San Juan College Library


Materials referred to in this policy statement may be defined as those items which are used to support and enrich the curriculum and that are selected for students, faculty and staff of the college and residents of the county.

Selection of materials, because of enlarging curriculum and the publishing of new materials, is a continuous process; therefore, materials are selected by qualified personnel consisting of instructors, librarians, and administrators through individual or committee study and recommendations.  The authority for the final selection resides with the Director of Library Services.  The Director will encourage faculty participation in both materials selection and withdrawal of obsolete materials.


Materials will be selected according to the following principles:

  1. To provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, and maturity levels of the students served.
  2. To provide materials that will encourage personal and intellectual growth in knowledge, literary appreciation, diverse views and other intellectual stimulation.
  3. To provide a background of information which will enable students to better make informed decisions.
  4. To provide a variety of views on controversial issues so that students may develop the practice of critical reading and thinking.
  5. To provide materials representative of many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage.
  6. To be guided by the principles of intellectual freedom in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users and mission statement of the library.

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 considered to have literary aesthetic value.
  4. Materials whose value is enduring and/or timely.
  5. Authors should be considered competent and qualified in the field.
  6. Materials dealing with controversial issues are represented by both sides of the issue in thoughtful manner.
  7. Materials should be well-constructed and durable enough for library use. 



Materials donated or bequeathed to the library shall be evaluated and accepted according  to the same criteria as materials purchased.  All materials accepted shall become the property of the college and subject to the library’s rules of distribution, housing, and disposal.  If gifts or bequests prove to be duplicates or materials already owned, the Director shall make arrangements to dispose of them in accordance with this policy.



In consultation with appropriate personnel, the following materials may be withdrawn from the collection and discarded or exchanged:

  1. Obsolete materials:  subjects that become dated quickly and outdated;
    Information that can be misleading; e.g., encyclopedias, directories, travel, geography, science, careers, medicine.
  2. Superfluous duplicates.
  3. Badly worn or defaced volumes for which there are suitable replacements;
    e.g., dirty, brittle or yellowed pages, books with missing pages or broken spines.
  4. Materials not pertinent to the collection and that are not standard titles.
  5. Materials no longer considered accurate or factual, and which have no historical value.
  6. Materials reported lost and not recovered with two years will be marked withdrawn in the inventory records.


The selection of library materials is predicated on the user’s right to read and freedom from censorship by others.  Many books are controversial, and any given item may offend some persons.  Selections for this library will not, however, be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the materials in relation to the building of the collection and to serving the interests of the readers.  The library holds censorship to be a purely individual matter and declares that while anyone is free choose one’s own reading material, one does not have the right to restrict the freedom of others.

Individuals questioning the appropriateness of certain materials for the college library should present their criticism, in writing, to the Director of Library Services.  The criticism should identify objectionable items in books, periodicals, or publications, and explain why you feel 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.


Library Account Questions 505-566-3249
Research Questions 505-566-3256