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UWF Libraries Collection Development and Management Policy

Distinctive Collections

Library materials are divided into distinct collections to facilitate maintenance and provide efficient access for library users. Physical collections are housed in the Pace Library unless noted otherwise.

General Collection

Primary circulating collection of books/monographs across all subjects and disciplines. Monographs are acquired through firm orders and gifts with highest priority given to supporting the curriculum, but also current events and materials of broad/general interest as funding allows. Sets may be acquired in support of the curriculum and based on availability of funds.

Electronic Resources

The Libraries purchase material supporting academic programs in electronic format whenever practical and affordable. These include e-books, e-journals, e-newspapers, databases, and streaming media. Electronic books are available online through the library catalog, databases, and via e-readers, such as Kindles and iPads. Traditional selection criteria apply to electronic resources.


The media collection primarily includes titles which support the university curriculum, such as educational and documentary films for various disciplines and influential movies/television series in film and cultural studies. As funds allow, popular titles are sometimes purchased for entertainment purposes. Audio-Visual materials include DVDs, CDs, and streaming media. Digital formats are preferable to analog, whenever possible. Considerations of suitability of format, quality of production, availability of equipment, and facilities assist in the selection. Visual resources are acquired through firm orders and gifts. Audio-books are not actively collected but added as gifts.

Course Reserves

The course reserves collection provides restricted ready access to materials which faculty have specifically assigned to students in their classes. This can include supplemental materials belonging to the professor or items from the library general collection in print, electronic, or streaming video format. The course reserve collection may include supplemental textbooks and materials, but does not include required textbook materials that exist in the textbook reserve collection.

Textbook Reserves

In an effort to aid in student retention and assist with textbook affordability, the library purchases all required physical textbooks for undergraduate classes each semester. E-books are purchased as they are available. Lab manuals, consumable workbooks, access codes, and rental-only textbooks are not purchased.

Permanent Reserves

The permanent reserve collection provides a secure location for materials which require special handling because of the multimedia nature or physical condition of the item. Items also include materials in high demand, such as citation style manuals and commercial test preparation guides.


The serials collection consists of journals, periodicals, newspapers, and monographic series in the main library as well as those in the Emerald Coast and Professional Studies Libraries and University Archives. Serials cover all disciplines offered in UWF academic programs and appear in all formats, including print, electronic, and microfilm. Electronic journals are given priority purchase.

The general selection criteria for UWF Libraries govern selection and continuation decisions related to serial subscriptions. Additional criteria which may be considered include: support for new programs, curriculum or status changes in existing programs, inclusion in indexing or abstracting sources available at UWF, support for instructional programs rather than a specialized research interest, repeated interlibrary loan or content not available or duplicated by other titles in any format, use of related serials in the same discipline as identified through use statistics, availability of full text, or SUS holdings.


Materials include serials, newspapers, and historical collections. Safety base, negative microfilm with silver halide emulsion is the preferred medium because of its better reproduction and preservation qualities.

Government Documents

The University of West Florida serves as a selective depository for both United States government publications and Florida state publications. The collection includes print and electronic resources and is designed to support the research needs of the university community and the general public. Weeding and deselection are subject to Federal Depository Library rules and standards and undertaken in coordination with the State Depository Library of Florida. The collection contains materials published by the U.S. government and the State of Florida. Additionally, local government publications of significant historic interest to Escambia County, Santa Rosa County, and the West Florida region are preserved in the University Archives.

Dissertations & Theses

The library will receive notification from the Graduate School Thesis & Dissertation Coordinator that the final electronic copies have been published in ProQuest. These will be automatically ingested into the Argo Scholar Commons and searchable via the libraries' online catalog. Print theses and dissertations from other universities are acquired very selectively with emphasis given to titles related to the West Florida region. The Argo Scholar Commons also hosts selected collections of undergraduate work, such as the Kugelman Honor theses.


General and subject-specific non-circulating reference materials of all types and formats are selected in accordance with the criteria established for the selection of library materials.

University Archives and West Florida History Center

The University Archives and West Florida History Center preserves the history of the West Florida region by collecting, cataloging, and preserving research materials about the region, its people, and development from earliest settlement to the present. Geographically this encompasses the land areas of the Spanish and British Colonies of West Florida, and since 1821, the ten counties of the Florida Panhandle. In addition, the University Archives collects and preserves the history of the University of West Florida including student life, campus events, faculty contributions, buildings, and other special collections.

To support its collections, research materials include, but are not limited to, books, newspapers, manuscripts, archives, personal papers, pamphlets, brochures, regional and pre-1950 maps, photographs, audio and video recordings, digital and analog media, databases, electronic records, artifacts, and other materials. The rare books collection includes autographed and inscribed materials, incunabula, miniature books, fragile materials, and other genre where preservation and care are tantamount. A major component of rare books consists of publications about West Florida and by West Florida authors.

See Appendix III for complete Archives policy.

Professional Studies Library

The Professional Studies Library provides information resources in all formats to meet the curriculum-based needs of the students, faculty, and staff of education, social work, and criminal justice programs.

See Appendix II for complete PSL policy.

Curriculum Materials

The Professional Studies Library assists and supports the professional growth of education students and provides pre-K through grade twelve resources to support the University’s teacher education programs. One of its objectives is to support the education curriculum of UWF and to provide a wide variety of quality instructional materials for inspection, evaluation, and use in the pre-K through grade twelve classrooms.

Emerald Coast Library

The Emerald Coast Library provides information resources in all formats to meet the curriculum-based needs of the students, faculty, and staff enrolled at or assigned to the University of West Florida/Northwest Florida State College (UWF/NWFSC) joint-use branch campus and UWF Emerald Coast satellite locations, including Eglin Air Force Base and the Research and Engineering Education Facility (REEF). The ECL is designed to assure ready access to those materials regularly required by EC-based students, recognizing that in-depth collection support is available through the parent campuses. Primary emphasis is placed on purchasing materials to support programs leading to degrees that may be completed on the EC campus and satellite locations. Secondary emphasis is placed on supporting those courses offered regularly on the EC campus.

The Emerald Coast Librarian has primary responsibility for coordinating collection development. Each parent campus is responsible for providing a materials budget to purchase those resources needed for the courses/programs being taught by its institution. Faculty teaching at Emerald Coast locations are responsible for making recommendations for materials to be purchased for the EC library in support of those courses and programs.

New Books

The collection includes print monograph acquisitions published within the last two to three years.


The library selectively acquires print materials for children and young adults that support the instructional needs of undergraduate and graduate students, especially those in teacher education programs. Special emphasis is placed on acquiring subject-specific literature, outstanding examples of each genre and subject area, and notable award winners and honorable mention titles of the Caldecott, Newbery, and Coretta Scott King awards. In addition to Pace Library, there are also juvenile collections at PSL and ECL.

Popular Reading

Recreational reading needs are served by a small Leisure Reading collection made up of leased materials and gift books. Popular fiction for recreational reading is generally not purchased for the general collection, except for winners of prestigious awards (National Book Award, Pulitzer Prize, etc.) and popular fiction that overlaps with literary study. Titles may also be requested through the Libraries’ Kindle program. Titles are loaded onto library Kindles (not personal/individual devices) and are available for check-out at all libraries.

Faculty Publications

The library attempts to acquire at least two print copies (one for the general collection, one for University Archives) of all scholarly or pertinent monographic publications of UWF departments, current faculty, staff, students, and organizations, or individuals affiliated with the University. If an e-book copy is acquired, then only one physical copy is acquired for University Archives. Publication of former faculty, staff, alumni, or other UWF-affiliated individuals may also be acquired.


Zines are purchased through zine distros (distribution centers) and individuals, as well as acquired through donations. Priority for selection is given to zines that support the curriculum and include authors from populations and communities frequently underrepresented in academic collections. Selected local and campus zines are sometimes added to this circulating collection; however, the collection is access-driven rather than preservation-focused and should not act as a substitute for the archive of local materials in the West Florida History Center.


This discrete collection of print monographs consists of two sub-collections – the Judy L. Wood collection and the Joe L. Simmons collection. The collection includes over 1340 items and consists primarily of maritime history and maritime archaeology materials. In addition, the Roger C. Smith collection of maritime materials is housed in the UWF Archives and West Florida History Center.


Our print legal collection contains federal and state materials that directly support our legal studies curriculum. Most volumes are also available through our electronic legal resources.

Musical Scores

Musical scores are acquired selectively as needed in support of the curriculum and upon specific request of an instructor. Scores are shelved separately from the general collection.

Digital Music Collection

The donations of compact discs and LPs from the Chester Davis Music Collection (CDMC), WUWF radio station, and UWF music department are cataloged and held in non-circulating storage. When possible, these items are digitized for streaming and made available via the online catalog for UWF students and faculty only. Scores and books from these collections are cataloged and added to the general collection. These are finite collections and will not grow beyond the current donated items.


A small, browseable collection of plays and monologues are selected to aid discovery for students specializing in acting. Most plays and other theater materials may be found in the general collection.

Institutional Repository

The UWF Libraries hosts the Argo Scholar Commons, an institutional repository providing a permanent open-access, digital showcase of research, scholarship, and creativity from the UWF community. The Argo Scholar Commons captures, houses, and disseminates the creative and scholarly output of faculty, students, and staff of the University of West Florida community.

See our IR guide for more information: