Behind the scenes

Dec 08, 2005
The Acquisitions Department has the responsibility of ordering, acquiring and processing material the Library's subject specialists have chosen to add to the Library collection. The Department is comprised of two faculty members, twelve merit-staff members, as well as some student assistants. Material from a wide variety of formats is ordered and processed by the Acquisitions Department. We acquire both books and periodicals in print, media, or online versions.Library acquisitions

Staff who perform acquisitions work create the Library catalog's earliest records for material which has been ordered. Some of these records can be fairly minimal, consisting of a title, designated location information, and the status of the material. These records show up in the public catalog with the status "On Order," allowing users to know that a title is on the way. In addition, Acquisitions staff members create purchase order records, and then transmit these purchase orders to vendors, through email, fax, or regular mail. Vendors are chosen on such criterion as the best price, the most rapid response, or most consistent service.

Acquisitions staff members also receive the material once it arrives, handling approximately 575 books and over 1100 serial issues on a weekly basis. If the material doesn't arrive within a reasonable amount of time, the vendor or publisher is contacted and the material is claimed. If appropriate, the material will be reordered from a different vendor. We welcome questions from patrons who are interested in the status of an order, and will take immediate steps to get the vendor to speed up these orders whenever feasible.

In the 2004/05 Fiscal Year, the Department placed 19,605 orders. It received 29,903 monographs, 7621 government publications, and 61,068 serials issues. There are 35,392 current serial subscriptions, and 10,237 electronic periodicals, databases or books which have been acquired and are being maintained.