Skip to main content

Library SACS Accreditation 2015: FINAL DRAFT 2.9

Data and resources for our upcoming SACS review.


San Antonio College, through ownership or formal arrangements or agreements, provides and supports student and faculty access and user privileges to adequate library collections and services and to other learning/information resources consistent with the degrees offered. Collections, resources, and services are sufficient to support all its educational programs.  Research and public services are not part of San Antonio College's Mission, but the College provides services to assist students to conduct the research they need to do for their undergradutate coursework, and facilities to support community service events and projects.


San Antonio College, through ownership or formal arrangements or agreements, provides and supports student and faculty access and user privileges to adequate library collections and services and to other learning/information resources consistent with the degrees offered.


Adequate Library Collections


San Antonio College librarians develop and maintain a current and balanced collection of print, audiovisual and electronic resources that support San Antonio College curricula. The SAC Library owns 173,000+ print volumes, subscribes to 47 electronic databases, and provides access to approximately 45,000 electronic books. 


The Federal Depository Library Program was established by Congress in 1813 to assure public access to government information.  San Antonio College was established as a partial depository in 1972, one of 1,250 depository libraries. There are many benefits to housing a depository collection. When new material is published through the depository, it is often the first time research is made available to the public, such as the first appearance of AIDs and of bird flu influenza research.  Reference material from the government would cost over $10,000 to purchase.  Most important, equity of access and free and unrestricted public use of these materials serves a vital link between the public and our government. Anyone can use this collection of federal documents, and many of the documents are available to be checked out.  The collection is slowly changing to online items, which are available to the public 24/7.  In addition to material supporting the traditional higher education curriculum, SAC Library subscribes to documents which support curricula specific to SAC programs: law enforcement, nursing and NASA materials, for example. 


The Library is a member of TexShare, a statewide consortium of academic, public, and medical libraries. TexShare libraries share staff expertise and library resources, pursue joint purchasing agreements and encourage cooperative development of information resources. Library faculty  have attended Texshare meetings, participated in and contributed to their programs, and present committee projects at Texas Library Association meetings. It is through TexShare that SAC offers Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services in which library patrons can request books, recordings, DVDs, and photocopies of periodical articles from participating libraries. Benefits of this service are numerous:


  • since no library can cover every subject, ILL allows the library to fill in gaps in the collection; 
  • requests allow the library to see if there are subjects that should be ordered in the future; 
  • fulfilling requests from other libraries gives this library credit with the OCLC world-wide Discovery. 


Most of all, this service establishes beneficial public relations with our patrons and with other participating libraries. SAC students can also check out library materials directly from any Alamo College Library or from any Texas library participating in TexShare. 


In order to support the degrees offered at SAC, the material in SAC's library collections is continuously updated (see more below). Throughout the year, SAC librarians and staff purchase, process, and Discovery materials for inclusion in the collection, and repair and withdraw materials as needed. Purchases are made to support the SAC curriculum and suggestions from faculty, students and staff are taken into consideration as they are received. Additionally, library patrons, including faculty and students, now have the opportunity to trigger the purchase of electronic books through the EBL, an electronic book database shared by the Alamo College Libraries.


Adequate services and other learning/information resources


The San Antonio College (SAC) Library provides a full range of library services and resources that promote student success and life-long learning, including the following:


  • Librarians teach students, staff, and faculty how to access and evaluate information effectively and efficiently through classroom and online instruction, and through face-to-face and online reference assistance (see Comprehensive Standard 3.8.2)
  • Librarians assist faculty in the design of effective library assignments
  • Librarians serve as liaisons to academic departments, keeping faculty up-to-date on library services and materials and seeking input from faculty regarding the purchase of library materials
  • Librarians identify curriculum and program requirements to ensure the purchase of appropriate library resources
  • Librarians deliver library services and resources to all students, including Distance Education students


SAC librarians also participate in college and district committees and governing bodies, including the SAC Faculty Senate, the SAC Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, the SAC Curriculum & Review Committee, the Alamo District Emergency Sick Leave Committee, the SAC Foundations of Excellence-Transfer Focus Task Force, the SAC Building Action Team and the SAC Emergency Response Team.


The Library also serves the San Antonio community through a variety of outreach activities. A Library Art Committee, established in 2005, identifies and selects artists and artwork for the Library’s biannual art exhibits. Artists have included San Antonio College students, faculty, and staff, as well as local and nationally-renowned artists. A reception is held at the beginning of each fall and spring semester to which surrounding neighborhoods as well as the entire SAC community are invited. The artists’ works remain in the Library throughout the semester.      


Student and faculty access and user privileges; Convenient, timely, and user friendly access to learning resources


The San Antonio College Library is open to the community and SAC students, faculty and staff throughout the year:


Fall and Spring semester hours:

Monday - Thursday:

7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.


7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Maymester hours:


8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Summer hours:


7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


All of the Library’s online guides, electronic databases, and electronic books are available 24 hours per day, every day. Online library resources are available from the Library’s homepage. Databases and electronic books can be accessed by anyone on campus. Remote access is available to SAC students, faculty and staff through a login process which requires users to provide their ACES User Name and their Banner ID. 


The San Antonio College library provides easily accessible resources and services for all students, faculty, and staff.  Library users have access to the Library's webpage, including the Discovery and databases. Access to full-text books, journal and magazine articles, and instructional materials in LibGuides, is available 24/7.


Students have full access to the reference and reserve collections on the 2nd floor, the circulating collection on the 3rd floor, and the special collections on the 4th floor.  The reference area books are for in-house use only.  Photocopiers are available if users need to copy portions of the book.  Reserve items  on level 2 (primarily textbooks and course materials brought to the library by faculty and departments) can be checked out for 2 hours, and cannot be taken out of the reserve area.  Books, government documents, CDs, and DVDs in the circulating collection on the 3rd floor (139,000+ items) may checked out by students at up to 7 items at a time, and students may renew these items up to two additional times for a total circulating period of 6 weeks.  Alamo Colleges’ faculty and administrators may check out up to 15 items for 30 days, and staff may check out up to 10 items for two weeks. Anyone may renew items online


Electronic collections are available through the library's web page.  Nearly 45,000 ebooks are available online through the Discovery and are accessible 24/7.  Newspaper, magazine, and journal articles are available through our subscription databases, which provide full-text access to over 59,000 unique titles.


Students with questions about library services, or how to access our materials, can walk up to the reference desk during hours of operation and ask the faculty librarians, from whom they will receive friendly, professional assistance. The librarians are available at the reference desk for each of the 66 hours the library is open weekly.  From off campus, students may call the reference, and they will receive the same high quality assistance as if they were physically in the library.  Students may also use the "Ask a Librarian" link from our webpage where they can ask questions and receive prompt replies from librarians.  In addition, the library has a Facebook page and a Twitter account where library information is shared.  


Access to the Library's resources within the Moody Learning Center is made available by the 45 computers in the reference area, 5 computers in the reserve area, and additional computers on levels 3 & 4.  Wifi within the MLC allows students to use their own laptops or smart phones to access our library resources.


Librarians promote information literacy and how to access resources by teaching library instruction sessions tailored to the subject, topic, and assignment identified by the classroom instructor.  A chart of Library Instruction Statistics showing the number of library instruction classes taught and the number of student attending the library instruction sessions can be found online in the SAC LibGuides.


In the event that the Library does not own an item that a student, faculty, or staff member needs, we will find and borrow that item through our interlibrary loan (ILL) service.  Students may request items through the library's interlibrary loan website, at no cost. The Library also participates in the TexShare program (see above) allowing SAC students with a TexShare card (available upon request at the reserve desk), to borrow items from other participating libraries.  


The SAC Library is ADA compliant, providing ADA approved furniture, equipment and software to disabled users.  Librarians and staff are available to assist disabled students and refer them to appropriate resources and departments. 


Library faculty consistently publicize programs, services, and new acquisitions through SAC's award-winning student newspaper, The Ranger. Approximately 20-25 articles have been published each year about the Library since 2006. The Library also supports a Facebook page with approximately 200 followers and a Twitter account with approximately 120 followers.


Traditionally, the SAC Library has been responsible for researching, initiating, and negotiating cooperative purchases of database subscriptions shared among the four participating Alamo Colleges libraries. This results in the acquisition of important library resources that individual Alamo Colleges’ libraries might otherwise not be able to afford.   


Determining that learning/information resources are consistent with the degrees offered


The Library contributes to student success by providing professional, friendly instruction, easily accessible resources and services, extended hours, and multiple means of access. Reference librarians deliver individualized instruction on accessing and interpreting research materials, interpreting classroom assignments, and developing critical thinking skills. 


Librarians partner with classroom faculty to develop relevant assignments that demonstrate information literacy. This collaboration not only ensures that the assignment is suited for the class, but makes information literacy part of the curriculum for that course. Library instruction consists of course-related sessions that promote information literacy skills tailored to the course assignment. Student learning outcomes for each session include developing a question approach to identifying an information need, creating a flexible research strategy, and locating a variety of quality sources on a given topic. 


Curriculum changes throughout the college are monitored by a library faculty representative on the College Curriculum Committee. Appropriate changes are made in library materials selection criteria based on curricular changes. Newly created courses may require new materials and discontinuation of courses may require de-selection of obsolete or underused materials.


The library also conducts regular surveys of students, faculty and staff library users to determine the appropriateness of the services provided. These surveys are used in all planning for library improvement and materials acquisition (Library Survey Results Fall 2013-Spring 2014).


Librarians also maintain their expertise and stay on the cutting edge of learning resource provision through memberships in professional organizations, including the following:


  • American Association of University Professors
  • American Library Association
  • Association of College and Research Libraries
  • Beta Phi Mu
  • Bexar Library Association
  • Council of Research and Academic Libraries
  • Texas Community College Teachers Association
  • Texas Council of Academic Libraries
  • Texas Junior and Community College Association
  • Texas Library Association
  • Volunteer indexing for the Hispanic American Periodicals Index


Collections, resources, and services are sufficient to support all SAC’s educational and public service programs


The San Antonio College Library maintains collections, resources and services that are both adequate and sufficient to support the College's programs. The collections, services and resources offered also fulfill the Library Mission, "to provide a vital, technologically advanced center of learning and exploration for students, staff, faculty, and the community."


Through the collaboration between library liaisons and academic departments, the Library has built a collection of traditional print/non-print resources and electronic resources to support the various disciplines' information needs. The Library's collection is searchable through the Innovative Integrated, Inc., automated library system which provides a comprehensive online Discovery that allows patrons to view the collections while on- or off-campus.  Through the interlibrary loan service, patrons may request materials from other libraries to be sent to this library. Local libraries have a turnaround time of two to three days while libraries outside of this area may take up to two weeks for delivery. 


After a complete remodeling of the Library, located on floors 2-4 of the Moody Learning Center, which was finished in Oct. 2013, the library is now meeting student needs for technology equipped or technology-friendly individual and group study and research areas.  Highlights of this remodel include improved lighting, approximately a 40 percent increase in seating, colorful and comfortable new furniture in attractive spaces, and the addition of 18 group study rooms (see Facilities, below).


The Library has created several programs and services as well as participated in college and district events that connect SAC, Alamo Colleges, and the San Antonio community to the Library:


Librarians regularly provide one-on-one reference assistance to community members on-site as well as via telephone, email and instant messaging. In addition, library materials, including the online databases, are available for use on-site for all community members. Anyone with internet access can search the library Discovery.


A Library Art Committee, established in 2005, identifies and selects artists and artwork for the Library’s art exhibits. Artists have included San Antonio College students, faculty, and staff, as well as local and nationally renowned artists. A reception is held at the beginning of each fall and spring semester to which the entire SAC community is invited. The artists’ works remain in the Library throughout the semester.


The Library reaches out to the SAC community and beyond with social media including a Facebook page ( with over 380 friends and a Twitter account ( with over 200 followers. Researchers for a 2014 article published in Community College Journal of Research Practice found that the SAC Library’s web site was one of only eight libraries out of 100 examined that met the criteria for a “digital branch,” allowing for opportunities for “interactivity, engagement, and dialogue with users” (Nora Bird, personal communication, May 28, 2014).


In Fall 2013 a library education promotion, held during national Banned Book Week, proved particularly popular with students.  The “Blind Date with a Banned Book” promotion saw 40 students earn prizes for selecting a famous banned book appropriately wrapped in brown paper.  Titles included To Kill a Mockingbird1984Hunger GamesCatcher in the Rye and Huck Finn. Libraries from around the nation have contacted our Library to inquire about this successful program.


A Library Open House took place in October 2013 to celebrate the completion of library renovations and in particular the addition of the Library Performance Area (LPA) on the 4th floor of MLC. Faculty and staff READ posters were unveiled and attendees were treated to cake and a presentation entitled “San Antonio College Library: The Heart of the Campus” (Library Open House Invitation). The opening of the LPA has allowed the Library to host community events such as book signings, poetry readings, one-act plays, musical performances, art openings and story time with SAC’s Department of American Sign Language and Interpreter Training and the local Deaf Community.


Finally, in Fall 2014 librarians selected and purchased books to be used by local elementary and junior high school aged children in public programming held at the Scobee Education Center, the college’s newly remodeled planetarium. 






The Library houses more than 225,000 items in its collections. As of December 2014, the Reference Collection held more than 12,000 items, the Reserve Collection housed 1,425 items, the Circulation Collection held 139,270, and the McAllister Collection (rare and out-of-print) held 16,196.  In addition, students have access to approximately 45,000 eBooks.


The library's print collection is divided into the reference and reserve collections on the 2nd floor, the circulating collection on the 3rd floor, and the special collections on the 4th floor.  The reference area contains 16,300+ items. Reserve items, also located on level 2, consist of textbooks and course materials brought to the library by faculty and departments. More than 1,400 items are located on reserve. Books, government documents, CDs, and DVDs comprise our circulating collection and are located on the 3rd floor.  The 3rd floor houses more than 139,000 items. Special collections are on the 4th floor of MLC, and consist of 16,000+ items.


EBooks are available online through the Discovery and are accessible 24/7.  SAC provides access to nearly 45,000 eBooks.  




Electronic collections are available through the library's web page. Students have access to a multitude of databases that provide full-text periodicals, including newspaper, magazine, and journal articles, accessible 24 hours a day.  More than 50 subscription databases are included in the 146 databases and indexes listed in the A-to-Z list.  According to Serial Solutions, the number of unique, full-text titles in SAC’s databases was 59,171 in Spring 2014.




The Library is open 66 hours a week, Monday through Saturday.  At least one library faculty member is available at Reference to assist students at all times.  Two librarians are available during the busiest hours.  Students may obtain help in person, online through "Ask a Librarian," featured on the Library's home page, or by telephone (see more below).  




Library faculty offer hands-on instruction tailored to classroom assignments in two computer labs and online through the virtual classroom Collaborate. Instruction is offered at classroom faculty request. In 2013-2014, librarians taught 363 classes to 8,381 students. In Fall 2014, librarians taught 168 classes to 3,545 students.  Complete statistics on the number of classes and students taught are available on the Library Instruction libguide.  More than 200 Libguides, online research guides that are suitable to class assignments, are also available.


Academic Department Accreditation


Librarians prepare reports and often present demonstrations of resources to various academic accreditation review committee members. 


Library Facilities


Library facilities include the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors of the Moody Learning Center as well as MLC 500 on the 5th Floor. The complete renovation of the seven floors of the Moody Learning Center during 2012-2014, which included the three and one-half floors that are devoted to the library, have greatly improved the ability of the library to fulfill its mission,  especially its goal to provide “equipment, furniture and an environment that promotes learning”. Renovations included (see also Comprehensive Standard 3.8.1):


  1. The increase in space of approximately 40% provides adequate space for current collections and moderate future growth, for student use computer stations, for library instruction computer classrooms, for student study, for storage, for service desks, for individual staff work stations, and for technical services work areas. In early 2009, there were no group study rooms, no comfortable (upholstered) seating, and only a few badly marred individual study carrels. Since October of 2013, the library has had eighteen group study rooms with an average capacity of six each, comfortable upholstered seating for 157, and 112 individual study carrels. If every single seat in the library was occupied, the total would be 972 – 10% of the 9,290 student FTEs.  But more importantly (although sufficient statistics are not yet available) it ican be observed that better seating and lighting and a quieter, more spacious and more attractive atmosphere are drawing more students to the library, and they are staying longer.
  2. Lighting has been improved to library standards.
  3. Improved entryways and other sound-proofing have greatly diminished the noise.
  4. Two new classrooms for library instruction now include seating and PCs to accomodate SAC's largest classes.
  5. Included in the renovation was replacement of outdated PCs and other equipment as well as new furniture.
  6. The new public areas now have Wi Fi as well as sufficient outlets for students to recharge their electronic devices.
  7. A new performance area, equipped with a stage, podium, projector, computer, sound equipment and screen now enables the library to schedule cultural events that seat an audience of up to 75.
  8. Placing most public services (Reference, Reserve and Classrooms) on the 2nd Floor (the main entry floor of the building) is a more efficient grouping of most service functions. The design of the building requires multiple entries/exits not only for public functions on the 2nd Floor but also for Circulation on the 3rd Floor and the study areas and special collections on the 4th Floor. More details about learning resources facilities can be found in the Library Facilities Descriptions.   




Decision making processes for learning resource improvment


Each year the Director forms a committee to prepare an annual Unit Review.  All library faculty and staff are encouraged to provide input as to what has been accomplished in the past year as well as what needs to be accomplished and the resources needed to accomplish those goals.  A library committee prepares and submits a much more detailed Unit Review every five years. The committee submits its recommendations for improvement of services, collections, facilities and access to the Dean of Learning Resources.


If funding for renovations that affect the library are approved, the library puts together a committee of faculty and staff to make recommendations and to work with architects and others regarding the needs and design to meet those needs. Once a facilities renovation is underway, an individual librarian or staff member is usually chosen to monitor the project or a portion thereof. This monitor attends regular meetings with construction/architectural/facilities/ administration oversight people and serves as the liaison between the library and others.  He or she tries to identify and inform relevant parties of potential interruptions of the library's operations as well as other problems or mistakes before they become permanent and may suggest changes/improvements to the plans. 


Determining adequacy and relevancy of library/learning resources to support all SAC’s educational, research, and service needs


Collection Development


Each librarian is responsible for specific collection development subject areas, such as allied health, art, geography, history, nursing, etc. Purchases are made through Baker & Taylor based on the curriculum, faculty, staff, and student recommendations, and reviews in specialized publications such as ChoiceLibrary Journal, and Booklist. Librarians research books, CDs, DVDs, and eBook titles in their specific subject areas to determine if the item is deemed fitting for our collection and for our library users.  Librarians welcome input from students, faculty and staff, for recommendations of items to purchase.  An individual may contact the subject librarian directly and recommend the purchase of a book, send the subject librarian an email, or the Recommend Items for Purchase link on the Library's homepage.


Librarians purchase items for the collection that support the curriculum.  Funds for purchasing library materials are allocated by college administration, and this amount is then divided among the subject librarians in an equitable fashion. Collection development policies for subject area are created by each subject librarian based on the curriculum being taught in those areas, and updated as the curriculum and classes change. 


The complete list of the collection development areas and the librarians responsible are on the webpages for Collection Development Subject Areas A – G and Collection Development Subject Areas H – Z. Three documents that further describe our collection development system are: 1) Collection Development by Library of Congress Classification, 2) Collection Development by Fund Code, and 3) Collection Development Codes by Librarian.  The documents are updated as librarians retire, or if collection development areas are assigned to different librarians. 


Access to collections and services provided for off-campus sites and distance learning courses


Online resources are available to all currently enrolled SAC students (including those attending classes at Northeast Lakeview College, the Greater Kerville Center and the Central Texas Technology Center), faculty, and staff via the Library’s website at:


San Antonio College students, staff, and faculty may access all e-books, databases and indexes off-campus through the library’s homepage. Also available through the library’s homepage is the Ask a Librarian service which provides assistance through email and instant messaging reference services. Remote access to e-books, databases, indexes and online reference assistance enhances learning opportunities for all library users and is vital for distance education students. Students who are off-campus and/or are taking courses online have 24/7 access to ebooks and databases. Students may also use a TexShare card to check out hard copy materials from participating libraries throughout the state of Texas. Reference services (Ask a Librarian) and Library Instruction services (LibGuidesCollaborate) are also provided for all students and online courses.


SAC Online instructors can request live, online research workshops and resource guides for their students. The virtual classroom software, Collaborate, allows librarians, students, and instructors to meet online from any internet location. With audio, chat, video, and whiteboard capability, Collaborate makes online instruction just as interactive as teaching in the traditional face-to-face classroom. Application sharing allows the librarian to show real time searches in the various databases, and also lets students take control of the database to try their own searches. A Quick Start Guide to prepare students for a Collaborate research workshop is available at:


Course research guides list specific resources and search examples for a course assignment or subject area. Instructors can easily link to these guides from their Instructure course pages or website to help students find quality sources and get help with their search strategies. Course research guides are available at:


The Library maintains social media sites on both Facebook ( and Twitter ( 

San Antonio College Library, 1819 Main Ave., San Antonio, TX 78212
Located in the Moody Learning Center (MLC) building, floors 2 - 5
Reference Desk: (210) 486-0554 * Send Email
Library interior & exterior photos by: Leonard Ziegler, SAC photographer

Copyright © 2015 San Antonio College