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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.

Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

The Library works to educate students, faculty, and staff in the finding, and use of information, as seen in the above learning outcomes. To meet these goals, we utilize ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education:

Authority Is Constructed and Contextual

  1. Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.

Information Creation as a Process

  1. Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences.

Information Has Value

  1. Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination.

Research as Inquiry

  1. Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.

Scholarship as Conversation

  1. Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.

Searching as Strategic Exploration

  1. Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops.

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 and learning. 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 Treasure Coast community is served by making the library's collections, both circulating and archival, 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, instructional faculty, 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, and to work closely with the librarians to select materials for the collection. This effort helps keep the Library attuned to curricular needs. Faculty librarians also meet annually with new faculty and staff to acquaint them with general library services and to promote input for collection development.

We acknowledge that libraries and archives are not neutral, and have served—sometimes inadvertently, other times intentionally—as instruments of exclusion, colonialism, and assimilation, and we will identify ways both large and small to undo this harm. 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 Administrative Director refers such matters to a Library Review Committee (faculty librarians, administrative director, and instructional 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 from faculty, staff, students, or guests are welcomed. You can submit a request by emailing The item(s) will be ordered or the request will be considered for purchase at a later time, depending on budget, projected use, and other variables. In either case, the requestor will be notified.


Selection Criteria

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. Items that directly support IRSC courses and curriculum. 
  2. Supplementary and ancillary readings that support IRSC courses and curriculum. 
  3. A basic reference collection. 
  4. A Florida collection, with titles on state history, economics, ecology, and industry, among others. 
  5. A recreational and general reading collection that reflects the interests of the College community, including students, faculty, and their families. 
  6. An adequate collection of current periodicals (popular and academic) and their back files.

In determining the appropriate levels of collection development the following categories have been established: 

  • Foundational Level Fundamental print and electronic resources containing topics of general interest to the College community. These materials are suitable for general interest research and recreational reading. 
  • Associate/Technical Level Print and electronic resources that directly support A.A., A.S, and technical certificate curriculum and courses at the college, as outlined by SACS or other applicable accrediting bodies. These items are appropriate for lower-level undergraduate research needs. 
  • Baccalaureate Level Print and electronic resources that directly support B.S. curriculum, and are appropriate for higher-level undergraduate research needs. This collection will support undergraduate programs at the college, as outlined by SACS or other applicable accrediting bodies. 
  • Instructional Level Print and electronic resources that directly support teaching and learning. These materials are suitable for instructional faculty, administration, and other College stakeholder research needs. 

Collection Development Cycle

In order to ensure that the library’s print and electronic collections are serving the needs of the College community, collection development will be run on a three year cycle that aligns with the College’s meta-majors. Each year, librarians will review the set subject areas for each meta major and select print and electronic items to update and/or supplement the current collection. In addition, librarians will also review the collections associated with Health Science accreditations in the year before those accreditations are due, in collaboration with discipline faculty.  

Year One

  • The Arts, Humanities, Communications and Design meta major includes the BAS in Digital Media, Performing Arts, English, Communications, and other General Education courses. 
  • The Health Science Meta Major includes the BS in Nursing and the BAS in Healthcare Management.  
  • Accreditation reviews, as needed. 

Year Two

  • The Business Meta Major includes the BS in accounting and Business Administration, as well as the BAS in Organizational Management. 
  • Education Meta Major includes the BS in Education. 
  • Public Safety Meta Major includes the BAS in Criminal Justice
  • Accreditation reviews, as needed. 

Year Three

  • Industry, Manufacturing and Construction Meta Major
  • STEM Meta Major includes the BS in IT Management and Security and in Biology. 
  • Social and Behavioral Science and Human Services Meta Major includes the BS in Human Services. 

Physical Formats

The Library’s physical collection will include all forms of print and non-print materials, with a focus on monographs, films and other media, and periodicals: 

Books – The library houses both academic collections and fictional collections; however, an evaluation process enables the selection of quality resources.

Textbooks (required texts for students in a course) are a vital reserves collection for our students. Faculty librarians solicit instructional faculty for donations when an edition is updated, but if unavailable, the library will purchase copies for each location’s reserve collection. 

Newspapers - Newspapers will be added to the collection if they significantly supplement the quality or quantity of local, national, or international news available within the library’s current collection. 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.

Media - The library houses collections of audio and visual media for the use of the College Community. They will be purchased according to curricular connections and community interest. 

Sound recordings - The library does not hold or acquire musical sound recordings for circulation purposes. 

Sheet Music - The library does not hold and will not acquire, under present guidelines, musical scores for circulation purposes.

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.

Maps and Atlases - A small number of maps and atlases are periodically acquired as needed to supplement the reference collection.

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 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.

Government documents - As a selective federal depository, documents are acquired according to their appropriateness for the collection, and reflect the interests and requirements of library patrons. The librarians will determine what print documents may be necessary, with input from faculty, staff, and community, as needed. 

Manuscripts and rare books - Most items of this nature that are already part of the library's collection are donated, and will be added to the Library’s archival collection if deemed to be locally or institutionally significant.

Archival Materials - Any material produced by the College or about the College that has lasting historical value is included in the College Archives. Items of local significance to the Treasure Coast may also be acquired through donation or purchase as needed. 

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 and/or modified 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, June 2015, and September 2021.