Collection Development Policy





Library Mission Statement

The Florida International University Libraries support the University's mission of teaching, research, and service by providing the means for the discovery and the pursuit of knowledge. 

Collection Objectives

The University Libraries, Green Library and Hubert Library, are considered a single collection geographically dispersed across two locations.  Through collaboration with the Law Library, the Wolfsonian Library, and the College of Medicine Library, we work to develop coherent and complementary collections to meet the teaching, learning, and research needs of the FIU community.  Green Library is designated as the research library while the Hubert Library supports mainly undergraduate programs with graduate support for the specific programs housed at the BBC Campus. Development of library collections at FIU is directed by the goal to provide students and faculty access to collections and other learning resources regardless of campus location.  Overall, the Libraries seek to continually develop research collections to further the University’s strategic goals, notably excellence in undergraduate education, enhanced research and doctoral production, and distinction in international studies.


Approval plans are reviewed on a bi-annual basis to evaluate the currency and appropriateness of the plan parameters.  Adjustments are made based on curricular needs and faculty input.

Approval plans - MMC

An approval plan for U.S. and U.K. publishers forms the foundation for print book acquisitions at the Green Library, especially to support undergraduate needs. This plan covers nearly all subject areas in the social sciences and the humanities in the following categories: basic-essential, research-essential and basic-recommended. In the sciences, where there is a higher degree of specialization, the plan is more selective to more closely match university programs.  The approval plan is set to provide electronic books in select subject areas where the e-book is published within 8 weeks of the print equivalent.  These e-preferred subjects include all sciences, education, social work, and criminal justice.

The approval plan includes university press titles for program areas within the university, and other publishers in areas of specific focus (such as history of science, public policy, and areas of focus for the university including health and the environment). The plan is customized to cover specializations in certain programs (e.g., titles on Colonial American architecture at the popular audience level).

In addition to the general plan, several specialized plans cover publications from a selected list of Caribbean and Latin American countries (Cuba, works by Cubans outside of Cuba, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Spain). These plans support both undergraduate and graduate needs. Additional approval plans include music scores, music recordings, and children’s literature award books.

Approval plans - BBC

A narrow approval plan to support the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management is in place at the Hubert Library.  This approval plan includes university presses and trade publishers for aspects related directly to Hospitality Management or Tourism, including the cruise and hotel industries.

Faculty orders

Faculty in academic departments are encouraged to order research and graduate level materials in their disciplines and areas of expertise.  The library endeavors to purchase all reasonable faculty monograph requests that are obtainable within the library’s annual budget. Faculty orders are submitted through the Libraries’ Online Library Acquisitions System (OLAS) at:

Subject Liaison Librarians

Librarians with assigned liaison responsibilities are responsible for selecting materials to support undergraduate, graduate, and faculty needs, filling gaps not covered by the approval plan or faculty orders.  The majority of the collection housed at the Hubert Library is purchased through liaison selection.

Collections Advisory Committee

The Collections Advisory Committee advises the Collection Development Officer on budget and policy issues and is responsible for assessing proposals for new serial acquisitions and high cost purchases. 

Patron Driven Acquisitions

The Libraries are exploring patron driven acquisitions programs for electronic books.  Records for electronic books will be loaded into the catalog based on subject and non-subject parameters, with the purchase of the content being triggered by specific event criteria.     

 “Books on Demand”

Books requested by faculty through Interlibrary Loan may be purchased by the library, instead of borrowed, if they meet established guidelines.  



·Electronic books may be purchased individually or as a collection.  The Libraries purchase single-user access for e-books unless notified that a title will be in high demand (i.e., popular subject matter, required course reading, etc.)

·The Libraries generally do not purchase copies of textbooks required by the faculty for use in their courses (see Textbook Acquisition Policy,

·Requests for duplication of content are reviewed by the Collection Development Officer, regardless of format or location.


·Electronic versions of journals are preferred over print editions unless the cost or access method is prohibitive.

·Journal titles may be purchased individually or in packages; packages are often publisher based.

Reference Collections

·Electronic versions of reference works are generally preferred over print editions.

·Duplication across locations is reviewed by the Collection Development Officer as needed to meet user demand or program needs across the two campuses.

Electronic Resources

·Online, IP-mapped electronic access is the preferred format when available in order to provide equal access to resources across the two campuses.

·Web-based delivery mechanisms are preferred when available.  Locally mounted or client-server based products must be evaluated for maintenance costs and interface usability before product is approved for purchase.

·The FIU Libraries generally follow the licensing guidelines set forth by the Florida Virtual Campus Guidelines for E-Resource License Agreements document, available at:

·The Collections Advisory Committee sets criteria for the evaluation of new online resources, especially those with recurring costs.

Sound and Image Formats

· Audio, video, and image resources are purchased to support curricular and research needs.

· LP and other analog recording formats are only purchased for select collection needs, such as the Diaz-Ayala Collection.

·Streaming audio and video files may be purchased in collections or individually if the quality is deemed acceptable and a suitable license can be negotiated.

Special Collections & University Archives

·Special Collections span the disciplines, from the sciences to the humanities, with a general focus on Cuban, Caribbean (Spanish, British & French), Brazilian and Florida/ Miami interests. Special Collections’ Caribbean collections has as its foci the history, literature, culture, architecture and arts of the countries of the Caribbean Basin.

·In addition to the administrative records of FIU, the Archive collections reflect the history, culture and architecture of the South Florida region.

Government Documents

The Green Library at Modesto A. Maidique Campus houses a significant collection of publications by governmental and non-governmental organizations.  The Green Library is a State Depository, selective Federal Depository, a United Nations Depository, and a European Union Depository.  The library also broadly collects local and international documents of interest to the curriculum. 

Geospatial Data and Maps

The collection is focused on Florida geography (state, local counties, and municipalities); U.S. Census data and maps (e.g. SimplyMaps); fine-scale U.S. transportation network datasets and maps (e.g. TomTom)  Global population database and maps (LandScan); ESRI datasets and maps (worldwide, U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe); Global datasets for climate, topography, land cover; and fine-scaled hydrography of selected Latin American and Caribbean regions;  High resolution Satellite imagery data for environmentally sensitive regions of the world, for instance, Florida Everglades, selected area in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Engineering Library Services

The Engineering Library Services (ELS) is located at The Engineering Center, Room 2780.  The collections relevant to the ELS are primarily online, with a focused print collection of reference materials and a limited number of current journals housed within the facility.  The materials located at ELS are selected by the Engineering liaison librarian.


The main language of the collection is English, with a broad collection of Spanish to support the emphasis in Latin American & Caribbean Studies. Additional non-English language materials are collected based on their relevance to University programs with a foreign language component or appropriate support of curriculum needs.


Gift Offers 

The Libraries welcome gifts of library materials and wish to develop positive and ongoing donor relationships.  Offers to donate non-library materials will be referred to the FIU Libraries Major Gifts Officer or Head of Special Collections.  The Libraries are prudent about accepting monographic materials to be added to the general collections.  Donations of periodical literature in print are generally not accepted or added to the collection.

Gifts of the following fields or types are of priority interest to the FIU Libraries:

·Latin America and Caribbean


·Musical scores

·Art books and catalogs

·Florida history

·Special Collections

Gift review will determine the cost- benefit involved in accepting a gift which requires expenditure to receive or special processing.  The Donation of Materials Policy is available at:

Repurposing of unselected gift materials

Unselected gift books in good condition are stored and sent to a third-party book vendor for resale.  A portion of the proceeds from the sales are returned to the FIU Libraries’ resource budget.


Deselection 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. Periodic deselection is important in keeping a collection vibrant, relevant, and useable. The library may withdraw, in accordance with its Withdrawal Policy (, materials in any format - monographs, periodicals, series, manuscripts, films, etc. Items which are withdrawn from the collection will be disposed of in consultation with FIU’s Property Control Department.

The process of withdrawing materials from the collection is managed by subject liaison librarians who have responsibility for managing the collections in their assigned disciplines and for working directly with academic departments to support their research and teaching needs. The decision to withdraw an item is based on content and programmatic needs. These needs may vary greatly from discipline to discipline.


The Green Library maintains a small storage area for infrequently used books, journals, and reference materials.  These materials are identified in the catalog and are available for circulation. 


Selection of materials for digitization is governed by curricular program needs and by funding opportunities that may arise.  The selection process is managed by the appropriate subject liaisons in consultation with digital project staff and library administration.


The College of Law Library is represented on the Collections Advisory Committee.  The College of Law Library and the University Libraries collaborate in the areas of national security studies and human rights.

College of Law collection development focuses on the law of the United States and the state law of Florida. The library also collects on international and comparative law, the law of the European Union, and selected jurisdictions of Western Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.  Within the broad category of foreign, comparative and international law, special emphasis is placed on constitutional law, corporate law, criminal justice, immigration and asylum, human rights, rights of indigenous people, civil rights, commercial transactions, intellectual property, and international trade and investment.


The University Libraries Special Collections does not collect in areas of emphasis for the Wolfsonian Library.  When appropriate the Libraries will consult with the Wolfsonian Library on specific acquisitions.

The Wolfsonian contains artifacts and print materials primarily of North American and European origin, documenting the post-industrial revolution era through the close of the Second World War.  The objects and artifacts in the collection comprise a wide variety of media:  furniture, industrial-design objects, glass, ceramics; metalwork, textiles, medals, paintings, posters, architectural drawings, textiles; rare books, periodicals, and printed ephemera.  Objects are interpreted to explore key issues in design history.


The University Libraries are responsible for the areas of health sciences to support teaching and research in the Stemple College of Nursing & Health Sciences, Arts & Sciences, and the College of Engineering & Computing.  The development and management of these collections will proceed in close collaboration with the Medical Library and the College of Medicine.  Whenever possible, the Libraries will avoid duplication of materials across collections.   The Medical Library is represented on the Collections Advisory Committee.

Collection development of the College of Medicine Library focuses on medicine, health, and the basic life sciences, as well as some other relevant areas.  Materials selected are written for the medical students, professionals, and researchers primarily in the English language.  In general, materials are acquired without regard for geographic considerations, though the focus generally addresses an American audience.  Materials of local interest, such as those related to public health in Florida or tropical medicine may be acquired more comprehensively.  Materials written for the lay public are generally not acquired.   The Library gives strong priority to the acquisition of resources in electronic format.


The Libraries often participate in the purchase of or subscription to electronic library materials, such as databases, journals, and monographs through library cooperative arrangements. Such purchases may be made in collaboration with the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), other Florida State University System Libraries, LYRASIS, the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the Association for Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL), or other consortial entities.

For titles not held within the FIU Libraries, the Libraries have a robust interlibrary loan program. The Libraries are a member of a number of resource-sharing networks, including RAPID ILL, Florida State University System Libraries, Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN), Center for Research Libraries (CRL), and LYRASIS.  The Florida State University System Libraries have a patron-initiated service, UBorrow, which allows patrons from FIU to borrow books from other State University System Libraries without mediation by library staff. Intercampus delivery is available for print and audiovisual materials, including books received from other libraries through interlibrary loan. Materials may be shipped to campus pick-up points at the Green Library, Hubert Library, Engineering Library Services Center, or FIU at I-75 in Miramar.


Collection assessments are the responsibility of the Collection Development Officer, who draws on the expertise of the appropriate subject liaisons.   In addition the Libraries initiate periodic assessments of resource usage and cost-effectiveness that are directed by the Collection Development Officer, subject liaison librarians, and others.