Textbook Acquisition Policy

The FIU Libraries purchase materials which support the teaching and research interests of the university. As a general policy, the FIU Libraries do not purchase copies of textbooks required by the faculty for use in their courses.

This policy does not apply to supplemental reading materials which may reasonably be acquired through standard collection building activities. Faculty may request that supplemental materials be purchased by the library and placed on course reserve. The library will purchase one copy of such materials for Course Reserves, to be housed at the primary campus where the course is taught. A second copy may be purchased by request only if course enrollment is over 100 students.

The following definition may be helpful for determining whether a book is considered a textbook: “An edition of a book specifically intended for use of students who are enrolled in a course of study or preparing for an examination on a subject or in an academic discipline…sometimes published in conjunction with a workbook, lab manual, and/or teacher’s manual”: from the ODLIS —Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science, by Joan M. Reitz, Libraries Unlimited (last updated November 19, 2007)


  • A faculty member may place his/her personal copy of a textbook on reserve
  • A faculty member may request a textbook which he/she has written be purchased by the FIU Libraries.
  • Subject librarians may determine that an item classified as an advanced or graduate level textbook has relevant value to the general research needs of the university.
  • Gifts of textbooks will be evaluated on a case by case basis to determine their long term value for the Library’s overall collection.