Skip to Main Content

Southworth Library

Southworth Library Learning Commons' Mission:  The mission of SUNY Canton’s Southworth Library Learning Commons is to provide access to library resources and services that engage the SUNY Canton community in teaching, learning, and scholarship.

To suggest an additional to the library's collection, please use the Request for Library Acquisition Form.

I. Principles that Inform Development

   A. Intellectual Freedom and Censorship

The Library supports the American Library Association's statements on intellectual freedom. There shall be no censorship of library materials. The library attempts to acquire materials which represent differing opinions on controversial matters. Selection is without partisanship regarding matters of race, gender, sexual preference, religion, or moral philosophy.

   B. The Library Bill of Rights

The Library supports The Library Bill of Rights adopted by The American Library Association Council in 1980.

   C. Copyright

The Library supports the legal and professional principles related to the protection of intellectual property and fair use of copyrighted material. The Library adheres to the provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law and related guidelines. The Library will not knowingly violate copyright.

II. Challenged Materials

A library patron may question or challenge the suitability of certain materials found in the collection. The patron is to be referred to the Library Director. Such questions will be met appropriately by the Library Director with reference to these collection development policy guidelines including the Library Bill of Rights. If the challenge persists, the patron has the right to appeal to the Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs of the College. The challenged material will not be removed from its usual place in the collection during the appeal.

III. Collection

The Library collects a broad spectrum of information resources in a variety of formats. The formats collected include printed books, periodicals, sound recordings, video recordings, and various electronic resources. The primary criterion for selecting any item is its relevance to SUNY Canton's teaching mission. Other concerns when we evaluate information resources include their content, accessibility, and viability. Most academic libraries have historically placed a high value on collecting printed books, periodicals, and indexes. Collecting books still has a high priority at SUNY Canton, but we also collect electronic alternatives to hard-copy sources for several types of materials, including journals, indexes, databases, books, videos, and images.

IV. Weeding 

Weeding/de-selection is the removal of materials from the library collection that are no longer needed or viable and is a standard practice in managing a library’s collection. Weeding is important in keeping a collection vibrant, relevant, and useable. It assists in preventing stacks from becoming overcrowded. It makes remaining materials more visible and accessible.

The Library may, at its sole discretion, remove and withdraw monographs and any other materials (e.g., non-book print items, electronic resources, audiovisual media, etc.) based on the criteria set forth in its Collection Development Policy.

Library staff shall review, evaluate, and weed the collection areas on a periodic basis, using the following guidelines:

  • Frequency of use: circulation and other statistics may be examined. Items that are not in demand may be eligible for weeding.
  • Curriculum needs 
  • Currency of information: this factor will vary by discipline.
  • Existence of multiple copies of the same title and edition, especially of low-use items. These may be weeded. However, the recognized importance of a work, edition, or author may encourage a decision for retaining.
  • Superseded works: especially ones with little historical importance, may be weeded.
  • Physical condition: materials that are badly deteriorated or missing key parts may be withdrawn at the discretion of the subject liaison. As a general guideline, items that will be discarded should not be rare or difficult to obtain from other libraries. Therefore, as alternatives to discarding, the subject liaison may opt to have material transferred to remote storage or sent to the bindery for repair, if feasible. Damaged items may be replaced if they are available for purchase as new or used items in good condition.
  • Materials available in other formats in the library or online may be weeded, especially when they are low use and not rare.
  • Items with regional or special interest to our collections and users should not be weeded unless they are held in multiple copies.