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Library Services: Collection Development

Learn about Interlibrary Loan, instruction requests, reference, and course reserves.

Selection of Materials

The Library collection, in all formats, supports and enriches the curriculum and the academic endeavors of the students, faculty, and staff of Santa Fe Community College.  In addition, materials may be selected for the pursuit of independent, co-curricular, or extracurricular activities of the SFCC community.  The Library does not purchase textbooks or classroom instructional materials; these types of items are the purview of the departments.  We strongly encourage faculty to put copies on Reserve for their students. 

Selection of materials is a continuous process.  Resources are selected by librarians but requests by faculty, students, and staff are welcomed and encouraged.  Please note that in general, the Library does not purchase nonfiction items that were published more than 5 years ago. The authority for the final selection resides with the Library Director. 

The following principles and the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights guide the selection of all Library resources in all format: print, video, electronic, etc.  The Library strives:

  1. To provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests and abilities of the students served.
  2. To provide materials that will assist faculty in their preparation for classes and provide for continued professional growth in their disciplines.
  3. To provide materials that will encourage personal and intellectual growth in knowledge, literary appreciation, diverse views, and intellectual stimulation.
  4. To provide basic, background information which will enable students to make informed decisions.
  5. To provide materials representing a variety of views on controversial issues so that students may develop the practices of critical reading, viewing, and thinking.
  6. To provide materials representing diverse social and cultural perspectives.
  7. To provide materials in support of regional or local interest (e.g., Southwest materials including children's literature, local authors, etc.).
  8. To provide materials for personal enrichment and recreational endeavors.
  9. To be guided by the principles of intellectual and academic freedom.

The following evaluative criteria will be used:

  1. Materials which are educationally suitable and ones which are essential and appropriate for development of the subject.
  2. Materials that have been well-researched and thoughtful in presentation.
  3. Materials which are deemed to have cultural and/or literary value.
  4. Materials whose value is enduring and/or timely.
  5. Materials by authors who are considered competent and qualified in their field.

Suggest Library Materials Form


The selection of all Library materials is predicated on the user’s right to read and freedom from censorship by others (see the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read  and Freedom to View statements).  In addition, academic freedom for faculty, students, and staff is a guiding principle.  (Please see the SFCC Academic Freedom Policy and the American Association of University Professor’s statement on academic freedom.)

Many items could be controversial and any given item might offend someone.  Selections for SFCC Library are made based on the principles and criteria outlined above and on professional guidelines.  Research, reading, and viewing are a purely individual matter.  The Library adheres to the principle that everyone is free to choose one’s own material and no one has the right to restrict the freedom of others.

Individuals questioning the appropriateness of certain materials for the SFCC Library should present their criticism, in writing, to the Library Director.  The criticism should identify objectionable items in books, periodicals, films, or other library materials and should include an explanation of why the individual feels the item does not meet the Library’s criteria for material selection.  The work as a whole should be considered and not just statements or portions taken out of context.  Final decisions of challenged materials rest with the Library Director after consultation with Library staff.

Withdrawal of Materials

The following principles guide the withdrawal of resources:

  • Currency of the collection.

Outdated materials will be withdrawn, especially when such materials contain information that is obsolete and could be misleading.  Examples include, but are not limited to, encyclopedias, directories, and materials pertaining to travel, geography, science, careers, and medicine. 

  • Superfluous materials.

Materials that do not circulate or have not circulated in several years may be considered for withdrawal, including duplicates.

  • Damaged items.
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