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Library Guidelines

Guidelines for gifts, donations, minors in the library and more.

Good to Know

It's true: an academic library is different than your school or public library, with different kinds of collections, resources, and rules. Our students work hard so we ask that everyone -- even fellow students -- to please respect our students. Help them out by following these guidelines:

  • Cell Phones

Allowed for texting.

  • Music

Allowed if inaudible to others.

  • Conversation

Allowed if you keep it down and don’t disturb others.*

  • Children

Allowed in the Library when accompanied by parent or guardian at all times, but children under 16 should not be in the Library Lab.

*At times there may be events and library classes; Library & Lab staff may need to converse with students to help them.

Gifts can be valuable additions to The College of the Mainland Library collection. The library welcomes donations of books as well as monetary gifts. However, as an academic library with a mission to the college, we must be selective about what is added to the collection. We appreciate donations that are relevant to the college’s curriculum and are in good, clean condition. No gifts and grants will be accepted on which the donor places restrictions. If gifts are accepted it should be understood that, upon receipt, the library becomes the owner of the material and, as such, reserves the right to determine its location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations for its use, maintenance, or removal. The library will not appraise or estimate the value of gift donations. The responsibility for such assessments lies with the donor. The library encourages donors to consider, for their own interest, obtaining an appraisal of their gifts for income tax purposes.

Please make arrangements with the library before dropping off your gifts. You can do this sending an email to


The Collection Development Librarian receives all donated gift items to be processed, and adds them to the Donated Books List. The library acknowledges more than 5 book donations via a thank-you letter. The Collection Development Librarian will evaluate gifts and will make the final decision on adding them to the collection. All gifts are to be evaluated in light of the following criteria:

  • ability to add depth to the existing collections
  • support of overall collection development priorities
  • relevance of content
  • physical condition
  • users’ need

Gift materials are checked against the library catalog to determine if an exact copy of the material is already in the collection. If the title is a more recent edition of a title in the library, the gift shall be kept. If the title is an older version of an existing work in the library, the title may be disposed of in accordance with the steps set out below. If the donated material is in better physical condition than the same material in the collection, the library reserves the right to swap out the existing copy for the donated copy or, in cases of heavily used materials, to reserve the donated copy as an extra copy. The Library will not accept gifts when their physical condition does not allow normal library shelving and use. Any materials in good condition but not meeting the criteria in the collection development guideline shall be sent to auction.

Adding Gifts to the Collection 

All gifts added to the collection will be cataloged and listed in the Library's online public catalog. Since all gift materials that are added to the general collections are shelved in the appropriate subject classification, the Library cannot maintain separate named collections.

While we welcome all visitors to the library, minors have special needs for their safety and welfare. For this reason, the library has two guidelines for minors.

Minors & Library Computers

As a higher education institution, COM Library has an adult orientation and most of its users are adults. The library provides unfiltered access to the Internet to serve the needs of the academic community. Library computers are therefore reserved for the use of those who are 16 years or older or are currently enrolled College of the Mainland students*. Computer users must be able to provide photo IDs upon the request of library staff that prove they are 16 years or older or a currently enrolled College of the Mainland Student. Those under 16 may not use or view computers, or be in the computer area, nor view or use the OPAC computers used to search the library catalog.

Minors in the Library

Elsewhere in the library, parents or caregivers who bring minors into the library are responsible for monitoring their activities and regulating their behavior, ensuring: a) their safety; and b) that their behavior is appropriate for an academic library.

* Currently enrolled College of the Mainland students are credit, continuing education, ESL, Dual Credit, and Collegiate High School students.