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Due to the community-based model of clinical education used by the Florida State University College of Medicine, preference is given to online resources that can be accessed by medical students and clinical faculty located at both the Tallahassee main campus and at the regional campuses. We do not accept print books as donations except in special circumstances. All donation inquiries can be directed to Martin Wood. For more information:

Maguire Medical Library Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy

College of Medicine Maguire Medical Library Collection Development Policy 

Revised July 2016


  1. Introduction
  2. Evolution of the FSUCOM Maguire Medical Library
    1. Collection development activities, 2001-2003 
    2. Collection development activities, 2004-2005 
    3. Collection development activities, 2006-2015 
    4. Current activity 2016
  3. Policies
    1. Selection Criteria
    2. De-selection and weeding
    3. Student responsibilities for obtaining resources in print format
    4. Donations Policy
  4. Policy Review


I.      Introduction

The primary mission of the Maguire Medical Library is to support the research, education and information needs of faculty, students and staff of the Florida State University College of Medicine. According to the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), the medical school must have:

…a well-maintained and catalogued library, sufficient in size and breadth to support the educational programs offered by the institution. The library should receive the leading biomedical and clinical periodicals, the current numbers of which should be readily accessible. The library and any other learning resources should be equipped to allow students to learn new methods of retrieving and managing information, as well as to use self-instructional materials. A professional library staff should supervise the library and provide instruction in its use.

The MML collection was developed beginning in 2001 as the first U.S. allopathic medical school library created in over 20 years.   According to the Florida Statute creating the FSU College of Medicine, Section 11 on Technology, requires that the College of Medicine shall:

…build on the considerable infrastructure that already supports the many technology resources of the Florida State University and shall expand the infrastructure to conduct an effective medical education program, including connectivity between the main campus, community-based training locations, and rural clinic locations. Additional technology programs shall include extensive professional development opportunities for faculty; an on-line library of academic and medical resources for students, faculty, and community preceptors…

MML collection development activities focus on meeting the standards for libraries set out by the LCME while also achieving the requirement of Florida Statute XlV111, Chapter 1004.42.  Because the majority of the clerkship faculty and students are not located in Tallahassee, reliance on electronic library information to support objectives of the 3rd and 4th year curriculum is required.  Regardless of location, either at a Regional Medical Campus or at another site designated by the College in rural or other underserved areas, all students and faculty require equal access to the information resources of the College.  This requirement is already accomplished for electronic resources because the technology infrastructure has been put into place to “conduct an effective medical education program, including connectivity between the main campus, community-based training locations, and rural clinic locations.”

As part of the State University Library (SUL) consortium, the MML cooperated in the provision and management of a statewide shared electronic collection in support of the universities’ academic programs. On July 1, 2012 the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) was formed to oversee the centralized purchasing of a shared college and university libraries collections. Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC) was established and took over purchasing in July 2015. Additionally, the FSU Libraries participate in consortial purchases with those college and university libraries interested in acquiring particular resources.

II.     Evolution of FSUCOM Maguire Medical Library

A.     Collection Development, 2001-2003

The following are the collection development steps taken as the library began operation: 

  1. Determined the status of Index Medicus (MEDLINE) journal title accessibility at start-up, both in print and electronically for FSU faculty, students and staff.
  2. Shearer and Nagy created a core list of journals for a community-based medical school library in the U.S.[1]
  3. Evaluated the status of the MML collection in meeting core journal requirements established in the FSU COM core list.
  4. Served on committees and subcommittees within the University and the COM where identification, cost-effective acquisition, and efficient delivery of required information resources were discussed and facilitated.
  5. Based on committee and subcommittee input, and input from faculty, administrators and course directors, a collection of print books and journals, electronic books and journals, and clinical decision tools was selected and made available via the MML.  In all cases where allowed by the publisher and vendor, electronic resources were negotiated for FSU campus-wide access.
  6. A print book collection for each of the Regional Medical Campuses was selected by the Medical Library Director, with input from Education Directors and Campus Deans.  This RMC reading room book collection, comprised of 118 titles, was not intended to replace personal copies of required textbooks.  It was intended to provide access to key print materials that Education Directors identified as critical for use in clerkships.

B.     Collection Development, 2004-2005

As the collection evolved and specific needs were identified during 2004 and 2005, collection development activities included the following steps:

  1. Recommendations for new books and journals from faculty, staff and students were reviewed for relevancy to the curriculum and needs were addressed.
  2. Use statistics for Interlibrary Loan requests were reviewed and journal subscriptions were added based on use.
  3. Clinical decision and evidence-based medicine Internet and PDA resources were recommended by the Director of Medical Informatics and other key faculty members, which resulted in adding significantly to resources in these areas.
  4. Additional e-journal packages were evaluated for relevancy to the COM mission and for cost-effectiveness.
  5. E-books were identified by both library and course/clerkship directors for adding, upgrading to site license access, moving to a more cost-efficient and user-friendly vendor, or cancelling.
  6. Appropriate Library faculty met with FSU University librarians to identify areas of overlap and areas of multidisciplinary interest for selection and de-selection purposes.
  7. In 2005, a survey of students at the RMCs was conducted to learn more about use patterns of the RMC print book collections.  The books of most interest to the students in print were review books, a category of book that members of both the 1st and 2nd year curriculum committee and the 3rd and 4th year curriculum committee agreed was no longer appropriate (with few exceptions) for purchase with College funds.   In 2005, the RMC print collection was changed to 63 books.  It should be noted that education directors and the library director have continually identified key electronic resources supportive of the curriculum, and the library director has moved licenses from the single access model to unlimited site license access for e-books where possible.

C.     Collection Development, 2006-2015

These nine years saw a significant change in the MML collection. The following collection development activities occurred:

  1. In 2006, the MML elected to transition from print to electronic as much as practical in order to support year 1 and year 2 curricula and transition totally to electronic in support of year 3 and year 4 curricula. The LC collections were eliminated and plans were developed for the discontinuation of the RMC print collections.
  2. In December 2009, the print collection, consisting of 5,300 print books and 212 bound print journals, was relocated to the mailroom storage area in the John D. Thrasher Building.
  3. In September 2011, the collection was weeded after the MML was asked to remove its print collection from the Thrasher building due to limited storage space.
  4. As of January 2012, the MML decided to no longer receive print journals. Aside from a few missing issues that the UF Health Sciences Library wished to receive no other journals were retained.
  5. In January 2015, the MML print collection was assessed for usage and an executive committee determined that the collection required weeding.
  6. From March-June 2015, the MML weeded its print resource collection. 1,500 books were deselected from the collection, 1,500 were sent to remote storage and the remaining 3,000 were made available to FSU departments, other state university libraries, sold via a third party vendor or sent to FSU Surplus Property.

D.     Collection Development, 2016-

In 2000, when the library was created, 4458 monographic titles were purchased for the library.  These titles were published from 1995-2001.  From 2002-2006, roughly 150 books were purchased each year to supplement or update the core reference, review, required textbook or recommended textbook collections.  In 2004, based on approval by both subcommittees of the curriculum committee, it was decided not to collect review books. The print book collection with the possible exception of the ready reference and required textbook reserve section was not used; circulation statistics for external use indicated that on average 2 print books are checked out daily. In 2015, the library elected to no longer purchase print books for year 1 and year 2 students and weeded a substantial part of its physical textbook collection. Review books were re-introduced to the collection due to an increase in focus by the NBME and residency programs on the Step 1 exam, and in conjunction with the rollout of redesigned curriculum. Our goal for 2016 on is to continue to develop our digital format collection so that we continue the transition into a 100% electronic library.

III.    Policies:

The COM MML is unique in that one of its primary goals is to be 100% electronic due to the distributed nature of the student body and faculty.   All medical students are provided with laptops, as well as access to the proxy server that delivers all MML e-resources 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to students and faculty wherever he/she is located.   The FSU main campus is wireless, making the library e-resources readily available to students and faculty from offices, student learning communities, labs and classrooms. This policy denotes the criteria for selection and de-selection of but is not limited to the following: journals, textbooks, databases and apps.

It is recognized that the College of Medicine is organized into five departments:  biomedical sciences, behavioral sciences and social medicine, clinical sciences, geriatrics, and family medicine and rural health.  The MML supports each department by identifying the educational and research needs of each department.  This is accomplished in the following ways:

  1. Annual review of library e-resources with each course director and clerkship director for appropriateness in meeting the educational objectives for each course or clerkship;
  2. Review of use statistics to identify trends that would indicate a need to supplement the available collections;
  3. Maintaining awareness of the status of current FSU and FALSC licenses of large journal packages and other databases;
  4. Providing trial access to new electronic resources in clinical medicine and the basic medical sciences and gathering feedback from faculty and students;
  5. Annual review of interlibrary loan use to identify any weaknesses in the library collection; and
  6. Annual review with department head in the biomedical sciences to identify unmet or anticipated collection needs.
  1. Selection Criteria includes, but is not limited to the following:
  1. Format. Electronic is the preferred format over print or hard copy versions of the same resource, unless the print or hard copy fills a necessary function. Additional criteria include ease of access and use, vendor support, maintenance needs, and hardware and software requirements. Electronic resources that can be used remotely with authentication are preferred over individual accounts.
  1. Scope and content. Items must be of use and interest to a particular department, college initiative or priority, or to an interdisciplinary program that cuts across departmental lines. A clear programmatic rationale must be provided.
  1. Quality. Assessed by user input/consultation, user needs/ recommendations, listing in core lists such as Doody’s Core Titles list, core subject bibliographies, available reviews, such as those in peer-reviewed literature, sample copies, professional judgment or subject expertise of library staff, or publisher reputation. Quality of resources will also be evaluated by the ease of access and interface navigability.
  1. Currency, timeliness, uniqueness. Focus is on current healthcare practice and access to current materials (within the past five years). No historical collections are funded.
  1. Use. Assessed based on relevant statistics: use of previous editions or related materials already in the collection, journal use studies, online statistics, interlibrary loan documentation, request analysis, etc.
  1. Cost-effectiveness. Access to certain resources may be canceled due to an increase in subscription prices, budgetary constraints or the re-evaluation of platform usage that indicates it is no longer cost-effective to maintain the resources within that platform.
  1. Access and network capacity. Full access by all registered library users is the goal. Site licenses and network authentication are preferred over individual logins. Legal issues must be considered, notably licensing requirements, restrictions, copyright and fair use.
  1. License.
  • The Library will negotiate and comply with vendor licensing agreements for electronic resources.
  • The Library will promote compliance with licensing agreements among its users and among its staff.
  • The Library has the right to turn down requests that cannot be institutionally licensed.
  • Necessary details for this negotiation and compliance include consideration of the following:
    1. Definition of Authorized Users as full and part time faculty, students and staff affiliated with FSU plus walk-in users physically present in the campus libraries.
    2. Off-campus access for Authorized users.
    3. Interlibrary loan rights.
    4. Search, copy, print and download capabilities.
    5. Archival rights or perpetual access.
    6. Institutional Licensing
    7. Usage statistics.

9.         Open Access Resources.

  • Relevant open access content identified as within our collection development policies will be added to our collection in a similar way as purchased content and will be evaluated by the same criteria in addition to the following:
  1. Authoritativeness. the credentials of the author and publisher are clearly identifiable, the legitimacy of the publishing domain of the source is apparent (e.g. .edu, .gov, .org or .net are preferred to other types of domains), and the publishing agency is recognized as reputable and likely to persist;
  1. Quality. the information in the resource logically pertains to the resource's apparent subject; the information is reliably accurate, demonstrably factual, and reasonably comprehensive or complete; indicators of quality can include peer reviews or librarian reviews of site and/or site content, the presence of an authoritative author or publisher, a professional look and feel, or evidence of continuing support of the resource such as archives; contact information is available for the author and publishing authority.
  1. Objectivity. the information is provided in a circumspect manner that is open to verification and validation, with minimal advertising or other nuisances that distract the user from the primary information in the resource;
  • In the interest of ensuring that open access and born-digital materials are relevant to the support of the curricula and research needs, the collection of open access and born-digital materials shall be regularly reviewed for accessibility and other standards listed in this policy.

B.     De-selection/Weeding guidelines

The MML defines de-selection, also known as weeding or withdrawals, as the removal/withdrawal of any material from its collection. As the collection becomes increasingly electronic, de-selection decisions will be made on cost, access, and usage considerations.

Items are assessed to determine if their scope and content are still relevant to the community, the quality is evaluated, timeliness is assessed, usage, format, and condition of item are evaluated. When appropriate, faculty opinions will be solicited.


De-selection criteria includes the following:

  1. The resource no longer supports the curriculum and/or research needs of the College.
  1. Currency. If a newer version of an item is available the newer version will be kept and older editions will be weeded, unless special circumstances apply.
  1. Usage statistics indicate a declining level of interest.
  1. The resource overlaps or duplicates material in another resource which provides more comprehensive coverage of the subject.
  1. Condition. Is it damaged, worn-out pages or loose binding? (Print)
  1. Historical value.
  1. The resources is available in a more easily manageable or cost effective interface.
  1. Budget reductions force cancellation of products.


C.     Donations Policy

MML is a digital library with extremely limited space for print and other physical items. Because of this, we are no longer accepting most print donations and reserve the right to decline donations outright. If books are accepted, we reserve the right to then donate and/or sell the books to external organizations. We may also direct donors to other libraries, including FSU libraries or the public library. Donors should be directed to the Public Services Librarian to help evaluate their donation. 

Guidelines for Accepting Donations

The library prioritizes books that meet the following criteria; however, we may decline donations at any time. Books that do not meet this criteria may be accepted and then re-donated, sold, or discarded.

  1. Scope and content. Item supports a clear programmatic/research need. Preference is given to books requested specifically in print by faculty for research/curriculum.
  2. Quality. The quality of items will be assessed by user inputs such as needs or recommendations, or listing in core lists such as Doody’s Core Titles list or core subject bibliographies. Librarians should use their best judgement.
  3. Condition. All donations must be in good physical condition. Brittle/mildewed/damaged/loose books will not be accepted. Exceptions may be made for books of significant historical value, or books that are otherwise unique.
  4. Currency, timeliness, uniqueness. All books must have been published in the last five years, or be the most recent edition. Books must also be unique in the FSU catalog and the catalog of neighboring institutions. Exceptions may be made for books of significant historical value.

D.     Student responsibilities for obtaining resources in print format

As noted throughout this document, the MML has evolved gradually since its creation in 2000 from a library heavily reliant on print to one that can stand alone as a 24/7 online library.   Print books were purchased for student learning communities and for RMC’s during our early years as the online collection was acquired and integrated into the curriculum by faculty leaders.  Throughout this time, education directors, course directors, campus deans and administrators have been consulted and have been partners with the library director in identifying library resources that support the curriculum.  The Library Director has made steady headway in acquiring site license access to a continually growing and highly relevant library collection.  This collection is accessible 24/7 from any location in the world using a highly reliable proxy server.  If a student prefers a print copy of a book for any reason, it is the student’s responsibility to acquire a copy.  If a specific book is out of print or cannot be located from bookstores or online websites for purchase, the library will attempt to borrow the book from another library.  Otherwise, the student must acquire the book for his/her own personal use.

Exceptions will be considered by librarians and if there is a special circumstance that requires a print copy of a resource, the library will make every effort to acquire the resource.

IV. Policy Review:

This policy will be reviewed and revised as needed in order to address changes and reflect current practices in the continually evolving electronic information environment.


Adapted from the listed universities policies on collection development:

Florida Atlantic University Libraries

New York Medical College

Oregon Health & Science University

University of Maryland

Emory University

University of North Texas


[1] Barbara S. Shearer and Susan P. Nagy, “Developing an academic medical library core journal collection in the (almost) post-print era: the Florida State University College of Medicine Medical Library experience,” Journal of the Medical Library Association 91(3) (2003): 292-302.

Maguire Medical Library
Florida State University College of Medicine
1115 W. Call St., Tallahassee, FL 32306
Call 850-644-3883 (voicemail) or Text 850-724-4987
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