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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 includes Green Library, Hubert Library, Special Collections & University Archives, Government Documents, and Geographic Information Systems across Modesto A. Maidique Campus (MMC) and Biscayne Bay Campus (BBC). Through collaboration with the Law Library, the Wolfsonian Library, and the College of Medicine Library, we strive to develop coherent, diverse and comprehensive collections that meet the teaching, learning, and research needs of the FIU community. The Libraries not only acquires and maintains electronic and physical collections, but also fosters partnerships with other research libraries and consortia to provide quick and efficient access to resources not owned by FIU Libraries.

Acquisition Methods

Patron-Driven Acquisitions (DDA)

In order to support FIU’s Strategic Plan goals of increased online student enrollment, the Libraries has implemented the DDA program for electronic books and streaming videos. FIU users have access to a large pool of electronic books and streaming videos selected through a profile based on subject and non-subject parameters, but the final purchase of the e-content is only triggered after a certain use has been reached. The program 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 program is more selective to more closely match FIU disciplines and research.


Evidence-Based Acquisitions (EBA)

To fulfill the request by FIU users on highly used electronic monographs, the Libraries implemented the EBA program to meet increasing needs for electronic resources. Similarly, FIU users have unlimited access to a large pool of high-quality titles for a set upfront fee. Subject liaisons will select titles for perpetual access after 12 months in consideration of discipline and usage data. The model can help the Libraries meet the needs of FIU patrons while controlling costs.


Selective Approval Plans

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

Several specialized plans cover publications from a selected list of Caribbean and Latin American countries (Cuba, works by Cubans outside of Cuba, Argentina, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, 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.

In addition to these specialized plans, the Library also maintains an approval plan for faculty publications.


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.


Title-by-title Selection

Faculty Orders

Faculty in academic departments are encouraged to order research and graduate level materials in their disciplines and areas of expertise, as well as instructional materials for the classes they teach. The library endeavors to purchase all reasonable faculty requests that are obtainable within the library’s annual budget. Faculty orders are submitted through the Faculty Library Materials Request Form. This form is intended for one-time purchase requests and are not restricted to any specific format. Requests for continuing resources, such as serials or databases subscriptions, faculty are to coordinate with their subject liaison librarians.


Subject Liaison Librarians

The FIU Libraries collaborate with FIU faculty, students, staff, and other campus constituents by providing subject liaisons to facilitate knowledge creation, discovery, preservation and dissemination that contributes to teaching, research, and creative activity. Subject liaisons work in concert with faculty members to enhance the collections by means of Selective Approval Plan, Patron Driven Acquisitions (DDA), Evidence-based Selection (EBS), books on-demand, and title-by-title selection as well as collaborative selection of electronic continuing resources led by the Collection Management Advisory Committee.


Collaborative 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 acquisitions of continuing resources and high cost purchases.


Books on Demand

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

Books

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

Journals

  • 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.
  • 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 and University Archives reflects the Libraries commitment to provide research materials for the University community. The department currently collects:

  • Rare, unique and out of print materials including books, manuscripts, pamphlets, maps
  • Interdisciplinary collections, archives, personal papers, artifacts, audiovisual media, photographs, and digital resources that span the history, development and culture of the geographic, national and cultural regions Caribbean Basin, Miami and South Florida.
  • Administrative documents, historical records, publications, and student organizations in all formats including photographs, audiovisual media, and digital resources relating to the founding, development of, and future plans of the University.

Government Documents

The Government Resources and Information Department (G.R.I.D.) collects publications, resources, maps (e.g., topographic, nautical, and South Florida photographic land use); digital imagery and micro-fiche/film from the Federal Depository Library, United Nations Depository, European Union Depository, and State of Florida Depository Programs, as well as, its International and South Florida Collections. The interdisciplinary resources of GRID concentrate on statistical data, social sciences and humanities. Additional resources pertain to unique, historical and cultural content from the communities of Florida and South Florida. The collections of GRID are integrated in university course curriculum and are specialized, unique and noteworthy.

  • The Federal Depository Library Collection is the largest depository collection in South Florida, serving the FIU community at large and the 26th Congressional District
  • The United Nations Depository is one of four in the State of Florida
  • The European Union Depository is one of two in the State of Florida.

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.


Languages

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.

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)


Exceptions

  • 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.

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
  • Recordings
  • Musical scores
  • Art books and catalogs
  • Miami/South Florida material
  • Archives and personal papers

The gift review process will determine the cost- benefit involved in accepting a gift which requires expenditure to receive or special processing. Donators are encouraged to submit the gift information online for initial assessment (See the Donation of Materials Form). If the gifts are accepted, the Libraries will have the right to handle unselected gift books at their discretion.

Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the FIU Library is not accepting donations at this time. When conditions change, we will update this page to notify all interested parties. We appreciate the consideration and thank you for your understanding.

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.

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 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.


Subject Weeding by Liaisons

Subject Librarians will review their liaison collection areas on a regular basis and may deselect materials based on the following criteria:

  • Frequency of Use
    Circulation and browse statistics should be used to determine whether items are being used on a frequent basis. A Low-Use Item Report can be generated upon request within specific call number ranges to determine items which have little overall usage and/or no recent use.
  • Curriculum/Research Needs
    Items not meeting current research or curriculum needs may be removed from the collection unless there are other factors which may require its retention. For example, if a title is a seminal work within its field of study it may be retained for basic research value.
  • Currency of Information
    The need for the most current information will vary by discipline. Where relevant, outdated titles should be removed to reduce antiquated information.
  • Duplication
    If the FIU Libraries own multiple copies of a title, research needs and usage statistics should be reviewed to determine whether all copies need to be retained. If multiple copies are not deemed necessary, the library with the highest programmatic need for the subject matter should retain the title.
  • Superseded Works
    Unless a superseded volume has historic value, previous editions of a work should be withdrawn upon receipt of a newer edition.
  • Sets and Series
    if an item is part of a set or series to which the library does not hold a complete run, the item may be weeded unless the information in the volume may be considered a complete treatise on a subject.
  • Physical Condition
    Materials that are torn, deteriorated, or otherwise damaged should be removed from the collection. At the liaison’s discretion, a replacement copy or newer edition may be purchased as a replacement.
  • Other formats
    Titles which are available at the FIU Libraries in multiple formats (microform, electronic, print, etc) may be weeded to reduce duplication. Outdated formats which are deemed no longer usable should be removed from the collection.
  • Lost or Missing Items
    If an item is reported in the FIU Catalog system as Lost or Missing, it may be withdrawn from the collection. A replacement item may be requested at the discretion of the subject librarian.

Special Interest Items

Items with regional, local, or special interest are exceptions to the withdrawal process. Items in these categories are rarely, if ever, weeded due to their intrinsic value to the FIU collections. The following areas are examples of such local interests:

  • Special Collections
    by their nature, items housed in the Special Collection Department have national or local collection value. Any decision to withdraw an item in this collection will be made by the Head of Special Collections in consultation with the Library Administration and associated faculty.
  • Faculty Publications
    FIU faculty publications are retained by the library unless the physical conditions of such publications render them unusable. If such is the case, a replacement copy will be sought.
  • Grant Funded or Deed of Gift
    items purchased through grant funding or acquired through special gift agreements may carry special retention requirements. Such materials are typically retained unless extenuating circumstances require withdrawal.
  • Latin American & Caribbean Studies
    the FIU Libraries have agreements with several national organizations to be a repository for various regions of Latin American and Caribbean materials.
  • Florida publications
    titles published about the local Florida area have continuing archival research value.
  • Classics and Core Materials
    Literary classics, seminal works, and core materials in FIU-taught disciplines should be retained for their lasting value.
  • Primary Sources
    primary sources are often difficult to obtain and replace. Such documents should be kept in the collection or reviewed to determine if off-site storage is desired.

Government Documents

In addition to these areas, it should be noted that portions of the holdings of the Government Documents Department are regulated by state, regional, national, and/or international agreements for depository libraries. Any withdrawals from that collection must be done in accordance with such agreements.

Storage Facility

The Green Library maintains a small storage area for infrequently used books, journals, and reference materials. The Libraries also send some selected titles to an off-site storage through Florida Academic Repository (FLARE). These materials are identified in the catalog and are available for circulation.


Preservation

To maintain physical collections, the Libraries repairs unique or out-of-print items, bind print periodicals, and make digital archival copy of print, audio or video materials when the library budget allows to support teaching, leaning and research at FIU.

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.

Collaboration with Law Library

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.


Collaboration with Wolfsonian Library

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.


Collaboration with College of Medicine Library

The University Libraries are responsible for the areas of health sciences to support teaching and research in the Stempel 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.


Cooperative Collection Development and Resource Sharing

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), LYRASIS, and the Eastern Academic Scholar’s Trust (EAST). 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 Assessment

The Collection Development Officer consults with the Collection Development Advisory Committee, Head of Special Collections, and respective subject liaisons on the collection assessment plan and executes the plan accordingly.


Donation Form

Library Policies

Browse our library policies for safe and conscientious use of library resources. These policies are subject to modification at the discretion of library administration.