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Medical Library: Policies


The Library policies have been established to maintain an environment conducive for study.  The Medical Library (ML) is an academic unit of the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) and is not a unit of the FIU Libraries.  Problems, issues, concerns, or compliments regarding ML services should be brought to the attention of the medical librarians in GL 323 or to the HWCOM Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  

Persons unwilling to abide by the policies of the FIU Libraries will asked to leave the facilities. Refusal to do so may result in forced removal.  Students could be liable for disciplinary action as established by FIU.  The library reserves the right to ask anyone to leave who is disrupting the study atmosphere of the library or the work of other library users. Disruptive behavior includes, but is not limited to: creating excessive noise, harassment of others, odor constituting a nuisance or health and safety concern, and behavior that disturbs users or staff and interferes with the use of the facility. Please report disruptive behavior to the Help Desk or GL 323.


The mission of the HWCOM Medical Library is to prepare socially accountable, community-based physicians, scientists, and health professionals by providing knowledge-based resources, innovative services, and creating a stimulating environment for intellectual growth. The Medical Library is dedicated to acquire, deliver, create and integrate information to promote excellence in research, education, and patient care.


  • The Medical Library (ML) is located on the third floor of the Green Library (GL) in GL-380. The library provides resources and study space for primarily FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) students, faculty, and staff. They will be able to enter the library with their FIU OneCard at any time during the business hours. In case the OneCard card does not work, please ring the doorbell and see Help Desk staff for assistance or report to the ML offices in GL-323.  If the OneCard is lost, please contact FIU OneCard office located on the first floor of the Gold Garage.
  • During times when the ML and GL follow different business hours, e.g. when ML is open but GL is closed, access to the library on the GL second floor is available via the Key Control device on the right side of the entrance door using OneCard.  During such times HWCOM students are allowed to study only in the Medical Library, GL-380. 
  • For security purposes, the library entrance door will stay closed at all times.
  • The library is open to the public for research on medical topics. Entrance to the library may be requested by ringing the bell next to the library door.  Visitors who are not affiliated with Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine are allowed in the assigned area and may use photocopiers only.
  • The audiovisual equipment are reserved for in-library use only and for the use of HWCOM students, faculty, and staff.
  • Students should never leave personal belongings unattended.  The ML is not responsible for lost or stolen items.  Students should inquire at the medical library offices (located in GL 323) for lost items.
  • Professional and respectful behavior, and compliance with policies, is expected at all times in the Medical Library. Medical student violators will be brought to the attention of the Executive Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

Circulation and Borrowing


  • An FIU OneCard is required to borrow materials from the library. The following groups can check out library materials.  FIU faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students, Florida's public university/college students, faculty, and staff
  • For electronic resources' borrowing policies, see below Electronic Resources
  • See "Loan Periods" below for different types of library materials


  • Medical Library materials must be returned to the book drop box next to the Medical Library's Help Desk. They should not be returned to the circulation desks of either Green Library or Law Library on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus or Hubert Library on the Biscayne Bay campus.
  • An overdue item in your library account will cause the suspension of library privileges. A patron with overdue items won't be able to check out or renew library materials until those materials are returned to the library.


  • HWCOM student use only
  • Cannot leave the library
  • Must request at the Help Desk with a valid OneCard.
  • Audiovisual equipment can be checked out for 2 hours at a time.
  • Students will be responsible for the care of the audiovisual equipment.


  • If you need to use a library material that has been taken out, you can place a hold on the item on Library Catalog. You will be notified when the material is returned and will have 2 days to pick it up at the Help Desk.


  • Materials checked out are subject to recall at any time, usually to be placed on course reserve. Once another library user or the library places a hold on the material you checked out, you will receive a Recall Notice. The Recall Notice will specify by the new due date.
  • If you receive a Recall Notice, please return the recalled material immediately. Recalled materials may not be renewed.


  • You can renew library materials you checked out either online through the Library Catalog or at the Help Desk. You can also request for renewal by phone (305-348-1466). You will be asked to provide your OneCard number.
  • Some library materials are not allowed for renewal.
  • Recalled materials are not allowed for renewal.

The OneCard is required in order to check out library materials. 

Loan Periods

               Item                                                       Loan Period        Renewals

General Book Collection                                        2 weeks                2 weeks*

Course Reserve Materials                                     2 hours                 2 hours*                             

Laptops, eReaders and Accessories                     2 weeks                2 weeks*

Reference Materials (in-library use only)                  N/A                       N/A

Returning & Renewing Materials

  • Renewing Materials online is possible from your library account, or in person at the Help Desk. *Renewals are not guaranteed if the material has been requested by another patron.
  • Materials may be returned to the Medical Library.  Please use the book return slot at the Help Desk inside the library.
  • Course Reserve materials must be returned to the Help Desk staff.  

Fees and Other Charges Owed to the Medical Library

Patrons are responsible for any loss or damages of the borrowed library materials.

  • An invoice for materials overdue in excess of 30 days will be issued with a minimum charge of $105.00 for replacement related costs. Library privileges will be blocked until the material has been returned or the invoice paid. The library will not credit the replacement charge for items returned 90 days or more after the charge has been assessed
  • Replacement for damaged material: $25 processing fee + replacement cost of item + overdue charges if applicable
  • Library circulation privileges will be blocked if materials are more than 30 days overdue. Exceptions are course reserve materials which may result in the account being blocked after the item is 24 hours overdue.
  • You may check your PantherSoft Account to view library fees and charges. If you have questions, please contact Duke Ingram at 305-348-9022 to speak with staff regarding library charges.

Payments of Fees and Charges

The Library is not authorized to issue override requests for fines and other money owed to the Library. Library accounts must be settled before registering for classes, obtaining transcripts, etc.

Payment must be made to the University Cashier's Office in the SASC Building on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus or to the University Cashier's Office in the Academic-One Building on the Biscayne Bay Campus. Call 305-348-1466 or 305-348-9022 to determine the fines to be paid.  The Medical Library as well as any of FIU Libraries do not accept payment in the library for overdue fines or replacement charges.

Payment by check is to be mailed to:
FIU Cashier's Office

Florida International University

11200 SW 8th Street, SASC-101,

Miami, FL 33199

Confidentiality of Circulation Records

Please be assured that your patron record, which contains personal information and a record of all materials currently checked out, is confidential.

Collection Development

The Medical Library (the Library) at Florida International University is the primary source of biomedical information for Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine (HWCOM) faculty, students, and staff. 

To support its mission, the Library collects materials central to medicine, health care, and basic life sciences as well as some materials in other relevant areas.  Materials selected are written for the medical professionals, researchers or for the scholarly audience in English language only.  In general, materials are acquired without regard for geographic considerations, though the focus generally address the USA audience.  Materials of local interest, such as those related to public health in Florida or tropical medicine may be acquired more comprehensively.  The Library gives strong priority to the acquisition of resources in electronic format.

The Library is part of a network of several the Florida International University Libraries (the FIU Libraries) and shares resources with those libraries.  In effort to avoid duplication of expensive resources, the Library does not acquire materials available at those libraries unless it is absolutely necessary.  The Library is also a member of the Consortium of Southern Biomedical Libraries (CONBLS), the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative, the Florida Collaboration of Academic Libraries of Medicine Collaboration (FCALM), and the South Florida Health Sciences Library Consortium (SFHSLC) that allow to acquire discounts for select databases and free reciprocal interlibrary loans.

The purpose of this Collection Development Policy is to provide guidelines for building and maintaining a collection of information resources: electronic, print and audiovisual to meet the biomedical information needs of the HWCOM.  The Library is committed to continue evaluation and revision of its collection and expand the policy as necessary.  The Collection Development Policy has been written by the Head, Knowledge Resource Development Librarian and reviewed by the Director of the Library in 2009.

Selection Criteria
The Library will select resources in direct support of HWCOM goals and based on courses requirements as well as faculty, library staff, and students’ recommendations.  Suggestions for acquisitions can be make via electronic form at , email or phone 305-348-0643 to Knowledge Resource Development Librarian.

The following evaluation issues are considered before adding resources:

  1. Needs of primary clientele
  • Relevance of subject
  • Cost-effectiveness: including availability and cost of updates, back files, future upgrades
  • Scholarly and intellectual level
  • Reputation and authority of producer
  • Currency and validity of information and updates
  • Uniqueness and completeness of information
  • Added-value and advantages over other formats
  • Technical ease and accessibility
  1. Legal issues including licensing requirement and restrictions
  • Vendor agreement for FIU and State of Florida provisions and statues
  • Strong preference for university-wide licensing
  • Strong preference for remote/proxy access
  • Strong preference for interlibrary loan provisions where feasible
  • Strong preference for Fair Use of materials in the curriculum
  1. Access preferences for electronic resources
  • Platform stability and functionality
  • Vendor commitment for long term maintenance and access
  • Internet protocol access (versus ID and Password)
  • Desired number of simultaneous users
  • Vendor reputation for customer support
  1. Copyright and fair use issues
  2. Archival issues – availability, cost, limitations, storage, etc.
  3. Vendor’s reliability in customer support, material availability, and quality of training programs

Format Guidelines


  1. Required textbooks are acquired in print regardless of availability in digital format
  2. Recommended textbooks are acquired in print only if they are not available in digital format, otherwise they are acquired in digital format
  3. All other books and monographs are acquired in digital format unless there is an exigent reason to acquired them in print


  1. Current subscriptions are acquired only in digital format unless a particular title is not available online
  2. Back volumes are acquired only in digital format  


  1. AV materials are acquired in the format desired by an instructor for a course
  2. Otherwise, materials are acquired in a suitable digital format that includes CD, DVD, and software download
  3. Digital materials are acquired in a format that runs on PCs only

Tools for Selection

  • Requests from primary clientele
  • Reviews in scholarly journals or newspapers
  • Review services (e.g. Journal Citation Reports (JCR) Journal Impact Factor, Doody’s Core Titles)
  • Publishers’ announcements
  • Sample issues and products
  • Demonstration periods
  • Standard lists (e.g., Library for Internists)
  • Lists and catalogs from vendors
  • Analysis of interlibrary loan requests of heavily used materials
  • Analysis of collection for subject gaps

Multiple Formats and Copies

In general, the Library acquires material in one format only (except required textbooks), preferably electronic.  If resource is not available electronically, the Library acquires one print copy unless there is necessity to acquire additional copy and funding is available.

Retention an Renewal
In addition to considering each factor in the SELECTION CRITERIA section, the Library also analyzes usage statistics to determine if the use of a resource justifies its continued maintenance and accessibility.  The following criteria are considered:

  • The cost of the material
  • JCR Journal Impact Factor and Rank
  • Journal availability via Interlibrary loan

The Library adheres to the following definitions and expectations regarding licensing:

  1. Library’s authorized users include the students, faculty and staff of Florida International University and on-campus visitors to the Library.  The exception to the policy is when the cost is too high and interest is limited to the HWCOM only.
  2. “Site” is defined to include units of all FIU campuses depending on licenses.
  3. FIU Students, faculty and staff are able to access all resources any time anywhere.
  4. The method for user authentication is via IP address on campus or proxy remote access off campus.
  5. Pricing is assessed based on number of faculty and students, FTE, or concurrent users.
  6. The “fair use” provision or the U.S. copyright Act applies to all formats.
  7. The purchase of electronic information should include provisions for perpetual access to that information.  Agreements should clearly state archival responsibility.
  8. The Library investigates a variety of licensing arrangements with other FIU librarians and consortia.

Through the delegation from the FIU Office of the General Council, the Dean of the HWCOM and Senior Vice President of Health Affairs has the authority to approve and execute all license agreements that don’t exceed $500,000.

Responsibility Related to Library Resources

Evaluation, Selection, Acquisition, and Renewal
Selection is made on faculty, students, and library staff recommendations with JCR Rank and Doody’s Core Titles in the Health Sciences consult. The whole process is coordinated by the Knowledge Resource Development Librarian with advice of the Library Advisory Committee.  Usage statistics of electronic resources serve as an important de-selection tool.

Presentation and Management of E-resources
All e-Resources are grouped as databases, e-books, and e-journals on the Medical Library web site at  All materials except of databases are cataloged in the FIU Libraries online catalog. 

Publicity and Marketing
Knowledge Resource Development and Digital Learning & Information Technology Librarians manage publicity and marketing via e-mail, library news, and the Medical Library web site.

Donations of last edition of textbooks or unique and valuable materials compatible with the goals and purpose of the Library’s collections are welcomed, though the Library reserves the right to limit such gifts to those which substantially benefit the Library and are cost effective to acquire, catalog, process, maintain, and preserve.  The Library assumes ownership of all donations and reserves the right to add donated materials to its collections, and to exchange, or discard them as appropriate.  Appraisal and documentation of materials for tax purposes is generally the responsibility of the donor.

Implementation and Review
This policy will be revised as appropriate to reflect changes in the emerging and constantly changing electronic information environment.


Computers, Printers, and Photocopiers


  • No personal file should be saved on the library's public access computers.
  • All files saved on the library computers will be erased automatically.
  • Files can be saved to personally-owned flash drives or CDs.
  • Printers 
  • Printing requires the purchase of a copy card, and incurs a charge per document page.
  • Printing from a laptop to the photocopier, or to any public networked printer in the Green Library is enabled. Printing charges apply.
  • Printer and computer problems should be reported to the Help Desk staff. Help Desk staff will refill printers and perform printer maintenance.


  • One photocopier is located in the Medical Library and several others are located throughout the Green Library and in ACH II Building.
  • Printing requires the purchase of a copy card, and incurs a charge per document page.

Copyright & Licensing

  • All library users must respect the copyrights for printed materials as well as for software and data accessible through computers throughout the Medical Library. No copyrighted work may be copied, published, disseminated, displayed, or played without permission of the copyright holder except in accordance with fair use or licensed agreement.
  • These restrictions equally apply to electronic resources. Any commercial use and systematic downloading, copying, or distributing of information are prohibited. The Medical Library and the FIU University Library may terminate the network access of users who are found to have repeatedly infringed the copyright of others.
  • Access to licensed electronic resources are restricted to members of the FIU community and to on-site users of FIU libraries for purposes of research, teaching, and private study. The access to a few resources may be restricted to the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine students, faculty, and staff.

Course Reserves

  • The library provides course reserve materials (hardcopy only) for HWCOM students and faculty only.
  • Please submit all course reserves requests at least 30 days prior to the beginning of each semester to be made available for the first week of class. Allow 2 weeks for all requested materials to be processed.
  • Materials will be removed at the end of each semester, or earlier at the request of the faculty member. Faculty members may request the removal of any reserve items anytime during the semester. In compliance with the Copyright Law, all materials must be removed or renewed at the end of each semester .
  • Students can check out course reserves materials for two hours at the Help Desk. The materials must be returned to the Help Desk.
  • For detailed instructions about how to place materials for your classes on course reserves, please see Library Services - Course Reserves.

Electronic Resources


  • The Medical Library makes the best efforts in order to provide as wide access as possible to library users. Depending on the type of the resource and your affiliation with FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, you may or may not have access privileges to a particular resource. Please understand that the access privileges and restrictions to the library's online resources are determined by the licensing terms negotiated between the library and online resources vendors and commercial or scholarly publishers.
  • These licensing terms should be abided by in order for the library to continue to provide access to these online resources and the library users should understand that the online resources are to be used for educational purposes only in support of teaching, learning, and research.


  • All FIU faculty, staff, and students with a current OneCard can access licensed online databases, E-Books, and E-journals that are linked both from the FIU University Library web site and from the FIU Medical Library web site.
  • The use of some electronic resources is restricted to FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine faculty, staff, and FIU HWCOM students only.
  • All Kindle devices and Kindle e-books are available only to HWCOM faculty, students, and staff. Other FIU members can borrow Kindles, Kindle Fire, iPads, and Nook from Green Library.
  • Some online resources may be available only at a select number of computers inside the Medical Library and not available off-campus.
  • Those who are not affiliated with FIU but reside in Miami are encouraged to make use of the many online resources that the Miami-Dade Public Library provides.

Prohibited Uses

  • Downloading of entire issues of journals, conference proceedings, or data collections.
  • Commercial use.
  • Distributing and sharing of the information contents of the online resources, or material downloaded from the online resources without obtaining the copyright holder's agreement.
  • Facilitating use or access by non-authorized users, including sharing your password or other login information with anyone.

Responsibility of Individual Users

The use of licensed online resources is governed by US copyright law and by licensing terms. Library users are responsible for their activities and accountable for their conduct while using the library's online resources. Please note that repeated misuse of licensed online resources may result in the loss of access to the entire FIU community as well as disciplinary actions on individuals.


Fire drill evacuations are mandatory.  All patrons are expected to adhere to public safety announcements and evacuate the medical library immediately.  Do not leave personal belongings unattended at any time; including emergency evacuations.  Persons who abuse this policy will be reported to the HWCOM Office of Student Affairs.


The Medical Library (ML) is located on the third floor of the Green Library, in GL 380, on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus.  The ML administrative offices are located next to the elevators on the 3rd floor of the Green Library in GL 323. 

The ML follows the policies of the university.  ML offers ample study space, computer workstations, wireless connection, and a wide variety of library services including copying, printing, interlibrary loan, reference services, and individual assistance in using databases and other virtual resources.  The ML Help Desk is staffed by library assistants who are knowledgeable about access and use of the library's digital resources.  Library assistants can troubleshoot library computers and printers, and are prepared to assist students on request.

The ML prohibits misusing furniture or the facility. 

Printing and Scanning
A copy machine with printing and scanning functions is available for use in the ML.  Other copy machines are located throughout the FIU Green Library and in AHC 2.  Use of these machines requires purchase of a copy card and incurs a per-page charge.  Students can see a ML Help Desk staff member for more information.

Computer and Internet Access
Wireless access is available throughout the ML and the FIU Green Library.  A number of computer workstations are available for use in the ML.  Students needing workstations for educational purposes have priority.  No personal files should be saved on the library's public access computers; files saved on the library computers will be erased automatically.  Files may be saved to flash drives.

Loitering, Soliciting, and Advertising
Loitering, Soliciting for donations, or accosting patrons or staff for any purpose is prohibited.  Non-FIU advertising material may not be displayed or distributed without permission from library administration.  No materials may be affixed to library interior or exterior walls without permission from library administration.

Group Tours/Instruction
Any person wishing to bring a group of people into the library must obtain prior permission from the appropriate department.  Persons unwilling to abide by this policy will be asked to leave the facility.  Refusal to do so may result in forced removal.  Students could be liable for disciplinary action as established by FIU.

Presence in Library When Library is Not Open
Library users may not remain in the library when it is closed.

There are two small rooms at the back of the library:

  • The lounge room  is equipped with a Keurig coffee maker (K-cups not provided), hot/cold water dispenser, a refrigerator (cleaned and maintained by  students).
  •  The recharge room is equipped with comfortable sofas and chairs to allow rest during studying in the library.

Food, Drink, and Smoking

  • Most snack food (such as nuts and cookies) and drinks in covered containers are permitted.
  • Food and drinks that are not in covered containers are not allowed inside the library.
  • As a courtesy to other patrons, no food with strong odors such as pizza, fries, hamburgers should be brought into the library.
  • Library users must clean up after themselves
  • Please clean up any spills, use containers that minimize spills, and discard trash in trash cans.
  • Smoking or vaping is prohibited anywhere at FIU as it is tobacco and smoke-free campus.

Gifts & Donation

  • The HWCOM Medical Library appreciates those individuals who have donated resources to the Library. However, due to the fact that the Library is 95% electronic and is very limited in shelf space, the Library accepts only the last edition of published books that are in good condition and which fall within the scope of the collection. Since all of the library journal subscription is available online, the Library will no longer accept donations of volumes and/or issues of print journals. 
  • If you are interested in donating your books and other types of resources related to medicine to the library, please contact Luda Dolinsky (305-348-0677).
  • The library reserves the right to limit gifts to those which substantially benefit the library and are cost-effective to acquire, catalog, process, maintain, and preserve.
  • The library assumes the ownership of all donations and reserves the right to add donated material to its collections, and to exchange, or discard them as appropriate.
  • Appraisal and documentation of material for tax purposes is generally the responsibility of the donor. The library is unable to prepare lists of materials donated but will verify lists prepared by the donor.
  • The library is legally unable to provide an estimated value of donated materials.
  • An acknowledgement will be sent to the donor unless otherwise noted.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

  • Medical Library's ILL services are available to FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine faculty, staff, and students only.
  • Medical Library's ILL service is not open to members of the general public.
  • FIU faculty, staff, and students who are not affiliated with FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine may utilize the University Library's ILL service.
  • Interlibrary loan services are available Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5pm.
  • ILL service is governed by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code); the policies and procedures of Florida International University, the University Library; the National Interlibrary Loan Code; and the International Lending Principles and Guidelines for Procedure.
  • To request an article through ILL, complete and submit this ILL Article Request form or contact Duke Ingram (; 305-348-9022).
  • The Medical Library's ILL department strives to obtain requested materials as quickly as possible; however, the time it takes for materials to come in will depend on the Medical Library's ILL workload and the library where the materials coming from. Please allow 1-2 weeks for materials to arrive: all requested articles will be emailed in PDF files. Please note that items will only be emailed to valid FIU email addresses.
  • If you are a borrowing library, please see our ILL lending policy for detailed information:

Loan Periods

Book Collection

  • 14 day check-out; one renewal.
  • Medical Library materials can be renewed at the Medical Library Help Desk or over the phone (305-348-1466) or on Library Catalog.
  • Only Medical Library materials can be checked out at the Medical Library Help Desk. Green Library materials must be checked out at the Green Library's Circulation Desk on the 2nd floor of the Green Library.

Journal Collection

  • Journals are for in-library use only and do not circulate.

Course Reserves Materials

  • 2 hour check-out for in-library use; no renewals


  • 2 week check-out; no renewals

Other (CD-ROMs & DVDs)

  • 7 day check-out; 1 renewal


  • The use of any equipment that disrupts any patrons is prohibited.
  • All cell phones should be set to silent or vibrate. Calls should be made outside of the library building or in the stairwells.
  • Students are required to wear headphones when listening to computer audio and video.
  • Because the library is a place for research and study, patrons are asked to reduce the level of noise caused by music and other intrusive sounds that are disruptive to other patrons and that earphones be used. Group study rooms are available in AHC 2 - sixth floor and AHC 4 - first floor.
  • The use of video cameras requires the permission of library administration.

Patrons with Disabilities

  • Medical Library users with physical disabilities may request assistance from Help Desk staff for entering the library or retrieving an item from the shelves.
  • The University Library (Green Library) maintains computer workstations and special equipment for library users with visual and other types of disabilities.

Reference/ Research Assistance and Tutorials

Dedicated and experienced librarians are available weekdays to assist students who have reference questions or need help with research.  Librarians also provide hands-on database to individuals and small groups. Supplemental tutorials are available on the ML website (Research & Resources tab).  Librarians may be reached at the ML offices on the 3rd floor of the Green Library (GL 323) or by request at the ML Help Desk.

Student Lockers

  • Lockers are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 
  • Locks and keys will be provided by the Library; padlocks or personal locks of any type are not permitted on lockers. 
  • Lockers may be used for a maximum of 7 days not including holidays.
  • Renewals will be available in person, via phone 305-348-1466 or online
  • Any lockers for which the key is not returned to the Help Desk will be emptied after 7 days not including holidays, and the locker contents will be stored in the Libraries’ Lost and Found for 30 days, with the exception of library books which will be returned to the shelves.
  • Materials kept in lockers are the responsibility of the user.  The Library is not responsible for the contents of the locker.
  • No hazardous or illegal objects may be stored in lockers. 
  • The library will charge $15 fee in case the key/lock will be lost or damaged.

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Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Medical Library
305 348-1466 (phone)
305 348-0631 (fax)
11200 SW 8th Street, GL 380
Miami, FL 33199