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M. M. Bennett Library Policies and Procedures  Table of Contents

Introduction | Mission Statement |Library Users | Library user conduct and study atmosphere | Borrower Categories | Theft/Vandalism | Complaints/Suggestions/Compliments | Copyright | Collection Development | Levels of Collection Development | Cooperative Collection Building Area Libraries | Selection | Withdrawal of Materials from the Library | Reconsideration of Materials | Gift Acceptance | Library Bill of Rights | Freedom to Read | Libraries An American Value | Freedom to View | American Library Association Statement on Professional Ethics| Meeting Room Policy | Computer Use Policy

Deborah Robinson, Director of Libraries

Table of Contents Introduction

The M. M. Bennett Library Policy and Procedures Manual was written by the library staff to ensure consistent service at all of the library sites. The first edition was compiled in 1991. The second edition was edited in 1994 and the third revision in 1999/00 with further changes in 2002. Future revisions of the policies and procedures are expected and ongoing as the library changes to meet the information needs of students and faculty. The library policies and procedures are a practical guide to how we accomplish our tasks. Complete volumes are located in each library. Following are excerpts from the Manual.

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Mission Statement

The mission of the M. M. Bennett Library of St. Petersburg College in its support of the philosophy and objectives of the College is to provide comprehensive library and information services to meet the curricular, research, cultural and recreational needs of the college community.

The M. M. Bennett Library mission is accomplished by providing

  1. A rich variety of print, non-print and electronic materials and resources that enhance the college curriculum and additional resources for personal improvement and recreation.

  2. Assistance and instruction in the use of information resources by a staff of trained professional and career employees.

  3. A learning environment with services and equipment that facilitates the use of materials and resources.

SPC publishes "A Faculty Guide to Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities."

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Library Users

The M. M. Bennett Library and its facilities are open to students, faculty, staff and community members without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, religious affiliation, gender or economic status. Borrowing privileges are reserved for students who are currently enrolled in the College and many of its programs, to students and staff at any of Florida's public universities and community colleges, to students and staff at selected private institutions, to SPC faculty and staff, both full and part time, to retirees from the college, alumni of the college, and to community residents registered with the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative. Those who qualify for these privileges will have ID cards that they may present at any SPC site to borrow materials.


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Library user conduct and study atmosphere

As an integral part of a dynamic educational institution, the M. M. Bennett Library endeavors to maintain an atmosphere that is conducive to learning, research and relaxation. For this reason, library users are expected to conform to certain standards of conduct so that they do not interfere with the use and enjoyment of the library by others.

The following conduct is not permitted at any of the library sites except in certain designated circumstances:

  1. Eating or drinking.

  2. Loud talking or laughing.

  3. Loitering or sleeping.

  4. Running.

  5. Blocking or interfering with the free movement of other individuals.

  6. Obscene material is prohibited per Board rule 6Hx23-6.900.

  7. Bringing animals of any kind into the library, other than seeing-eye dogs.

  8. Use of restrooms for anything other than their intended purpose.

  9. Use of library telephones by other than library personnel unless approved.

  10. Soliciting or selling of any kind, unless for a pre-approved college activity.

  11. Distribution of leaflets or flyers without prior approval of the library administrator and campus administrator.

  12. Theft, mutilation or defacement of library property, including books, periodicals, encyclopedias, or anything else contained in the library's collection.

  13. Removal of any library property, including any items from the library collection, without authorization of library staff or through the library's lending procedures.

  14. Overt sexual behavior.

  15. Behavior that appears to be due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or other chemicals.

  16. Display or use of weapons of any kind.

  17. Offensive or obscene language or actions.

  18. Entering a non-public area without permission of the library staff.

  19. Any other behavior that interferes with the right of others to enjoy and use the library.

  20. Use of library equipment to access material that is illegal, i.e., child pornography.


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Borrower Categories

M. M. Bennett Library borrowing privileges are extended to the following categories subject to the stated limitations:

Students - Any student who is currently enrolled in at least one class taught under the auspices of SPC as outlined in BOT Rule 6Hx23-4.321. This includes students in regular sessions, express sessions, Open Campus classes (only for the dates the class is offered), dual enrollment, early admissions, Senior Citizens (non-paying attendees in regular classes), CASP, Program for the Deaf, Television courses, and any other SPC programs.

Alumni - Registered alumni of the college have borrowing privileges.

Volunteers - Registered volunteers of the college have borrowing privileges during the academic terms they serve as volunteers.

Faculty/Staff - All full-time, adjunct, Open Campus, or percent of load faculty and all full and part time employees of SPC. Support staff who work for areas not funded by the college, i.e., the Bookstores, Cafeterias, etc. may be issued staff cards session by session on a discretionary basis.

Retirees - Retirees from the college have lifetime borrowing privileges.

Community Borrowers - Adult residents of Pinellas County and their families who have cards from the Pinellas Public Library Cooperative as specified in BOT Rule P6Hx23-3.05. Restrictions apply to certain circulating materials.

Public College and University Borrowers - Students and staff from Florida community colleges and public universities are entitled to library privileges per a reciprocal agreement.

Other College & University Borrowers - Students and staff from certain Florida private colleges and universities are entitled to borrowing privileges per a reciprocal agreement.


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Theft or Vandalism of library materials is a serious offense. Students are subject to BOT Rule 6Hx23-4.33 that covers such violations as stealing and vandalism and states that "violation of any of these regulations may result in disciplinary action. In addition, disciplinary action may be imposed in special circumstances where prescribed by law." Florida State Statute 235.09 also addresses the issue of vandalism of public property in educational facilities, of which library materials are a part. When an obvious attempt at theft or vandalism is discovered, the library administrator or designate at the site will turn the student over to the dean of Student Services for further action. If the offender is not an enrolled student, he will be turned in to the appropriate site administrator.


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The M. M. Bennett Library intends to provide pleasant, efficient and useful service to students, faculty, staff and community members so that library users view the Library in a positive way and want to make frequent use of it. The Library encourages users' opinions regarding all aspects of its operation and provides a means for that expression. All comments are welcomed and reviewed not only by the Librarian on the site where the comment is received, but also by the Director of Libraries and any other appropriate college administrators.


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The M. M. Bennett Library abides by the U.S. Copyright Law of 1909, revised in 1976 (U.S. Public Law 94-553, General Revision of the Copyright Law). Copying not specifically allowed by the Copyright Law, Fair Use Doctrine, or proprietor's permission is prohibited in the M. M. Bennett libraries.

Copyright is a law that gives to the creator of a tangible work the sole right to copy or prepare derivatives from works, distribute copies to the public, perform audiovisual works in public and display literary, musical, dramatic, choreographic, pantomime, pictorial, graphic or sculptured works.

Fair Use establishes restrictions on those rights. It allows usage of materials when certain conditions have been met. Copying for purposes such as criticism, comments, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research are sometimes not an infringement of copyright. Factors considered in determining fair use include purpose of use educational rather than commercial; the nature of the work whether it contains plans or designs meant to be used, whether it is work meant for public viewing; the percentage used from the entire work, and whether it will decrease the market value of the work. Categories not included in the above, but useful for responding to demands. This level of development includes recreational-type materials and funds are expanded in this area after those listed above. A list indicating those subject areas belonging to the Strong, Basic and Minimal development levels at the campuses follows.


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Collection Development

Collection development is the means by which the M. M. Bennett Library provides organized collections of print, non-print and electronic resources that will meet institutional, curricular research, and instructional requirements, as well as the cultural and recreational needs of the college community. Collection development is achieved by librarians, administrators, faculty, staff and students working together to select library materials which best fulfill these needs. A Collection Development Committee, appointed by the Director, is responsible for collection development and meets regularly.


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Levels of Collection Development

There are many formulas available in the library community defining the level of development for particular areas of the library collection. The M. M. Bennett Library has adopted the following definitions of support and has applied them to the curriculum supported at SPC:

  1. Comprehensive. This is complete coverage, with all identifiable non-ephemeral resources acquired. Since SPC is a college rather than a university, there is no area supported that could be defined in this manner.

  2. Strong. Broad coverage that would satisfy most user needs. This level of development applies to SPC's required courses and involves the greater amount of the purchasing budget.

  3. Basic. Standard works containing general information, answering day to day questions. This level of development applies to elective courses and CLAST-support of materials. A smaller portion of the purchasing budget is allotted for this category.

  4. Minimal and staff research needs are served with a collection of selected, specialized materials. In addition, a professional collection of general education materials is maintained. For research needs that extend beyond these resources, faculty and staff may use alternative library services, such as interlibrary loan and database searches. The proximity of the University of South Florida with its major university library is recommended to serve more advanced faculty/staff research needs.

Community member needs are served by the library collection within the framework of its primary function of curriculum support.

Additional resources will be provided by SPC for the collections of the USF Nelson Poynter Library and the Seminole Community Library based on collection comparisons and student/faculty requests.


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Cooperative Collection Building Area Libraries

The M. M. Bennett Library is committed to cooperative efforts with other area libraries, including those in the school systems, colleges, universities and the county library cooperative. In the area of collection building every effort will be made to acquaint these library entities with SPC's collection development policy, and to coordinate purchases when feasible.


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As the curriculum is the most important influence on the development of the M. M. Bennett Library collection, it is very important that librarians obtain suggestions and advice about materials selection from the faculty and the administration. Recommendations from students are welcomed. The College-Wide Library Committee, which has representation from all these groups, helps to provide advice on collection development in cooperation with the Director of Libraries.

Faculty members participate in collection development and are consulted by departmental liaison librarians regularly concerning recommendations for purchase of needed materials. Selection and budget allocation responsibility is retained by the library. Faculty members also are surveyed regularly to measure how well the library serves the needs of the programs and courses of study.

Administrators are consulted on a regular basis for selection advice and significant additions to the collection also will be reported to the campus administration.

Students are encouraged to make suggestions via the Library Materials Selection Form located at each library and available on the library homepage.

Career staff personnel are encouraged to suggest additions to the collection through the librarians at the sites.

Library Material Request forms are available on the library homepage and in each library for faculty, staff, students, administrators and others to make suggestions for library materials for consideration.

As is stated in the SPC Faculty Manual, it is the policy of SPC through its libraries to select, commensurate with budgetary and space allocations, books, electronic resources, audio-visuals and related materials that support

  1. The aims and objectives of the college.

  2. The content of courses offered in the curriculum of a given campus.

  3. The teaching methods of faculty members of a site.

  4. The special needs of the students of a site.

  5. The needs of distance learners and faculty.

The college also supports the tenet that academic integrity and responsibility to the college community include free access to materials representing divergent points of view concerning controversial problems and issues.

  1. As a responsibility of library service, books and other library materials selected should be chosen for values of interest, information, and enlightenment of all the people of the community. In no case should library materials be excluded because of the race or nationality or the social, political, or religious views of the authors.

  2. Libraries should provide books and other materials presenting all points of view concerning the problems and issues of our times no library materials should be proscribed or removed from libraries because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

  3. Censorship should be challenged by libraries in the maintenance of their responsibility to provide public information and enlightenment.

  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas. This selection policy applies equally to all learning resources materials, whether acquired by purchase, gift, or exchange.

Initial responsibility for materials selection is shared jointly by all site librarians who solicit faculty, administrators, staff and students for suggestions. The Collection Development librarian at the site is responsible for analyzing gaps or weaknesses in the site collection and for suggesting purchases to correct them with the help of the departmental liaison librarians. Extremely expensive or unusual items must be approved by the library administrator, and may be subject to approval by the Collection Development Committee and the Director of Libraries.


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Withdrawal of Materials from the Library

The withdrawal of materials from the M. M. Bennett Library is governed by the procedure listed in the BOT P6Hx23-5.13, Section VI. "Property Records".

At least annually the libraries shall prepare a list of surplus books and other materials which are determined to be obsolete, or which are uneconomical or inefficient to continue to use, or which serve no useful function. The list shall be submitted to the president and, upon his approval, the surplus books and other materials shall be disposed of in accordance with college procedures.

This procedure allows for the periodic review of library books and materials that have become obsolete, physically unusable or are not used. Librarians evaluate the collection periodically for this purpose and consult instructors with expertise in the relevant disciplines for advice concerning retention of the materials.

Various standards from such associations as the American Library Association and the Southern Association of Colleges of Schools state that deselecting or weeding on a regular basis is indispensable to a useful collection and should be done systematically. Not only do obsolete and inappropriate materials occupy expensive space but they also detract from current materials containing important information. These standards suggest that from three to five percent of the collection should be withdrawn and replaced annually.

Books and materials selected for removal must meet at least one of the following conditions before being withdrawn:

  1. If the books/materials have been infrequently used for an extended period of time. The minimum time for withdrawal due to lack of use is 5 years. This does not apply to classical works which represent recommended titles from accredited sources.

  2. If there are other books/materials in the collection that better fulfill the same need.

  3. If the physical condition of the books/materials is such that they cannot be utilized and repair would be impractical.

  4. If the age of the books/materials is such that they are not useful for either current or historical purposes.


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Reconsideration of Materials

As is stated in the SPC Faculty Manual and in the library policy manual, the M. M. Bennett Library supports the principles stated in the Library Bill of Rights and opposes efforts at censorship in its "maintenance of .responsibility to provide public information and enlightenment." This responsibility also entails establishing a formal procedure for reconsideration of materials. Should a library user encounter material he feels is objectionable, he has the right to complete the "User's Request for Reconsideration of Library material," Form LI 407.

Materials that are under reconsideration are brought to the College-wide Library Committee, who study the situation and then make their recommendation for action to the Director of Libraries. The final decision is the sole responsibility of the Director and the Director's designees.


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Gift Acceptance

The M. M. Bennett Library welcomes donations of books, periodicals, and other library materials as well as funds as a valuable way to develop its resources. All gifts entail expenses to the library for reviewing, cataloging, and processing, as well as the continuing expenses to house and maintain materials that have been added to the collection. Therefore, the library staff must be selective in accepting gifts to ensure the donated materials support the library's goals for collection development. Before donations are accepted, donors are advised that the following stipulations may apply:

The library is not responsible for determining a monetary value for gift items, although the Director of Libraries will acknowledge receipt of the number of items accepted. Donors are encouraged to transport the gifts to the library.

Although the library staff will make every effort to accept only materials appropriate to the library's collections, it does not guarantee that all gift items will be added to the library collection. Inappropriate titles or duplicates of items already owned by the library may be given away to other libraries, distributed to students or discarded.

The library does not guarantee that donations which are added to the collections will be kept in perpetuity. The library collections are weeded regularly based on the guidelines of the library Collection Development policy statement. All items in the library collections are subject to the same criteria for retention.

The donor bears full responsibility for determining the value of the gift. The M. M. Bennett Library will not provide appraisals of gifts to the collection.


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Library Bill of Rights

The M. M. Bennett Library endorses the following document from the American Library Association.

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services:

  1. Books and other Library resources should be provided for the interest, information and enlightenment of all the people of the community the Library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or view of those contributing to their creation.

  2. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed from libraries because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

  3. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

  4. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

  5. A person's rights to use a Library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background or views.

  6. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.


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Freedom to Read

The M. M. Bennett Library endorses the following document from the American Library Association and Association of American Publishers:

  1. It is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox or unpopular with the majority.

  2. Publishers, librarians and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation contained in the books they make available. It would conflict with the public interest for them to establish their own political, moral or aesthetic views as a standard for determining what books should be published or circulated.

  3. It is contrary to the public interest for publishers or librarians to determine the acceptability of a book on the basis of the personal history or political affiliations of the author.

  4. There is no place in our society for efforts to coerce the taste of others, to confine adults to the reading matter deemed suitable for adolescents, or to inhibit the efforts of writers to achieve artistic expression.

  5. It is not in the public interest to force a reader to accept with any book the prejudgment of a label characterizing the book or author as subversive or dangerous.

  6. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians, as guardians of the people's freedom to read, to contest encroachments upon that freedom by individuals or groups seeking to impose their own standards or tastes upon the community at large.

  7. It is the responsibility of publishers and librarians to give full meaning to the freedom to read by providing books that enrich the quality and diversity of thought and expression. By the exercise of this affirmative responsibility, bookmen can demonstrate that the answer to a bad book is a good one, the answer to a bad idea is a good one.


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Libraries An American Value

Libraries in America are cornerstones of the communities they serve. Free access to the books, ideas, resources, and information in America's libraries is imperative for education, employment, enjoyment and self-government.

Libraries are a legacy to each generation, offering the heritage of the past and the promise of the future. To ensure that libraries flourish and have the freedom to promote and protect the public good in the 21st century, we believe certain principles must be guaranteed. To that end, we affirm this contract with the people we serve.

We defend the constitutional rights of all individuals, including children and teenagers, to use the library's resources and services;

We value our nation's diversity and strive to reflect that diversity by providing a full spectrum of resources and services to the communities we serve;

We affirm the responsibility and the right of all parents and guardians to guide their own children's use of the library and its resources and services'

We connect people and ideas by helping each person select and effectively use the library's resources;

We protect each individual's privacy and confidentiality in the use of library resources and services;

We celebrate and preserve our democratic society by making available the widest possible range of viewpoints, opinions and ideas, so that all individuals have the opportunity to become lifelong learners informed, literate, educated and culturally enriched.

Change is constant; but these principles transcend change and endure in a dynamic technological, social and political environment.

By embracing these principles, libraries in the united States can contribute to a future that values and protects freedom of speech, in a world that celebrates both our similarities and our differences, respects individuals and their beliefs, and holds all persons truly equal and free.

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Freedom to View

The M. M. Bennett Library endorses the following document from the Educational Film Library Association:

  1. It is in the public interest to provide the broadcast possible access to films and other audiovisual materials because they have proven to be among the most effective means for the communication of ideas. Liberty of circulation is essential to insure the constitutional guarantee of freedom of expression.

  2. It is in the public interest to provide for our audiences films, and other audiovisual materials which represent a diversity of views and expression. Selection of the work does not constitute or imply agreement with or approval of the content.

  3. It is our professional responsibility to resist the constraint or labeling or prejudging a film on the basis of controversial content.

  4. It is our professional responsibility to contest vigorously, by all lawful means, every encroachment upon the public's freedom to view.

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American Library Association Statement on Professional Ethics

The M. M. Bennett Library endorses the following statement from the American Library Association governing professional ethics for librarians:

  1. Librarians must provide the highest level of service through appropriate and usefully organized collections, fair and equitable circulation and service policies, and skillful, accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests for assistance.

  2. Librarians must resist all efforts by groups or individuals to censor Library materials.

  3. Librarians must protect each user's right to privacy with respect to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed, or acquired.

  4. Librarians must adhere to the principles of due process and equality of opportunity in peer relationships and personnel actions.

  5. Librarians must distinguish clearly in their actions and statements between their personal philosophies and attitudes and those of an institution or professional body.

  6. Librarians must avoid situations in which personal interests might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of Library users, colleagues, or the employing institution.

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