Library Policies

Library Mission

To provide current and easily accessible educational and recreational resources for students in a bilingual, democratic environment in order to be autonomous, to demonstrate a spirit of inquiry and collaboration, to uphold a commitment to excellence, and to maintain the highest aspirations for the welfare of both the individual and society.

Library Purpose

Students come to the library to do research, to read, to socialize, or to view audiovisual materials. Teachers bring classes for research and students come individually during and after school hours to read, research, storytelling, and/or socialize. On average fifty classes per week and over 1,000 students come to the secondary and primary libraries. Throughout the year, all students receive help through point-of-use instruction related to their specific research assignments. All of the Martin Felton Library's stacks and resources are open for easy access.

Audiovisual Rooms

On average twenty classes come to the Library to view audiovisual materials each week. The Propal Library Auditorium seats 100, as well as the Reference Room and Large Conference Room.

Library Activities

Throughout the year, the Primary Library sponsors activities such as storytellers, guest readers, book fairs, book swaps, “meet the author,” pajama night, etc. The Secondary Library offers library orientations and activities, as well as displays for student work, new book displays, and ongoing information literacy to all students and faculty.

All spaces in the library need to be reserved beforehand through our online reservation system. The display modules in the Colgate or the Quaker need to be reserved with the Reference Room Librarian in advance of your taking materials to post. If you need both the modules and the Colgate room, please make these reservations separately. You may reserve for periods of three weeks or less only. However, if no other displays are pending, you may keep yours up longer. The classroom teacher who posts the display is responsible for putting it up and taking it down.

As well, the library offers space to local artists who wish to present their work. Please contact the library if you or someone you know are interested. Please see our Library Events and Exhibition Policy.

Library Resources

The Library collection has approximately 35,000 items books, videos, magazine subscriptions, Kindles, DVD’s, and other electronic resources, including EbscoHost, FollettShelf, and Tumblebooks. The collection is divided into areas of fiction, non-fiction, reference, and professional books. Approximately 40% of the collection consists of Spanish language materials. Materials for grades K4 to 5 are shelved in the Primary Library, along with a specific section for picture books. All materials in the library are databased in our catalog, Follett Destiny, available online both locally and off-campus.

Library Network

Between the primary and secondary libraries, there are twenty workstations, twelve laptops, one dedicated scanner, 14 Kindles, plus 2 dedicated online catalogs provide students with access to information in a variety of reference sources electronic access to information in multimedia encyclopedias, over 3,000 magazines through EbscoHost (with indexes, full-text, and abstracting), newspapers, almanacs, atlases, bibliographies, dictionaries, E--Books (FollettShelf and Tumblebooks).

Hours of Service

Secondary 700 a.m. to 430 p.m. Monday through Friday / Primary 700 a.m. to 330 p.m. Monday through Thursday & 700 a.m. to 220 p.m. Friday. Parents and other community members are always welcome.

Reserving Spaces

The space in the Library is reserved through Colegio Bolivar’s Intranet (http:\\meridian\intranet$) and may be used for research, reading, meetings and conferences, among other activities.

  • Colgate-Palmolive Reading Room / @100 people
  • Quaker Reading Room / @30 people
  • L-06 Large Conference Room / 20 people
  • Propal Library Auditorium / @100 people
  • Swall Auditorium / @300 people
  • Primary Library / @50 people
  • L-03 Reference Room / @35 people

When planning activities during or outside of the library’s regular operating hours, one should also consult with the Head of Maintenance and Head of Security with written instructions regarding attendance, set up, or special needs, if necessary.

Reserving Materials

Teachers may request the curation of reserve collections at the Circulation Desk in Primary or Secondary Reference Room. All reserve materials will remain in the Library until the end of the project and will be checked out in the name of the teacher reserving the materials.

Library Orientations

Teachers may request Library Orientations with the Head Librarian, Primary Librarians or the Reference Room Librarian.

Circulation of Materials

The following policies apply to checking out materials for students, teachers, parents, and staff. While there is a limit to the number, type, and time you may check out materials, we are well aware that special circumstances may arise in which these policies may not be in the best interests of the classroom teacher. In that event, please speak directly with the Head Librarian or Primary Librarian.

Primary Students may check up to three books or magazines each week, assuming they have no overdue books.

Preprimary Students in K4 and K5 may check out one book. In Grade One, students may check out two books, one in English and one in Spanish (as recommended).

Of course, parents may check out materials for their children at any time (up to 10 items).

General Circulation Policies

Overdue and Missing Materials

Students who have books or other materials overdue will not be allowed to check out any more items until the late material is accounted for. Reminders will be sent weekly to primary, monthly to individual secondary students, and semesterly to all community members (including parents of students) who have overdue materials. The library uses electronic notices, and all also use paper notes parent conferences to send out notices.

During Matriculas in June and August, all community members must be “paz y salvo” with the library in order to complete the matriculas process. The library uses several sources for arriving at a quote for lost books. If the book is in English and was originally purchased in the US, we use either Follett (our US provider for most of our books) or Amazon, using the lowest amount. We go to the original publisher directly if we have to. We then multiply the dollar figure by the current TRM to arrive at a price (even though the books actually cost us more than this when we include shipping, etc). For locally bought books, we will ask several of our local distributors to quote the book. There are often several different editions available for any one title, each of differing quality. We will always quote using the original specifications of the book based on the ISBN number. If the item is found after a payment is paid, the payment will be returned in full. As well, the library staff will always help search for materials which students feel have been returned but which continue to be marked as lost. All payments need to be made through the school’s payment portal or the accounting office cashier .

Teachers who fail to abide by the circulation policy will be gently reminded.

Damaged Materials

All students who damage books or other materials will be the replacement cost of the item.

Purchase Requests

Teachers and students may make purchase suggestions at any time. Please visit the library for all purchase requests as well as further information regarding our purchasing sources. All materials purchasing and quoting will be done by the Library Director and Cataloging Librarian. All operating materials will be quoted by Processing Clerk. Orders will be received by the Processing clerk, processed for the shelves, and then marked for circulation by the Cataloging Librarian. All books will then be returned to the Librarian’s office for disbursement based on specific requests and then offered publicly on our New Books Displays.

Photocopy Service

Photocopies cost $100 per page. Printing is $100 per page for black and white and $600 for color.

Kindle Policy

The library has 14 Kindles available for loan along with an account at Amazon to provide electronic books usually within minutes of a request. Please refer to the following policies on our Kindles.

  • Given the limited availability of Kindles, the maximum time for checkout should be 30 days for teachers and staff. You may recheck once.
  • Books purchased from Amazon will be bought within our policies for the purchase of all our materials (see below).
  • Kindles are not available for parent or alumni checkout.
  • Our collection of Kindle E-Books is legally attached to our own Kindles. Given current copyright laws, we cannot use electronic books from our Kindle collection and load them into privately owned Kindles, computers, or any other electronic reading device.

Computers and Printers

The library adheres to the Acceptable Use Policy which each student at the school has signed. Please review it before using the computers in the library.

The computers should be used for research purposes first and then may be used by students for personal research or mail. At no time should students use the computers for violent games or other activities of this sort.

The networked printer is also for school-related use. Please manage your print jobs wisely. Each print job from any of the computers in the library will be charged $100 pesos for black and white and $600 for color. All print jobs must be paid for after confirming your print jobs with Circulation. Teachers’ accounts will automatically be charged for all print jobs. Teachers must pick up print jobs personally in order to use your login and password. Please do not send students with your passwords!

Library Reference Room Policy

  • Purpose: The library reference room is a quiet space for meetings, student work and classes appropriate for all students and community members.
  • Hours: The reference room is open from 700 a.m. to 330 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 700 a.m. to 230 Friday.
  • Staff : Assistance in use of reference materials is available from the Head Librarian or Reference Room Librarian.
  • Reserving the Space: All spaces in the Library are reserved through Colegio Bolivar’s Intranet (http:\\meridian\intranet$).

Primary and Pre-Primary Classes Pre-Primary and Primary classes are always welcome in any area of the library under the same policies and rules of behavior as Secondary students.

Library Behavior Expectations

The library should be a quiet place for reading and research.

Specific Teacher Expectations

  1. Sign up for various spaces in the library (Quaker Reading Room, Colgate Computer Center, Colgate work area, Reference Room). If a space has not been reserved, the class will be accepted if space is available.
  2. Remember to cancel reservation if the space is not going to be used.
  3. Teachers may curate a body of materials to be used during classes in the library. The teacher is responsible to ensure that all materials are returned.
  4. Check that all messes have been cleaned up and that chairs are returned to their original places before leaving with your class.
  5. Any students sent to the library for special reasons (i.e. not with the whole class) should be given a note.
  6. Preprimary and Primary teachers are encouraged to stay with their classes during library time in order to allow better collaboration between the Primary Librarian and the teaching staff.

Specific Student Expectations

  1. Food and/or drinks are not allowed in the library.
  2. Speak in very low tones (whispers) so as not to disturb the concentration of others.
  3. The computers should be used for research purposes first and then may be used by students for personal research or mail. At no time should students use the computers for violent games or other activities of this sort.
  4. Pick up all garbage and leave tables and floors clean; chairs which have been moved should be returned to their original places. Please return all books used to the front desk for reshelving.
  5. If you come to the library during class time but are not with your class, please bring a note from your teacher.

Materials Selection Policy

The librarians of the Martin Felton Library, in consultation with teachers, students, and administrators, are responsible for the selection of library materials.

Recommendations from teachers and students are solicited throughout the year. Book orders are made bi-monthly through Amazon or other US provider and should be ready in the library within a few weeks. Electronic books may be made available immediately on our Kindles (see Kindles policy). Recommendations for local purchases are taken regularly and usually filled within a few days by one of our local distributors.

New books are selected according to their appropriateness to the curriculum and to the collection of books already in the library. Additional selection criteria include currency, quality of illustrations; format and binding; value for the price compared with anticipated use; and similar materials available.

Since it is difficult to examine print materials firsthand, books are selected based on reviews in unbiased professional reviewing sources. These include, but are not limited to, American Libraries, Media & Methods, School Library Media Quarterly, School Library Journal, Booklist, New York Times Book Review, and Emergency Librarian.

Periodicals are selected by the librarians, again taking into account suggestions by teachers and students. The selection is based on quality, cost, indexing availability, and the subject content of the periodical. The periodicals are ordered through a local provider.

Gifts Policy

The Martin Felton Library welcomes books and other resources from individuals and organizations, but reserves the right to refuse materials that do not meet the same high standards and criteria established for the selection of all library materials. It is left to the discretion of the school librarians whether gift materials are acceptable or not. The Martin Felton Library also reserves the right to dispose of donated materials after they have been evaluated and determined to not be of use to the library. Every effort will be made to find an appropriate institution for these materials.

Materials Deselection Policy

Systematic deselection (weeding) of the collection is not an irresponsible disposal of school property; rather, it is a needed service that will enhance the credibility and use of the Martin Felton Library. To ensure the balance and reliability of the collection, it is important to deselect materials that are instructionally unusable. The following are often given as good reasons to weed

  1. To make space for more valuable items.
  1. To provide a more appealing, more up-to-date collection.
  1. To make the library easier for patrons and staff to use.
  1. To provide reliable information.
  1. To encourage patrons to handle materials carefully since they appear to have been so treated.
  1. To provide feedback on strengths and weaknesses of the collection.
  1. To remove the ILLUSION of a well-rounded, well-stocked collection.

Weeding facilitates access to quality resources, results in more effective utilization of available space and assures an aesthetically appealing collection of materials. How rigorously and how often a collection is weeded depends on considerations of space, budget, curriculum requirements, and school needs. Both print and non-print materials are weeded at regular intervals.

All materials weeded from the collection will be offered first to interested teachers (if considered still educationally valuable) and then to local schools or charities; however, there are many volumes which because of their condition, age or general inappropriateness to education may be recycled. Materials that are considered important to the collection will not be weeded until an appropriate replacement may be made.

Criteria for not Discarding Materials

  1. Materials should not be discarded even if they meet the above listed criteria
  2. If it is a work of historical significance in the field of children's literature, or it describes local history of personalities.
  3. The "classics" award winners and those items which appear on standard, current bibliographies.
  4. Items which may be out-of-print and may still have some possible use.
  5. Materials unique in content, format, illustrative technique or expense.
  6. Resources, the absence of which may unbalance a subject area.

As with any weeding policy, some materials may be desirable to keep in the collection even if they fall into one or more of the areas described above. These include classics, reference materials, and others which may continue to offer valuable information to the Colegio Bolivar community.

Challenged Materials Policy

If a complaint is received from a person or persons about materials in the library, the following procedure is to be followed

  1. In a courteous manner, invite the complainant to voice his or her objections.
  2. Inform the complainant that (s)he must submit a written objection to the Head Librarian
  3. The Head Librarian will
  4. Read and examine materials referred to him or her.
  5. Review with the library staff the selection criteria.
  6. Prepare a recommendation which should be submitted to the complainant within two weeks.

Event & Exhibition Policy

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