachments may be transmitted to Wampler Library’s MECC Archives via interdepartmental mail or digitally via employees’ official MECC-provided employee email account. 

The MECC Archive will also accept any other relevant print, digital, and multimedia materials of enduring operational or historical value including, but not limited to, policy and procedure manuals, student handbooks, college catalogs, class schedules, photographs, audio and/or video recordings, commencement programs, etc.  Any department can submit any college material of enduring operational or historical value for permanent preservation in either analog or digital format.

5.15.2  College Archive: Access and Security

For the purposes of information security, the MECC Archive will be treated as closed stacks, locked, and only accessible during the operating hours of MECC’s Wampler Library.  Archival records must always remain within the library for any examination done by any students or community researchers.  Materials will only be circulated or released to the custody of MECC employees for circulation outside Wampler Library by special approval of the Director of Library Services, the Vice President of Academic and Student Services, or the President of Mountain Empire Community College on a case-by-case basis.

Material marked classified, confidential, or otherwise marked for restricted access by records’   or materials’ originating departments will only be accessible to specified MECC personnel.  Requests by any MECC staff to access any such restricted archival material must be approved by the Vice President of Academic and Student Services (unless prior existing permission to access materials is granted by an approved classification access schedule or specifically within the accession procedures by the materials’ author or originating department).  Any such material identified as classified or confidential will also be kept under additional lock and key in a locked, fire-resistant filing cabinet contained within the locked archive room in MECC’s Wampler Library.

5.15.3 Preservation and Handling

For preservation purposes, the temperature and humidity levels of the file room will be regularly monitored by archival staff.  All records and paper documents will be stored within acid free file folders to also be contained within acid free boxes and free of any metal paper fasteners (including staples and paper clips).  Also for preservation purposes, all materials submitted to the archives in a digital format will be printed and stored in an analog format on paper as well as systematically preserved utilizing digital archiving and preservation practices.  All paper archival materials will only be physically handled using clean cotton gloves, which will be provided to all archival patrons by MECC Archives staff. 


Wampler Library has special collections of mixed formats (archival manuscripts, monographs, and various audiovisual formats) which serve the mission of the Wampler Library and College Archive.  When a special collection is received, the librarian(s) assigned to the special collection will conduct an inventory of the special collection, which will include the items, the donor, monetary value, purpose, and collection development guide and policy.  This information will be presented to the Director of Library Services, Archives, and Cultural Heritage Programs for review and submission to the staff of the Vice President of Academic and Student Services for review and approval.  These special collection guides will be added to the Wampler Library’s website.

5.16.1  Genealogy and Local History Collection Development Policy

This collection development policy provides in detail the level of collection development for the special collections of genealogy and local history for the service region and surrounding area of Mountain Empire Community College.  The policy also includes a list of resources for collection development of genealogy and local history.

Extensive Collection Development (published and unpublished, all formats) on genealogy and local history titles for reference (REF GLH) and archives (ARCH GLH):

  • Dickenson County, Virginia (formed from Buchanan, Russell, & Wise), 1880 – present.
  • Lee County, Virginia (formed from Russell), 1793 – present.
  • Scott County, Virginia (formed from Lee, Russell, & Washington), 1814 – present.
  • Wise County, Virginia (formed from Lee, Russell, & Scott), 1856 – present.

General Collection Development (published only, print & digital) on genealogy and local history titles for the counties from which Dickenson, Lee, Scott, and Wise Counties were formed for reference (REF GLH):

  • Augusta County, Virginia (formed from Orange), 1738 – 1770.
  • Botetourt County, Virginia (formed from Augusta), 1770 – 1772.
  • Buchanan County, Virginia (formed from Russell & Tazewell), 1858 – 1880.
  • Essex County, Virginia (formed from Rappahannock), 1692 – 1721.
  • Fincastle County, Virginia (formed from Botetourt), 1772 – 1777.
  • King and Queen County, Virginia (formed from New Kent), 1691 – 1721.
  • King William County, Virginia (formed from King and Queen), 1702 – 1721.
  • Lancaster County, Virginia (formed from Northumberland & York), 1651 – 1656.
  • Montgomery County, Virginia (formed from Fincastle), 1777 – 1790.
  • New Kent County, Virginia (formed from York), 1654 – 1691.
  • Northumberland County, Virginia (formed from Indian district Chickacoan), 1648 – 1651.
  • Orange County, Virginia (formed from Spotsylvania), 1734 – 1738.
  • Rappahannock County, Virginia (formed from Lancaster), 1656 – 1692.
  • Russell County, Virginia (formed from Washington), 1786 – 1880.
  • Spotsylvania County, Virginia (formed from Essex, King and Queen, & King William), 1721 – 1734.
  • Tazewell County, Virginia (formed from Russell & Wythe), 1799 – 1858.
  • Washington County, Virginia (formed from Fincastle), 1776 – 1814.
  • Wythe County, Virginia (formed from Montgomery), 1790 – 1799.
  • York County, Virginia (one of eight shires of Virginia Colony), 1634 – 1654.

Basic Collection Development (published only, print & digital) on genealogy and local history titles for reference (REF GLH):

  • African American Encyclopedia.
  • Bibliographies on Virginia History and Genealogy.
  • Census index for Virginia from 1790 to 1840.
  • Census Roll Index for Native American Tribes of Eastern United States / Virginia
  • County Formation Atlas based upon Census Years for Virginia / United States.
  • Gazetteer and Place Name Dictionary for Virginia.
  • General History of Virginia and Counties in MECC Service Region (additional copies for circulation).
  • Historical Atlases for Virginia and United States.
  • Historical Timeline for Virginia.
  • Introductory Manuals on Conducting Genealogy Research (additional copies for circulation).
  • Native American Encyclopedia.
  • Research Aids for Virginia.
  • Settlement Atlas / Maps for Eastern United States / Virginia.
  • Ships Passenger Index / List for Eastern United States / Virginia.

Some Genealogical and Historical Collection Development Resources include:

  • Bookworm and Silverfish, an antiquarian dealer specializing in resources for Southwest Virginia and the surrounding region. http://www.bookwormandsilverfish.com/  
  • Genealogical.com, parent of the Genealogical Publishing Company and its affiliate, Clearfield Company, is the leading publisher of books and CDs on genealogy and family history. Over a period of more than fifty years the GPC/Clearfield genealogy collection has grown to 2,000 titles featuring a wide range of topics such as genealogy, immigration, royal ancestry, and county history.  Our genealogy books are authoritative and timeless, found in every library in the country with a genealogy and family history collection, and are widely respected by amateur and professional genealogy researchers alike.  http://www.genealogical.com/   
  • Heritage Books, Inc. for genealogy and history books, CDs, and maps. http://www.heritagebooks.com/
  • Higginson Book Company has been printing rare and out-of-print genealogies, family histories, local histories, Civil War regimentals and maps for over 40 years. http://www.higginsonbooks.com/  
  • Iberian Publishing specializes in genealogy and local history resources for Virginia and the Carolinas. In business for the past 33 years, the company supplies quality genealogical reference materials, including marriage records, census records, wills, deeds, land tax lists, guardian bonds and tithing lists, plus Civil and Revolutionary War records, timesaving aids, charts, atlases, and other research materials for the novice and professional genealogist alike.  http://www.genealogyresources.org/   
  • Mountain Press was formed in 1983 by James L. Douthat for the purpose of presenting primary research material for the historian and genealogist. Mountain Press has over 2,000 volumes of genealogy materials such as census, marriage, birth, death, and will records.  The majority of our information is for the southeastern states from Pennsylvania to Texas.  Our heaviest concentration of materials is in Tennessee and Virginia.  http://www.mountainpress.com/