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About IRSC Libraries

IRSC Libraries Collection Development Guidelines

The Indian River State College Libraries must be understood in light of the College's dedication to college transfer education, career-technical education, baccalaureate education, and lifelong learning for students and community. Its holdings and services exist primarily as a means to promote the College's broader educational objectives. The College has traditionally prided itself upon the excellence of its instruction and continues to place greater weight upon teaching than upon research. As well, an objective of the College’s administration, faculty, and staff is to utilize new and emerging technologies to expand access to education, enhance teaching to help students learn, and to stay ahead of the curve with cutting edge training for technology-based careers. The College is also a member of the International Learning Styles Network, so the collection supports an alternate delivery of educational resources. Thus, the library collection must also reflect these priorities.

College Mission

The College Mission Statement is located on the institutional website. 

Library Purpose

The purpose of the Libraries is to support the College's mission by providing dedicated service, effective instruction, and quality resources to the college community. To facilitate our support, we strive to accomplish these objectives:

  1. To provide informational, instructional, reference, research, and educational services to the college community in support of learning, teaching, and lifelong information literacy
  2. To provide a comprehensive collection of print, non-print, and online resources
  3. To employ qualified librarians and staff who support and facilitate a learning community
  4. To provide the physical facilities and equipment needed to support both a traditional and an online learning environment
  5. To engage in cooperative interactions with community groups, county agencies, libraries, and educational institutions
  6. To assess services and resources on a recurring basis and to utilize those results for planning needs, and
  7. To participate in the institutional planning and the educational development of the College. 

Student Learning Outcomes for Information Literacy

Access, Analyze, and Use Information

  1. Formulate an information question or need, and develop a search strategy to meet that question or need.
  2. Access information by a variety of means including but not limited to, computer networks, www, databases, paper and electronic catalogs and indices, books, journals, people, and organizations.
  3. Analyze the information accessed using appropriate means.
  4. Use gathered information for oral, written, and/or electronic presentations appropriate to the audience and purpose, and include appropriate academic documentation of sources. 

General Principles

The College’s library facilities must serve certain needs of both the general college community and the residents of the outlying communities. The collection, therefore, must meet the needs of a diverse clientele, but its development should occur according to this priority of general principles:

  1. The collection maintains and perpetuates excellence in teaching. Consequently, the library will need strong collections in subject areas that the College deems essential to its programs of instruction.
  2. Research interests are supported where they relate directly to classroom instruction. This principle recognizes that good teaching depends upon active scholarship, but distinguishes this important need from the more specialized faculty research interests.
  3. The recreational and general reading interests of the community, including students, faculty, and their families, are supported.
  4. The outlying community is served by making the library's collection available to the public.

The responsibility for the selection of materials for the library's collection lies with members of Indian River State College's faculty, librarians, staff, and students. Every effort is made to accommodate requests that conform to stated guidelines. Departments or programs may opt to appoint one faculty or staff member to select in their respective areas. However, it is strongly urged that individual faculty members stay abreast of the newly published materials in their particular areas of teaching and interest. This effort helps keep the College attuned to curricular needs. The professional library staff meets with new faculty to acquaint them with general library services and also to promote input for collection development.

In accordance with the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights and the American Library Association Freedom to Read Statement, the College Library collection will provide for the free exchange of all ideas. The collection is available to all patrons of the library, and offers the widest possible range of viewpoints; regardless of the popularity of these viewpoints, or of the gender, sexual orientation, religion, political philosophy, or national origin of their authors.

In areas where there is a disagreement concerning the truth or wisdom of particular ideas, issues, or beliefs, and in the interest of reasonable economy, the library attempts to see that the views of all parties are represented.

No censorship is exercised on the basis of frankness of language, or the controversial manner an author may use in dealing with religious, political, sexual, social, economic, scientific or moral issues.

In handling disapproval of material or attempts at censorship, the Dean refers such matters to a Library Review Committee (library employees, library dean, ENC faculty (upon request)). The committee will reply to the person or group, quoting or referring to the above guideline. Persistent or repeated censure from persons or groups will be referred to college officials through the library's administration.

The library‘s top priority is the acquisition of materials in direct support of the educational programs. As new programs develop, the library will evaluate holdings to ensure they are adequately supported. Faculty teaching needs will be met whenever possible, given the long- term appropriateness to the collection, relative price, and anticipated use of these materials. Reviews will be sought before ordering materials of questionable value or high cost.

Some types of library materials and services will not be available at the College Libraries. In the case where services or materials are not available, patrons will be directed to the appropriate resource, and library personnel will assist, where possible, in acquiring access.

Requests made and submitted by faculty, staff, students, or guests will be reviewed by the library professionals. The item(s) will be ordered or the request will be considered for purchase at a later time. In either case, the requestor will be notified. Information about items submitted by individual authors utilizing the collection development request form for self-marketing purposes will be included with publisher catalogs and flyers. Therefore, in an effort to develop and maintain a collection of informational resources adequate in quality and quantity for curricular needs, the following Library Collection Development guidelines have been adopted. 

Selecting Internet or Online Resources

The library professionals have the responsibility to evaluate and select resources for library users in any format including Internet or online resources. Internet resources frequently lack the publishing industry’s filters of need and worth, may be poorly maintained, and be only transiently or intermittently available. Our basic evaluation criteria of quality, credibility, accessibility, scope and costs are considerations.

Acquiring and Licensing Information in Digital Format

Digital formats include eBooks, eAudiobooks, Databases, streaming media, and other digital formats. These principles will serve as a guide in developing and reviewing proposals to providers of information in digital format. Our conventional collection development criteria will apply consistently across formats including digital resources. We recognize, however, that many issues are not yet fully defined or understood in the digital age. Accordingly, we will evaluate information in digital formats using these principles:

Principal considerations include meeting faculty and student information needs, providing orderly access and guidance to the digital resources, and integrating them into the library service program. Ensuring that the advantages of a digital resource are significant enough to justify its selection in digital format; giving priority to digital format acquisition of those resources which offer economies of scale by benefiting the most faculty and students by providing more timely availability, more extensive content, and offer greater functionality such as the ability to link to local or related resources. A digital resource must provide greater access because it can be delivered rapidly and remotely, at any time; improve resource sharing due to the ubiquity of digital resources; and, a digital collection must contain a sufficient critical mass to evaluate it suitability and to justify its selection. As well, e-content addresses learning styles.

Physical Formats

The collection will include all forms of print and non-print materials.

  1. Books – The library houses both academic collections and fictional collections; however, an evaluation process enables the selection of quality resources.
  2. Newspapers - Newspapers will be added to the collection if they significantly supplement the quality or quantity of local, national, or international news available in those standard newspapers already available. If major changes occur in the quality or intent of those newspapers which have traditionally been part of the collection, they may be re-evaluated and/or discontinued.
  3. Media - The library houses collections of audio and visual media for use by students and faculty and for circulation to faculty members. They shall be purchased according to needs.
  4. Sound recordings - The library does not hold or acquire musical sound recordings, but we do collect audio books.
  5. Printed Music - The library does not hold and will not acquire, under present guidelines, musical scores.
  6. Works of Art, Photographs, etc. - The library does not hold and will not acquire, under present guidelines, works of pictorial or plastic art for circulation purposes.
  7. Maps and Atlases - A small number of maps and atlases are periodically acquired to supplement the reference collection of atlases.
  8. Serials - In general, the same criteria will apply to the selection of serial titles as for the book collection. However, since even a relatively inexpensive journal title represents a continuing expense, titles will be added very selectively. Back files will be kept for varying lengths of time depending on the title involved. A journal available online will not usually be purchased in print format.
  9. Government documents - Most of the documents received are acquired according to their appropriateness for the collection and the population served since IRSC is a selective federal depository. The document collection reflects the interests and requirements of library patrons. The librarians will determine what documents may be necessary with input from faculty, staff, and community, as needed. Federal documents also fall into the aforementioned categories of digital and virtual format. In essence, these sources have already been vetted and will be added based on need. See the Government Documents instructions on the library wiki specifically for that collection.
  10. Manuscripts and rare books - Most items of this nature that are already part of the library's collection are donated.
  11. Models and Dimensional Materials - A limited number of these materials are maintained and replaced on an as-needed basis.
  12. Dissertations - In recognition of IRSC employees who have earned their doctoral degree, the library requests that the employ submit a copy of that dissertation in the College Archives for use by other employees and interested patrons.
  13. Archives - Any material produced by the College or about the College that has lasting historical value is included in the College Archives.

Additional Guidelines

  1. Gifts - All materials donated to the library are acknowledged through the Foundation. The selection of worthwhile items from books, periodicals, etc., received as gifts will be governed by the same criteria that govern the selection of purchased items. The library reserves the right to dispose of duplicate and unwanted material as it sees fit, unless prior arrangements have been made. The library also reserves the right to decline offers of gifts that are not appropriate for the College library. A letter from the Foundation acknowledging receipt is sent to the donor. College library personnel cannot evaluate the monetary value of a gift; the donor may have an evaluation done by a professional dealer at the donor's expense, if they choose.
  2. Textbooks - Textbooks are not usually purchased unless they cover an area of interest for which there is no general material available. They will occasionally be purchased for the reserve collection or accepted as gifts. The College’s departments are encouraged to donate a copy to each of the libraries for student use.
  3. Reserve materials - If special materials are needed for reserve purposes, and t h e y are not available in the general collection, the library will make every effort to purchase additional copies of a title, provided that the title supports the mission of the College. Faculty members are encouraged to purchase or place textbooks on reserve for student use.
  4. Paperbacks - The type of binding on a book will not be a consideration in the decision to purchase except that the library staff will exercise judgments of economy when the item is available in both paper and cloth bindings. Relative price when compared to the perceived long- term value and use will be considered.
  5. Foreign language materials - As a general rule foreign language material is acquired as needed in the major languages to support course offerings and patron needs.
  6. Duplication of materials - In general, one copy of any individual item in the circulating collection is considered sufficient at each campus. In certain areas, such as literature, if duplicates are available through gift sources, they will be incorporated into the collection.
  7. De-Selection and Preservation
    1.  De-Selection - The relevance of materials in the library may change over time varying from the point of selection. Periodic review of the collection is necessary to identify items which no longer fit the criteria for selection or inclusion in the collection. Extra copies of titles for which there is no longer adequate demand should also be de-selected. Books in certain areas like health sciences, law, business, etc., will be kept for five (5) years, unless the department indicates differently.
    2.  Preservation - Every effort is made to preserve library materials to insure lasting physical condition. If basic repair cannot be done the title is considered for replacement. Routine binding, rebinding, or replacement of titles in poor condition should be systematically undertaken. Such maintenance is a fiscally responsible use of book funds that avoids expensive reprints at a later date and the complete loss of significant titles for which no replacement in any form is available. If basic repair cannot be done, the title will be considered for replacement. c. Selection of vendors - The selection of vendors is left to library personnel. Criteria for such selection emphasize speed, accuracy, special services, and discount.

Cooperative Library Arrangements

The Pruitt Campus Library is a cooperative library with IRSC and St. Lucie County Library System. IRSC information resources are added to the SLW Library collection to reflect the Pruitt Campus curriculum needs. All efforts are made to avoid duplication of resources and to enhance the needs of the clientele the library serves.

The Morgade Library at the IRSC Chastain Campus is a cooperative library project with the Martin County Library System. IRSC information resources are added to the Morgade Library collection to reflect the Chastain Campus curriculum needs. All efforts are made to avoid duplication of resources and to enhance the needs of the clientele the library serves.

The Brackett Library at the IRSC Mueller Campus is a cooperative library project with the Indian River County Library System. IRSC information resources are added to the Brackett Library collection to reflect the Mueller Campus curriculum needs. All efforts are made to avoid duplication of resources and to enhance the needs of the clientele the library serves. 



The library's collection may be separated into several distinct parts; the general circulating collection, the reference collection, the media collection, the serials and periodicals collection, the Government documents collection and other special collections. The basic cataloged collection is comprised of the following:

1. Those items that support the curriculum.

2. Supplementary and ancillary reading for courses.

3. A basic reference collection. 4. An adequate collection of current periodicals and their back files. In determining the appropriate levels of collection development the following categories have been established.

LEVEL ONE: MINIMAL/BASIC REFERENCE LEVEL - Fundamental reference works containing general information on a subject, dictionaries, encyclopedias, etc.

LEVEL TWO: SELECTIVE LEVEL - This level includes slightly more information resources than the basic level. In addition to reference works, it includes a collection of print and electronic resources for general coverage of the subject fields.

LEVEL THREE: REPRESENTATIVE/UNDERGRADUATE TEACHING LEVEL -A balanced collection that covers all aspects of a subject field without going into great depth. This collection will support an undergraduate degree program in the field.


The College has dealt with both natural and facility disasters (e.g., back to back hurricanes in 2004 and flooding of the Brackett Library in 2010). The Facilities department leads and coordinates Physical Plant and college personnel for planning, site preparation (when known) and for recovery (for both known and unknown disasters). This office maintains contacts for consortial insurance and disaster recovery companies involved with books, carpets, furniture, etc. Additionally, the Council of Instructional Affairs – Learning Resources Standing Committee makes available to its Florida members a set of resources to help guide planning, preparation, and recovery. See also the Learning Resources Standing Committee's page on preservation and preparedness.

Since IRSC is a member of the Federal Depository Library Program, we must also contact the FDLP. Consult Disaster within the Physical Facilities and Maintenance of the Collection section of the Legal Requirements document. “In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, depository library staff must immediately inform Library Services and Content Management through email at, or by phone at (202) 512-1119. Library staff must make every reasonable effort to replace or substitute, as appropriate, any depository receipts that have been lost or damaged.” Let the FDLP know if the shipments need to be suspended or redirected during recovery. See also the FDLP website.


The last section of the Collection Development Guidelines includes a link to the Library of Congress for its breakdown of the major classes and subclasses. Since two of the joint use libraries also use the Dewey Decimal System, faculty and patrons may suggest items using the Dewey classification. Additionally, the Superintendent of Documents Classification Scheme is used for the majority of the Federal documents collection.  

The Collection Development Guidelines were developed by library staff in March 1987, August 1989, February 1997, September 1999, September 2001, August 2005, August 2006, June 2007, August 2008, July 2011, March 2012, July 2012, June 2013, August 2013, and June 2015.