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MSHS Library Policies

The mission of the ASFM Huasteca Library is to work with students, faculty, and staff to develop critical thinking, information literate consumers and creators of information, and to develop a culture of literacy among all stakeholders in the greater school community. To this end we will provide information literacy skills instruction along with a collection of materials to implement, enrich, and support the curriculum of the American School Foundation of Monterrey and to meet the individual educational, emotional, and recreational needs of the entire ASFM community.

ASFM Library Policies - As is reflected in our mission, the guiding principles of this library are to strive to eliminate obstacles to access rather than enforce restrictions on it; to be inclusive in our practices rather than exclusive; and generally allow a sense of mutual respect among staff and patrons to inform our interpretations of policy. Patrons who act in good faith by caring for materials and using them properly and by treating the library staff, patrons, and facilities with respect will be afforded every opportunity to do so. (We like to say that our policies are written in sand rather than etched in stone, i.e., the library staff will defer to our guiding principals over rigorous policy enforcement when possible and prudent.)

I. Behavior Policy

A. Patrons who act in good faith by caring for materials and using them properly and by treating the library staff, patrons, and facilities with respect will be afforded every opportunity to do so. That having been, said the following rules and consequences have been established to uphold expected standards of behavior in the library:

B. Rules

  1. No food or drink in the library, with the exception of seal containers of water.
  2. No running or rough-housing in the library.
  3. Respect the staff and patrons in the library by not being disruptive– in voice or action, your liberties end where the next patron begins.
  4. Gaming and streaming of videos is only allowed before and after school and in breaks.
  5. Cell phones might be used only as texting devices before and after the school day (8:15am - 3:15pm). Cell phones are not to be used inside of the Library on breaks or lunch periods.
  6. No sleeping in the Library is allowed.
  7. The library resources, materials and installations are used by all patrons, it is every user responsibility to respect and care for all library property.

C. Consequences

  1. First violation results in the student being asked to leave the library and receiving an official warning. A record of the violation will be entered in the student account “general notes” section of the patron’s library record; e.g., “Nov. 2, 2008 - No food or drink in library; warning.”
  2. Second violation results in the student being barred from entering the library without the library staff or a teacher’s consent during the periods before school, recess, lunch, or after school for a period of two weeks or more. A record of the violation will be entered in the student account “general notes” section of the patron’s library record; e.g., “Nov. 3, 2008 - No food or drink in library; not permitted unaccompanied access from Nov. 4 through Nov. 18.”
  3. Third violation results in an immediate parent phone call explaining the violation and previous history, plus the consequence of two weeks barred access (same as in the second violation, above) as well as a detention to be served at the convenience of the librarian or staff. A record of the violation, the parent phone call, and detention will be entered in the student account “general notes” section of the patron’s library record.
  4. A list will be maintained of students barred from using the library, along with the dates that the consequences are effective. The list will include a photograph of the student(s). The list will be kept behind the circulation desk, out of the sight of patrons.

II. Circulation Policy

A. Purpose

The Cemex Library and Information Center (the ASFM Huasteca Library) has developed the following guidelines and procedures to ensure open and equitable access to all patrons.

B. Loan Periods and renewals

    1. The ASFM Huasteca Library has established the following loan periods for materials:



Nonfiction Books

2 weeks, W2 renewals (Five books total or three books & two other items)

Fiction Books

2 weeks, W2 renewals (Five books total or three books & two other items)

Videos and DVD’s

1 week

Audio Books, PlayAway Units

2 weeks (No more than two at a time)

* Audiobooks may be renewed once and traditional books may be renewed two times before patrons will be asked to return them. Exceptions will be made if the patron will verify that significant progress is being made in the reading.


Reference Material

1 day

Magazines, current issue

Only for Library indoor use

Magazines, back issues

2 weeks

Reserve Items

As requested by staff

Laptop computers

Limited to use within the library

Photography and Recording Equipment (PRO TI)

3 Hours *Outside of School Projects required a special form to be filled by the student, parents, and administration


  1. Students and staff from the ASFM Elementary Campus may also check out items from the MS/HS Library. The collection may be reviewed via the Internet and requests may be emailed to the library staff. Deliveries will be arranged via messenger / inter-office mail and can often be delivered within one working day.
  2. Further, in an effort to promote a culture of literacy among all school stakeholders, including parents, as well as maintenance and security workers are also permitted and encouraged to take advantage of library services.

C. Renewal of Materials

Materials must be brought into the library in order to be renewed.

D. Overdue Materials

Please return materials promptly, as this will ensure that others will have access to them.

The due date of books are date-stamped on the date due slip located at the back of the book; however, the library patron is responsible for knowing the return date for all items checked out. Overdue notices will either be sent electronically or printed out according to students’ homeroom classes and delivered to homeroom teachers’ inboxes or mailboxes every Friday afternoon and should be delivered to students at the beginning of each week. In addition, information regarding overdue items will be available in the students’ PowerSchool accounts.

All barcoded library items incur an overdue charge of one peso per item per school day beginning the second school day after the item is due. (There is a one-day grace period.) Throughout the school year, the library staff will generate an overdue list, based on students’ homeroom class, which will be delivered to the homeroom teacher’s inbox or mailbox every Friday afternoon or Monday morning.

Library materials that are overdue will incur a fine of one peso per item per school day. Once a student’s library debt reaches 20 pesos, the student will loose library privileges such as checking out material or making prints or copies. Books that are not returned will be considered lost and borrowers are charged for their replacement. (See, “Lost and Damaged Materials,” below.)

Any item more than 30 days late will be considered lost, at which time the patron’s library privileges will be suspended and the cost of the item plus 20% for shipping, handling and processing will appear on the patron’s record and must be cleared or reduced to a balance that is below 30 pesos before privileges are to be restored. The student and his/her parent will be notified of the replacement cost of the item, and the balance will remain on the student’s account until the item is paid for. An alert note on the patron’s record will alert library staff members of the patron’s suspended privileges.

E. Lost and Damaged Materials

  1. Lost materials: Any item more than 30 days late will be considered lost, at which time the patron’s library privileges will be suspended and the cost of the item plus 20% for shipping, handling and processing will appear on the patron’s record and must be cleared or reduced to a balance that is below 20 pesos before privileges are to be restored. The student and his/her parent will be notified of the replacement cost of the item, and the balance will remain on the student’s account until the item is paid for. An alert note on the patron’s record will alert library staff members of the patron’s suspended privileges.
    Sudents are also responsible for the detuning cards placed in the back of library materials upon checkout. Patrons will be charged a fee of 2 pesos for each lost detuning card.
  2. Damaged Materials: The patron will be billed for the cost of replacement of any damaged materials. If a student notices damage of any library item at the time of check out, it is his/her responsibility to bring it to the attention of the librarian or circulation desk assistant. The circulation attendant will make a note in the item copy data window, under “copy notes.”
  3. The charges for damaged books are contingent upon the extent of the damage, e.g., $10 pesos, e.g., for torn pages that can be repaired or $50 pesos for damage that shortens the life expectancy of the damaged book. Any damage, intentional or not, that can not be repaired, e.g., pages completely torn out and/or lost, will result in the patron being charged the full replacement cost of the book.

F. Unresolved Library fines and charges

  1. Student Charges and Fines: Any unresolved student library charges and fines at the end of the year will be transferred t to the administrative offices and will be added to the students' tuition bill.


  2. Teacher Charges and Fines: Teachers’ charges and fines must be resolved before the end of the year sign out form will be signed by a member of the library staff. This may result in the withholding of the teacher’s fellowship check.

G. Restriction of Library Privileges

The Huasteca Library reserves the right to restrict or suspend library privileges according to the judgment of the Librarian. Such action might be taken as a result of numerous instances of loosing or damaging materials, chronically disregarding due dates or other library rules and policies, causing damage to the library, theft/attempted theft of materials, or other extreme cases. (See Behavior Policy, below, for details.)

H. Confidentiality of Library Records

The American Library Association Policy Manual, 54.15, Code of Ethics, point 3, states, "Librarians must protect each user's right to privacy with respect to information sought or received, and to materials consulted, borrowed or acquired." To that end, the Library staff will only access confidential information for legitimate library business; further, library staff will not share this information with anyone other than the patron without the patron’s express written permission.

A notable exception to this rule is that information regarding students’ library status with regard to fines, charges and books that are currently checked out or overdue is available to parents or administrators through PowerSchool.

I. Checkout procedure at ASFM Huasteca

All barcoded items are to be checked out through the circulation desk. Patrons checking out magazines will be assigned an index card at the circulation desk upon which will be recorded the patron’s name and identification number along with the title, date, and volume information of the magazine.

(We are soon to test a “temporary item check out” capability available through Alexandria wherein the item to be checked out is placed in sided a barcoded, reusable magazine-sized envelope.)

Missouri faculty and staff can search our collection via the web and send an email to a library staff member requesting that items be checked out in their names. Items can often be delivered within one business day via the school messenger.

In affirmation of the library’s mission statement, Huasteca maintenance and security staff are also allowed and encouraged to take advantage of library services. These patrons will open a library account and be assigned a patron number. Items that they check out need to be accompanied by a note from a library staff member confirming the library transaction that can be showed to the security guards as they leave campus.

J. Returns

Library materials are to be returned to circulation desk personnel or dropped in the book drop located in the library circulation desk area.

Off campus loans, e.g., items loaned to the Elementary School teachers, can be returned via school messenger to a member of the library staff.

III. Weeding Policy

A. Definition and Purpose: Weeding is the process of maintaining the condition and integrity of a library collection’s holdings. Books are to be weeded on the basis of their physical condition, the accuracy of their content, and the age of the content as determined by the item’s publication and copyright dates..

  1. Physical condition – Students are hesitant to checkout books that are tattered, damaged, or unattractive. If a book’s content is still accurate and up to date, but the book is in poor physical condition, it should be repaired if possible and replaced if the cost of repairing it is comparable to the price a replacement copy.
  2. Accuracy of content – Portions of the collection become dated as technological, political, etc., developments occur. While we will always strive to maintain an up to date collection, the Huasteca Library’s philosophy on such material is represented by the statement, “No information is better than misinformation.” As material becomes outdated it will be removed from the shelves and replaced with newer, accurate material. As developments occur within an area, dated - yet still accurate - material will be replaced with current material. The priorities guiding the maintenance of the collection are to support curriculum and the personal interests of its patrons.
  3. Age of the content – Events such as the dissolution of the Soviet Union or technological developments such as the World Wide Web dictate the rate at which certain portions of the collection become obsolete. Nevertheless, there are certain general guidelines offered that suggest how long books in certain categories should remain in a collection. The ASFM Huasteca holdings are not intended to be an archival collection, and as such, we will not hold on to dated material based on the potential value of the historical insights provided when compared to current material. Students and faculty trust the media center to have current information. Remember, students don't have the ability to remember "the old days" and to recognize how things have changed.

B. Responsibility: Weeding will be performed by library personnel and parent volunteers who have been trained in the practice.

C. Time Frame: Weeding should be an on-going process in all sections of the library.

D. Areas to be Weeded: Every section of the collection will undergo weeding. Library personnel and parent volunteers will maintain a record of which sections of the collection have been weeded and which books have been de-selected. After review from the librarian, these materials will be permanently removed from the shelves and deleted from the automated Alexandria library records. The librarian will then make a decision as to whether or not to replace the book. All replacement titles should be added to the current acquisition list.

Since the fiction section is not as time sensitive as most sections of the nonfiction sections, the condition of the book its circulation record will be the primary determinants of whether or not it is to be weeded from the collection.

E. Procedure: See the Powerpoint presentation, “Weeding – CREW method” at Documents: Library, for training information.

After identifying the section of the collection to be weeded, the library personnel or parent volunteer will refer to the latest collection analysis and print a list of aged titles from that section including the copyright information. After reviewing the section for books in poor physical condition and checking the section for outdated or incorrect information (see Appendix A for a guideline) identified books will be removed from the shelf and placed on a book cart to be stored in the library office for review by the librarian, who will then be responsible for deleting them from the system and deciding which titles should be repaired or replaced.

A separate record will be maintained to record the progress of the weeding efforts in order to assure that the entire collection gets systematic attention.

IV. Collection Development and Materials Selection Policy

Reviewed and passed by the Board of Directors of The American School Foundation of Monterrey, November 2000.


A. Statement of Policy -The policy of The American School Foundation of Monterrey is to provide a wide range of learning resources at varying levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal and the presentation of different points of view to meet the needs of students and teachers.

B. Objectives of Selection

  1. For the purposes of this statement of policy, the term “learning resources” will refer to any person(s) or any material (whether acquired or locally produced) with instructional content or function that is used for formal or informal teaching/learning purposes. Learning resources include, but are not limited to, textbooks, other books, supplementary reading and informational materials, games, globes, kits, maps, motion pictures, periodicals, pictures, sound recordings, videocassettes, subscription electronic databases and software. The Internet Content on the World Wide Web does not fall under this policy. Because the library has no control over its content, and because falls under and agreement between the student user and the school, it is recommended that each user be familiar with the school’s computer and Internet use policy.
  2. The primary objective of learning resources is to support, enrich, and help implement the educational program of the school through the interaction of professional personnel and other members of the school community. It is the duty of professional staff to provide students with a wide range of materials at varying levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal, and the presentation of different points of view.
  3. To this end, the Board of Directors of The American School Foundation of Monterrey affirms that it is the responsibility of its professional staff:


a. To provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, learning styles, and maturity levels of the students served;

b. To provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and societal standards, complex reasoning skills, and the habits of mind;

c. To provide materials on various sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may have an opportunity to develop under guidance the practice of critical analysis and to make informed judgments in their daily lives;

d. To provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and that contribute to our national heritage and the world community;

e. To place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate to the school community.


C. Responsibility for Selection of Learning Resources

  1. The Board of Directors delegates the responsibility for the selection of learning resources to the professional staff employed by the school, and declares that selections made shall be held to have been made by the Board of Directors of The American School Foundation of Monterrey.
  2. While selection of learning resources involves many people (administrators, teachers, students, community persons) the responsibility for coordinating the selection of school learning resources and making the recommendation for purchase rests with the principal and the librarian.


D. Criteria for Selection of Learning Resources

    1. The following criteria will be used as they apply:


a. Learning resources shall support and be consistent with the general educational goals, and the aims and objectives of the American School Foundation of Monterrey and specific courses and grade levels.
b. Learning resources shall be chosen to enrich and support the curriculum and the personal needs of users.
c. Learning resources shall meet high standards of quality in:


      • artistic quality and/or literary style
      • educational significance
      • favorable reviews and/or recommendations
      • factual content
      • physical format
      • presentation
      • readability
      • technical quality


d. Learning resources shall be appropriate for the subject area and for the age, emotional development, ability level, learning styles, and social development of the students for whom the materials are selected.
e. Learning resources shall be designed to provide a background of information that will motivate students and staff to examine their own attitudes and behavior; to comprehend their duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges as participating citizens in our society; and to make informed judgments in their daily lives.
f. Learning resources shall provide information on opposing sides of controversial issues so that users may develop under guidance the practice of critical analysis.


  1. The selection of learning resources on controversial issues will be directed toward maintaining a balanced collection representing various views.
    Learning resources shall clarify historical and contemporary forces by presenting and analyzing inter-group tension and conflict objectively, placing emphasis on recognizing and understanding social and economic problems.


E. Procedures for Selection of Learning Resources

    1. In selecting learning resources, professional personnel will evaluate available resources and curriculum needs and will consult reputable, professionally prepared aids to selection and other appropriate sources. Among sources to be consulted are:

a. Bibliographies (latest edition available), for example:

  • Booklist
  • Library Journal
  • School Library Journal
  • Reference Books for School Libraries
  • Subject Guide to Children’s Books in Print ß
  • Westinghouse Learning Directory
  • H.W.Wilson’s Senior High School Library Catalog
  • H.W.Wilson’s Middle and Junior High School Catalog

b. Current reviewing media, for example:

  • HornBook
  • Kirkus Reviews
  • Booklist
  • Library Journal
  • School Library Journal
  • NoveList and NoveList K-8 databases

c. Recommendations from other professionals in the field or related fields will also be considered. Other sources will be consulted, as appropriate. Whenever possible, the actual resource will be examined.


  1. Recommendations for purchase involve administrators, teachers, students, and community persons, as appropriate.
  2. Selection is an ongoing process that should include the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of educational value. See, III. Weeding Policy.


F. Donated Materials

Gift materials shall be judged by the criteria outlined in the library selection policy and shall be accepted or rejected by those criteria. [Acceptance of donated materials does not imply that the materials will become part of the library collection. Donated items may then be given to a teacher for classroom use or to individual students, given to another institution, recycled or discarded.]

V. Electronic Information Policy

In keeping with our role as a source for accessing information, the library provides Internet access to information beyond the confines of our collection. The Internet affords us an exciting opportunity to have immediate access to timely and comprehensive information as well as a wide variety of primary sources. Providing connections to global information services and networks outside the library is different from selecting and purchasing materials for the library collection. The Internet changes rapidly, frequently, and unpredictably.

As the vast amount of information on the Internet is generated outside the library, the library cannot be responsible for accuracy, authenticity, currency, availability, or completeness of information. We cannot insure that Internet communications are secure or private.

Because of the library's limitations, the user is responsible for using discretion when considering the quality of material, questioning the validity of information, and choosing what is individually appropriate.

Through the ASFM Information Literacy curriculum presented in the Research Skills rubric and Teacher’s Guide, we can offer teachers and students guidelines for evaluating web sites and search strategies for finding the most appropriate information from the web. In addition, as students visit our library to conduct research on the Internet, we can formally or informally train them in how to use the Internet in a responsible and discriminating manner.

**Among the changes in the redesigning of the library website of 2009-10, we will also provide guidance to web resources through our Class Projects and our Learning Links pages, both found on ASFM Huasteca Library web page.

In the ASFM Huasteca Library setting, the Internet is a resource that provides timely access to students' information needs. Unfortunately, limited computer resources do not permit the library to unlimited patron support for all students at all times. Therefore, in order to best allocate these finite resources, student access to the library's computers will be limited in the following ways:

  • Academic use will always have priority over recreational use.
  • A teacher who makes a reservation for his/her class will have priority over individual students.
  • Game playing and streaming video are not allowed.

VI. Reconsideration of Challenged Materials

A. Statement of Policy

  1. Any resident or employee of the school community may formally challenge learning resources used in the educational program on the basis of appropriateness. This procedure is for the purpose of considering the opinions of those persons in the schools and the community who are not directly involved in the selection process.
  2. School policy 8.302, Challenged Material states:
    “School personnel select and acquire appropriate educational books and materials to support the prescribed curriculum. It is possible that certain books or materials may prove offensive to certain parents, religious groups or nationalities. If any material is challenged by any member of the school community, alternate material should be substituted whenever feasible for those children whose parents object to the primary material.”

B. Request for Informal Reconsideration - The school shall try to resolve the issue informally. The principal or other appropriate staff shall explain to the questioner the school’s selection procedure.

C. Request for Formal Reconsideration

  1. If any learning resource is challenged, the complainant will be given a copy of the Request for Reconsideration of Learning Resource form (see Appendices), be asked to fill it out, and to return it to the appropriate administrator in the Huasteca office.
  2. The request for reconsideration shall be referred to a reconsideration committee at the school level for reevaluation of the resource.
  3. The Reconsideration Committee
    a. Upon receipt of a request for formal reconsideration of a learning resource, the principal shall appoint a reconsideration committee including the following membership as appropriate:
    • The Secondary School Principal, representing the administration team;
    • One teacher from the same grade level as the child whose parent registered a formal complaint, representing the school personnel. This teacher shall not be the child’s own teacher;
    • The librarian, representing the library personnel.

b. The reconsideration committee shall review the challenged resource and judge whether it conforms to the principles of selection outlined in the school’s Selection Policy and Request for Reconsideration of Materials policy. The reconsideration committee shall bear in mind the Guiding Principles to Reconsideration Committee (see 4, below, plus Appendices).

4. Guiding Principles

a. No group or individual has the right to determine reading, viewing, or listening matter for students other than his or her own children.

b. The American School Foundation of Monterrey supports the Library Bill of Rights, adopted by the American Library Association (see Appendices). When learning resources are challenged, the principles of the freedom to read/listen/view must be defended as well.

c. Access to challenged material shall not be restricted during the reconsideration process.

d. The major criterion for the final decision is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use.

e. A decision to sustain a challenge shall not necessarily be interpreted as a judgment of irresponsibility by the professionals involved in the original selection and/or use of the material.


  • Appendix A: Request for Reconsideration of Library Resources
  • Appendix B: Reconsideration Committee - Guiding Principle
  • Appendix C: Library Bill of Rights – American Library Association
  • Appendix D: Copyright and fair use guidelines for school projects

Objectives of the Library

  1. Acting as learning laboratory and extension of the classroom.
  2. Encouraging leisure reading and a love of literature.
  3. Helping and supporting students in knowledge acquisiion.
  4. Providing research resources for teachers and students.
  5. Helping students learn appropiate research skills.
  6. Helping students access multiple sources of information.
  7. Promoting acquisition of reading skills.
  8. Helping students develop information handling skills.