The Bethune-Cookman University Archives contains a wide variety of materials in various formats that depict the lives and works of individuals who contributed to this institution. There is a collection of documents, which include numerous programs and a wealth of photographs that date back to the time of our founder. There is also an extensive collection of documents which reflect the business of this school in detail up to the contemporary time. Many materials are now housed in acid-free boxes, but there are also significant amounts of organized vertical files in the Display Room.

All materials are available for the use of visitors and researchers within the parameters of a strict in-house-only use policy. The Display Room is openly available to visitors during the hours of 9 to 5 from Monday to Friday, and most on-site research by patrons takes place there. The archive provides copies of any textual or visual items for a minimal fee, depending on the type of medium in question. The archival area is the repository for documents, photographs and other materials of historic value to the university. Digital copies of some material may be available. Contact Dr. Tasha Lucas-Youmans (386) 481-2181, or or Dr. Clarissa West-White (386) 481-2198, for more information. It is helpful if you submit an archive request form before contacting the Archives.

The Reference Department offers personal assistance and instruction in the use of library resources to members of the B-CU community (for on-campus and remote users). Reference librarians will answer questions concerning the location and use of the library’s resources. The staff in the Reference Department offers help with any question, using the full range of print materials and electronic databases, online public access catalog (OPAC), indexes, full-text journals, e-books and online encyclopedias, dictionaries, directories and data available about the library. The Reference Area includes 12 public workstations with access to library resources. The Reference staff can advise in the selection of the most appropriate databases for any given topic and instruct in their use. Reference: The Reference Librarians' offices are located on the first and second floors of the Carl S. Swisher Library. Stop by the Circulation Desk for their availability for assistance

For more information, contact Clayton Duhl at (386) 481-2188 or or Laura Quatrella (386) 481-2118 or

Technical Services is responsible for selecting, organizing, and managing the library’s print, media, and online resources and equipment. The team includes the acquisitions/Collection Development Librarian and Cataloger.

The Acquisitions/Collection Development Librarian evaluates, selects, and orders materials for the library that will support B-CU’s educational programs and meet the needs of library users. The librarian performs subject analysis of library collections, reviews requests from faculty, staff, and students for new items, supervises weeding, and participates in organizing materials.

The Cataloger assigns classification codes, subject headings, and creates a machine-readable record for each item that is added to the library collection. These records are displayed in the library’s online public access catalog (OPAC) and provide access points for identifying and locating needed materials. The Cataloger supervises the physical processing and repair of library materials and participates in weeding and organizing materials.

For more information, contact Collection Development/Acquisitions Librarian Helen Morey at (386) 481-2417 or

Collection Development

The Library welcomes material recommendations by faculty, students, staff and other patrons. Recommendations are vital in helping the library select the best possible materials to support the teaching and research activities of the university. All recommendations are considered and a final decision for each recommendation is made using the guidelines of the library’s collection development policy. Use the Purchase request form to make material recommendations. It should be noted that the library subscribes to several useful selection tools including.

Collection Development Liaisons

The library has designated a librarian to act as a liaison to serve as the principal contact for each academic department (department chairs and faculty) for information about library policies, procedures, and services. The liaisons are also responsible for staying in communication with the department chairs and faculty about selecting books, journals and other materials for purchase to build the library's collection.

Questions or comments about the Liaison Librarian Program may be directed to

Dr. Tasha Lucas-Youmans, Dean of the Library & Learning Resource Center/Chief Librarian

Assistant Professor

(386) 481-2181,

Collection Development Policy


The policy is purposely general to allow for individuals initiative and judgment in collection development. It is subject to continual change as new ideas and types of materials become available in the collection development process.

The purpose of the collection development policy is to provide guidelines under which selecting, maintaining and deselecting materials are to proceed for the Library, including the Media Center. It is recognized that there are situations in which it is more effective to devote resources to providing access to information rather than in building collections. The Library is therefore committed to providing access to collections and information wherever they exist in the world.

Responsibility for Selection

Materials selection shall be a continuing process involving librarians, administrators, faculty, and students. Materials should be purchased to support the academic curriculum and institutional programming, leisure reading. Faculty and staff members are provided request forms to suggest purchase of materials for the library. Faculty and staff members with specific fields of interest and experience are asked to make recommendations for materials in their respective fields as well as general references. A list of new books and other materials, cataloged and added to the library collection, is provided for given to faculty and staff at regular intervals.

When possible, audio-visual materials are previewed before purchase or ordered with return privilege guaranteed.

Selection Criteria

  1. Print Resources

 The following authorities shall be consulted in the selection of materials:

  • Reviewing tools such as standard catalogs
  • Journal reviews
  • Various annual lists and awards
  • Recommendations from other recognized educational organizations
  • Faculty Subject Area Specialist

The following specific criteria are considered:

  •       The overall purpose of the materials and how well it is accomplished.
  •       Reputation and significance of the author.
  •       Timeliness or permanence of the material.
  •       Importance of subject matter to the collection.
  •       Accuracy of material.
  •       Reputation and standards of the publisher or producer.
  •       Readability and reader appeal.
  •       Quality of writing and illustrations.
  •       Appearance of the title in material selection aids.
  •       Price.
  1. Audiovisual and Computer Software electronic resources

Criteria include:

  • Materials or software must meet a specific objective of the curriculum or supports and activity with which the institution is associated.
  • Materials or software is current in content, presentation and production.
  • There is a demonstrated need for the material or software either because the material does not exist in this area of the collection or that it is damaged or obsolete.

Deselection Policy


A primary goal of the Carl S. Swisher Library is to make available the best possible resources in the most current and relevant format to the faculty, staff, students, and administrators. To achieve this goal the collection must be frequently evaluated based on the listed criteria below. Many materials that fail to meet the desired criteria are subject to withdrawal from the collection after being reviewed by the library faculty and teaching faculty subject area specialist.

Deselection Criteria

  • What is the value of the item to the collection? Does it support the curriculum? Does it have intrinsic value?
  • Is the item listed in standard library guides on bibliographies?
  • Is it a duplicate copy? If so, does the collection
  • What is the physical state of the book? If damaged, can it be repaired?
  • Would the material be of value to a researcher?
  • Is there a newer edition?
  • Is the item part of a set?
  • Is the title unique to the Carl S. Swisher Library?
  • What is the frequency of circulation?

Deselection Process

The weeding of the collection will be primarily governed by the library staff. Teaching faculty subject specialists will be consulted when necessary.

Library faculty will begin the process by using standard library statistics and methods (e.g., circulation statistics, evaluation of physical condition of item, duplication, uniqueness, etc.) to select questionable materials. Each item selected for weeding will be marked and placed in the back of the circulation department for further review.

The criteria above will be used to make a final determination of the material.

Items listed as missing in the library’s catalog will be withdrawn as weeding occurs in the area where the items should have been located.

Items that are weeded will be removed from the library’s online catalog within a reasonable time period.

Items that are weeded will be redistributed or discarded according to college policies.

Gift Books and Materials

The library accepts gifts with the understanding that it has the right to handle or dispose of them in the best interest of the institution. Such material may be added to the collection provided it meets the standards of selection. Once given to the library and the consent form has been signed, gifts cannot be returned to the donor.

Acknowledgement of receipt of gifts will be sent to donor(s), but the library will not evaluate gifts or provide listings for tax purposes.

Interlibrary Loan

The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Department enables the Carl S. Swisher Library to borrow materials that university patrons request if those materials are not available within the Bethune-Cookman University print or electronic collections. The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Department sends requests for local university patrons (including students, staff, and faculty) for books, articles, DVDs, and other types of media from libraries that participate in the OCLC Worldshare system. The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Department also lends materials for requests for books from circulating collections like the Main and Black Collections, copies of articles, and other approved works from the Carl Swisher Library if those requests come through the OCLC Worldshare system from libraries located within the United States.

An interlibrary loan is a transaction through which library materials are made available by one library to another for the use of an individual for research or serious study. Faculty, undergraduates, and staff may request needed material through Interlibrary Loan.

Listed below are materials that often ARE NOT available through Interlibrary Loan: 

  • Periodicals. Photocopy may be requested in lieu of loan.
  • Dissertations and Theses. Some libraries lend doctoral dissertations; many do not. Most dissertations are available for purchase from University Microfilms International. Masters' theses tend to be more often available through Interlibrary Loan than are doctoral dissertations.
  • Special Collections.
  • Reference Books.
  • Rare Books and Manuscripts.
  • Newspapers in the Original. Microfilm is generally available for loan.
  • Duplicates of Books Which Are in the Carl Swisher Library Collection unless the need is urgent and the material can be found in another Central Florida Library.

Procedure for Requesting and Receiving Material

A separate request form in some cases must be filled out for each item desired. Request forms must be filled out completely, with full bibliographic information for the item requested. If the borrower does not give a complete citation, the processing of the transaction may be delayed. If the borrower has a firm deadline (i.e., a date beyond which the requested material is not needed), that should be noted at the proper place on the request form.

When the requested material arrives, borrowers will be notified by phone, if possible. In many cases an electronic copy is sent to the requestor. They should come by the Circulation Desk to pick up the material as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of the borrower to check on the status of the requested material.

The length of the loan period is set by the lending library. It is usually two or three weeks but varies with the lending library. Restrictions, such as "library use only" and "no photocopying" are set also by the lending library. These restrictions must be strictly observed. Failure to comply with such limits and restrictions will result in a loss of Interlibrary Loan privileges.

Renewals should be requested only in exceptional cases. When a renewal is necessary, the borrower must get in touch with the Interlibrary Loan Librarian three or four days before the material is due. Material on loan is subject to recall by the lending library at any time. The borrower is responsible for the material borrowed and, in the event of loss or damage, is obligated to meet the cost of repair or replacement. Materials borrowed through Interlibrary Loan must be returned directly to the circulation desk.

For questions concerning Interlibrary Loan at B-CU, please contact Dr. Angelo Salvo

(386) 481-2189,


Online Library orientation information and tutorials are available for Distance Learning students. Contact Betty Story,, Distance Learning Liaison for further assistance.

Located on the first floor, the Circulation Department serves as the center of all activity in the Library/Learning Resource Center. This is where borrowing and returning of all library materials takes place, items are placed on reserve, and conference/study rooms are reserved. Bethune-Cookman University identification cards are also validated for library use at the circulation desk. For more information call (386) 481-2186 or send an e-mail to