West Valley College
14000 Fruitvale Avenue, Saratoga, CA 95070 • Phone (408) 867-2200

Library Policies

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Code of Ethics

Taken from Code of Ethics of the American Library Association

  1. We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.

  2. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.

  3. We protect each library user's right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.

  4. We recognize and respect intellectual property rights.

  5. We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.

  6. We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.

  7. We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.

  8. We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.

Community Borrowers

  1. Adult members of the community (18 years and over) may become a community borrower for a non-refundable fee of $50.00.
  2. The $50.00 may be paid by cash or check only. Library privileges are valid for one year from the date of registration. Privileges are non-transferable.
  3. To become a West Valley College Library community borrower, you must present all of the following: a current driver¹s license or State picture I.D., current address and telephone number.
  4. When checking out materials, you must present a picture I.D.
  5. A maximum of three items per loan period may be checked out.
  6. Lost, damaged, or non-returned items must be paid for according to West Valley College Library Policies. The Library is obligated under California State law to retrieve library materials.
  7. Failure to return materials prior to the generation of a billing notice will result in a billing charge of $5.00 per item (non-refundable).
  8. Refunds will be given for items lost, paid for, and returned within a 90 day period, but not for billing charges.
  9. The West Valley College Library is closed between sessions and for certain holidays. All items must be returned prior to semester/summer breaks. The Library Book Drop, which is located outside the Library, is available for use when the Library is closed.

Confidentiality

Taken from the American Library Association (ALA) Policy concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information about Library Users

The ethical responsibilities of librarians, as well as statutes in most states and the District of Columbia, protect the privacy of library users. Confidentiality extends to "information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted" (ALA Code of Ethics), and includes, but is not limited to, database search records, reference interviews, circulation records, interlibrary loan records and other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities, or services.

The First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech and of the press requires that the corresponding rights to hear what is spoken and read what is written be preserved, free from fear of government intrusion, intimidation, or reprisal. The American Library Association reaffirms its opposition to "any use of governmental prerogatives that lead to the intimidation of individuals or groups and discourages them from exercising the right of free expression as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution" and "encourages resistance to such abuse of governmental power . . ." (ALA Policy 53.4). In seeking access or in the pursuit of information, confidentiality is the primary means of providing the privacy that will free the individual from fear of intimidation or retaliation.

The American Library Association regularly receives reports of visits by agents of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to libraries, asking for personally identifiable information about library users. These visits, whether under the rubric of simply informing libraries of agency concerns or for some other reason, reflect an insensitivity to the legal and ethical bases for confidentiality, and the role it plays in the preservation of First Amendment rights, rights also extended to foreign nationals while in the United States. The government's interest in library use reflects a dangerous and fallacious equation of what a person reads with what that person believes or how that person is likely to behave. Such a presumption can and does threaten the freedom of access to information. It also is a threat to a crucial aspect of First Amendment rights: that freedom of speech and of the press include the freedom to hold, disseminate and receive unpopular, minority, extreme, or even dangerous ideas.

The American Library Association recognizes that law enforcement agencies and officers may occasionally believe that library records contain information that would be helpful to the investigation of criminal activity. The American judicial system provides the mechanism for seeking release of such confidential records: a court order, following a showing of good cause based on specific facts, by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The American Library Association also recognizes that, under limited circumstances, access to certain information might be restricted due to a legitimate national security concern. However, there has been no showing of a plausible probability that national security will be compromised by any use made of unclassified information available in libraries. Access to this unclassified information should be handled no differently than access to any other information. Therefore, libraries and librarians have a legal and ethical responsibility to protect the confidentiality of all library users, including foreign nationals.

Libraries are one of the great bulwarks of democracy. They are living embodiments of the First Amendment because their collections include voices of dissent as well as assent. Libraries are impartial resources providing information on all points of view, available to all persons regardless of origin, age, background, or views. The role of libraries as such a resource must not be compromised by an erosion of the privacy rights of library users.

Library Bill of Rights

Taken from chapter the American Library Association (ALA) Bill of Rights

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 people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views 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 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 right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
  6. Libraries which 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.

Lost Books

If you lose, damage, or are unable to return Library materials for any reason, you will be charged the amount necessary to repurchase and process a replacement.
These charges are effective when the second notice (Billing Notice) is issued to you by the Library. Typically, this is 14 business days past the item's due date, but may be sooner for items with short check-out periods.

  1. You will be charged a non-refundable $5 billing fee to cover the cost associated with the billing activity.
  2. You will be charged and amount sufficient to cover replacing the item (or comparable.) If you can replace the item yourself with an item acceptable to the Library, this charge will be waived.
  3. These fees must be paid before the College will issue grades, transcripts, or allow you to register for classes. If they remain unpaid, the Library is obligated by State law to proceed with collection efforts.

Selection of Materials

The library is the central location for learning materials at West Valley College. Materials include books, e-books, electronic databases, films, videos, journals, pamphlets, slides, tapes, and other similar materials.

  • To provide materials to support the curriculum.
  • To provide materials on the whole range of knowledge, with some information on most subjects about which West Valley College students are likely to ask.
  • To provide materials on current, local, national and international issues on which citizens of a democracy need to be informed.
  • To provide recreational materials such as fiction and paperbacks on topical subjects.

Other considerations may include the quality of the material, the amount of similar material already in the collection, cost, physical make-up, and the extent to which the material may be available elsewhere.

Policy Statement On Selection Of Materials For The West Valley College Library The library is the central location for learning materials at West Valley College. Materials include books, e-books, electronic databases, films, videos, journals, pamphlets, slides, tapes, and other similar materials.

  1. To provide materials to support the curriculum.
  2. To provide materials on the whole range of knowledge, with some information on most subjects about which West Valley College students are likely to ask.
  3. To provide materials on current, local, national and international issues on which citizens of a democracy need to be informed.
  4. To provide recreational materials such as fiction and paperbacks on topical subjects.

Other considerations may include the quality of the material, the amount of similar material already in the collection, cost, physical make-up, and the extent to which the material may be available elsewhere.

Responsibility for balanced development of the collection of materials belongs to the Dean, Learning Resources, and the librarians, assisted by the faculty and staff.

The library does not generally purchase textbooks.

Open and unfiltered access to the Internet and to all electronic resources should be conveniently available to the academic community. Content filtering devices and content-based restrictions are a contradiction of the academic library mission to further research and learning through exposure to the broadest possible range of ideas and information. (From the Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries, adopted 5/12/2000 by the American Library Association Council).

The library contains and endeavors to collect materials of a culturally diverse nature, as well as materials on all sides of controversial issues. Coverage does not need to be equal in quantity but all major positions on controversial issues should be represented by acknowledged authorities. The librarians should be especially careful to see that unpopular opinions are represented in the collection. As the library staff does not decide the truth or falsity of the materials in the library, neither are they to be considered as advocating any side of a controversial issue.

The library contains and endeavors to collect adult-level contemporary literature or media which, because of frank language and/or explicit, detailed treatment of sex, may be offensive to some students (or parents). Inclusion of such material does not compel students to consume material they may find objectionable, but it does make such material available to other students who choose to consume them. Selection of what one shall or shall not read, view, or hear is best made by the students themselves.

The library welcomes gifts but does not accept all materials offered. Materials must meet the needs of students or faculty to be accepted. All gifts will be processed in the same way that purchased materials are processed.

Anyone who wishes to protest the inclusion of any resource in the library collection must do so in writing, stating the reasons for thinking it should not be retained. The written (and signed) statement should be given to the Dean, Learning Resources, or designee, who will return an answer in writing.

Anyone is welcome to recommend materials for purchase by the library. All recommendations will be considered; however, because of priorities and limited budget, not all recommendations can be purchased.

 

last published: 1/28/13 • validate xhtml css 508