This is the "Library Policies and Services" page of the "Welcome to the Library" guide.
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Welcome to the Library  

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2017 URL: Print Guide

Library Policies and Services Print Page

Our Mission and Policies


We support the college's mission by providing students, faculty, staff and the community the best possible service, information, resources, and equipment available to accomplish the college's academic and institutional goals. We acquire and maintain relevant collections in a variety of formats and we offer services to promote their use and to foster informational literacy skills in our patrons.
We also play an active role in the instructional program by offering course-related library instruction, and by consulting with faculty about collection development and services.  We aim for service excellence through timely, competent and cheerful service; with a comfortable physical environment; and by responding to the changing needs of our patrons.

Intellectual Freedom

Intellectual Freedom is the right of individuals to believe what they wish on any subject, and to express and explore beliefs or ideas openly without fear of prosecution. Integral to this freedom is the right of unrestrained access to all information and ideas regardless of the medium of communications used.

South Seattle College Library maintains a commitment to Intellectual Freedom by providing access to resources with a wide range of viewpoints and enlightenment on the problems and issues of our times. Just as its doors remain open to all individuals, regardless of age, sex, race, religion, national origin or socio-political views, so its holdings remain open to all materials regardless of the author’s age, sex, race, religion, national origin or viewpoint.

Our library operates under the principles established by the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights. Our Intellectual Freedom policies are also supported by the Washington State Constitution.

Patron Privacy

The primary purpose of patron information is to maintain control of library materials. The Library protects the right to privacy of all its users and is supported by SCD policy and state law (RCW42.17.310). All personal information, including information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired, and circulation records pertaining to all library users are for library business only and are confidential regardless of the source of inquiry.


The circulation records and patron information are confidential regardless of source of inquiry and shall not be made available to anyone except pursuant to such process, order, or subpoena as may be authorized by law.
All information in library electronic records is for library use only and is confidential.
Due date information for circulated library material will be made available upon request.
If overdue material is requested, library personnel will contact the current user and request the return of the library material. The requesting user may place a "hold" on the item(s) and will be contacted when the material is available.
If requested, faculty are informed as to the number of times a reserve item is circulated but not the identity of the users.
All problems and legal actions are referred to the Dean of Educational Services for appropriate action in accordance with College Policy.
Personal and circulation information will be released to the proper college and/or state authorities by the Dean of Educational Services only for the purposes of retrieval of overdue library material.

Copyright on Campus

The library can assist faculty, staff and administrators who have questions about the appropriate use of copyrighted materials, acquiring permissions, and working within the bounds of Fair Use for academic purposes. The Seattle Colleges District has an adopted copyright policy which can be accessed here.

Collection Development 

Library materials are selected primarily to support the goals of the college’s instructional programs. We strive to ensure a balanced collection that is responsive to the needs of the campus, meets our criteria for selection and development; and is consistent with the principles and ideals of intellectual freedom.  A broad range of materials presenting diverse points of view on current and historical issues will be provided in order to help students develop critical and analytic skills. No material will be excluded from our collection or from our exhibit space because of the characteristics or views of the author.

Objectives of selection

In order of priority, new materials are added to the collection to:

Support campus instructional programs;

Provide materials for independent study;

Provide vocational and continuing education information;

Provide a balanced collection, including materials representing a wide diversity of views and expression;

Promote self-awareness;

Provide items for recreation and growth.

Criteria for selection

Titles do not have to satisfy any or all of these criteria but will be evaluated with these criteria in mind. Whenever possible, coordination of resource selection with the libraries at Seattle Central and North Seattle Colleges will be attempted. Criteria to be considered in the evaluation of specific materials will be:

Accordance with the statements of mission, objectives, goals and philosophy included in this Policy;

Timeliness and historical value, including materials that reflect current issues, methods, trends, and ideas and those works that support the study of local, national, and international issues and events in history;

Quality of the material, as evidenced by its level of scholarship, authority of the publisher, authority of the author, clarity of expression and appropriate formatting;

Evaluations in professionally recognized journals;

Appropriateness of level of approach;

Availability of materials already in the Library/Media Services;

Patron interest;


Requests from faculty, staff and administration for items important to either a particular program or to professional or institutional development;

Requests from students;

Criteria by format

The collection will be periodically evaluated in order to identify material for discard. Decisions to withdraw will be based on the same objectives and criteria that govern selection, with these additional specific criteria: Appropriateness to the collection; Circulation; Physical condition; Duplication.


Our Services

Free Workshops

Each quarter, we offer several free workshops for students, campus and community members. The workshops are designed to help you learn to use library resources more effectively, more easily and more efficiently. Typically, you'll get an overview on a specific resource and then have a chance to practice with a librarian's help. All workshops are fifty minutes and require no advance sign-up. Workshops are held in LIB105.

Borrowing Privileges

All currently enrolled students, faculty and staff in the Seattle Colleges District may check out library materials with college ID. Students at all community colleges state-wide are also eligible. Residents in the West Seattle area may borrow materials after obtaining an ID card from the registration office for $5.

Loan Periods

  • Books: Two weeks, two renewals
  • Periodicals: One week
  • Reference: In Library Only

Course Reserves

Faculty will often place textbooks or other readings on reserve when they want to ensure availability for all students. Reserve items are held at the circulation desk, and may be checked out for IN LIBRARY USE ONLY for 1-3 hours. Ask at the circulation desk about taking items off-campus.

Media Services

CDs, DVDs, videos, audiotapes and other media formats are available at Media Services and searchable in the library catalog. Check at the Media desk regarding loan periods and for equipment to access media. Check here or call 934.5384 for more details.

Study Rooms

Need a place to meet for your group project or quiet study time? Check out the library study rooms located near the circulation desk. Rooms are available on a first-come first-serve basis. Sign up sheets are posted outside of each room day of or one-day advance.

Interlibrary Loan

Looking for a book that's not available locally? We may be able to find it for you from another library. Interlibrary loan items may take more than ten days to arrive and loan periods vary. Ask a librarian for more details.


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