Collection Development Policy


The mission of St. John’s College is to provide a liberal education that serves to enrich imagination and nurture freedom of thought; it seeks to free a learner from the tyrannies of unexamined opinions, current fashions and inherited prejudices; it also endeavors to enable a learner to make intelligent, free choices concerning the ends and means of both public and private life, (Mission, Strategic Plan, October 2002). Meem Library supports this mission by providing materials, facilities, equipment, and services that are vital to the college community. Maintaining a well-developed collection is one way the Library enhances the learning experience at St. John’s College. The purpose of the Collection Development Policy is to provide guidelines for the acquisition, maintenance, and deselection of library materials.


The primary patrons of Meem Library are the students, faculty, and staff of St. John’s College. Collection development policies focus on meeting the needs of this community. We also provide services to prospective students, alumni, participants in summer conferences, and residents of Santa Fe and the entire state. While we are dedicated to providing quality services to all of our patrons, our collection development will center on the academic life of the St. John’s College community.

Intellectual Freedom Statement

Meem Library is dedicated to the principles of intellectual freedom as expressed in the Library Bill of Rights (American Library Association). The Library opposes attempts to censor materials selected for the collection. The Library’s decision to acquire or remove materials from its collection will not be determined by partisan or doctrinal points of view. Those individuals who would like to challenge the presence of certain materials in the collection may do so through a written statement addressing their concerns about the material to be reconsidered. The Faculty Library Committee and the Dean will then review this statement and notify the patron of their decision. The Library Director will not be part of this review process.

Materials Selection

The Library consults standard review sources such as Library Journal, Choice, and C&RL News to aid in the selection process. We also seek input from individual tutors as well as members of the Faculty Library Committee. Recommendations from patrons are accepted and will be evaluated according to the guidelines of the Collection Development Policy.

Acquisition Categories

English Translations of Program Authors: The Library attempts to collect comprehensively English translations of all program authors. The College does not endorse specific translations of program readings. We offer a variety of translations and will consult with various tutors regarding recommended translations.

Original Language Editions of Program Authors: The Library collects original language editions of program authors works with an emphasis on acquiring critical editions of each authors corpus.

Secondary sources: Secondary sources are provided to supplement program readings and to support a minimal level of independent research.

Contemporaries of program authors: The number of program authors is limited by the time constraints of our degree programs. Many authors respected by the college community are thus not included in the program, but are worthy of study. Works by such authors are collected as comprehensively as possible.

Music Collection: The Library maintains a collection of records, CDs, music scores, and other related materials to support the Freshmen Choir and the Sophomore Music Program. Acquisition of new materials for this collection will focus on supplementing the music curriculum and on providing a core music collection for our academic community.

Art Collection: The Library will build a core collection of art-related books to support the extracurricular interests of our community.

Reference Collection: The Library collects current editions of standard reference resources such as dictionaries, encyclopedias, almanacs, etc. based on their support of the curriculum and independent study.

General Collection Materials: The Library strives to maintain a core collection of materials in Languages and Literature, History, Natural Science, Political Science, Math, Social Sciences, and Psychology. Current reference tools including Books for College Libraries (American Library Association) are consulted to determine standard texts for each of these areas.

Children’s Collection: The Children’s Collection is designed to support campus activities such as the Children’s Hour, the Story Tellers Guild, and various tutoring programs. We are developing a core collection composed of Caldecott and Newbery Award-Winning books.

Serials: The Library’s Serials Collection Policy is available on the Library’s web page.

Electronic Resources: The Library provides access to several on-line databases to support the reference and research needs of the college community. These resources supplement, rather than supersede, the acquisition and maintenance of Library holdings. The particular databases provided are determined by use, interest, and cost.

Special Collections: The Library has acquired a variety of special collections through donations. These materials are kept separately from the general circulating collections and access to them requires the assistance of a librarian.

Faculty Collection: The Library purchases all books published by tutors on either campus. These books are not intended for general circulation and can be accessed with the assistance of a librarian. A duplicate copy of these books is available in the Library’s circulating collection.

Alumni Collection: The Library depends on notification by alumni of their own publications. These books are not intended for general circulation and can be accessed with the assistance of a librarian. A duplicate copy of program-related books will be purchased for the Library’s circulating collection.

Faculty Research Materials: The Library provides one copy of the texts used for faculty study groups and depends on the faculty to notify the librarians of required texts.

Manuals: All manuals used at the Annapolis and Santa Fe campuses will be collected in the Library. As manuals are revised, the older editions will be placed in Archives.

Lectures: The Library collects transcripts of college lectures. The Library also collects audio copies of college lectures when they are available.

College Publications: The Library displays current college publications and keeps the most recent issues of The College and The Moon on reserve at the Circulation Desk. Previous copies of college publications are stored in the Archives.

Language Aids: The Library acquires books and audiotapes as language aids. This collection focuses primarily on those languages studied at St. John’s College (Ancient Greek, French, Classical Chinese, and Sanskrit). Original language texts are also provided to support translation exercises.

Books on Tape: The Library acquires books on tape to support patrons with visual impairments. This collection is comprised of mainly program titles.

Videos / DVDs: The Library acquires dramatizations of program works, plays, operas, and classic films.

Cooperation with other libraries

Meem Library has a specialized collection designed to support the academic pursuits of the St. John’s College community. We encourage patrons to utilize the collections of local libraries such as the Santa Fe Public Library, the Santa Fe Community College Library, and the Santa Fe University of Art and Design Fogelson Library when seeking materials that go beyond the scope of our collection. Faculty and students can request a Library Passport Certificate giving them borrowing privileges with the New Mexico Consortium of Academic Libraries which includes the University of New Mexico. Current students, faculty, and staff may also request items through InterLibrary Loan.

Deselection / Maintaining Library Collection

Deselection or weeding is done in accordance with the mission of Meem Library and is an important aspect of maintaining the quality of the Library collection. Criteria for deselection include: significance of the work, duplication, accuracy, currency, circulation, and physical condition of the material. The Library seeks to purchase high-quality, hardback editions with acid-free paper to prevent excessive replacement of other easily damaged editions.

Gift Policy

Donated materials will be evaluated according to the same guidelines used when purchasing materials. The Librarian has the right to handle or dispose of such gifts in the best interests of the College. In accordance with Federal guidelines, the Library does not make appraisals of gifts for tax, inheritance, or any other purpose. Donors are recognized by the College in the following ways:

A special bookplate bearing the donor’s name is inserted in gift materials that are eventually kept by the Library, if the donor so wishes. The Development Office provides the donor with a letter of acknowledgement.