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Library Acquisitions FAQ

What is the function of Acquisitions?

The function of the Acquisitions department goes beyond buying books. The Acquisitions department responsibilities include having:

  • To order, claim, receive, preserve, and pay for all library materials.
  • To negotiate licensing agreements for electronic publications and on-line services.
  • To monitor, coordinate, implement, and evaluate all collection related activities.
  • To check-in, organize, and perform shelf preparation for all serials.
  • To perform gift and exchange activities.
  • To select and evaluate sources of supply.
  • To provide management and financial reports and statistics.

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How does the Library’s Materials Budget get allocated to departments?

Funds for the purchase of library materials, on-line access and licensing fees are allocated annually to each academic department based on an allocation formula devised by the University Library Committee.

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How do I learn about the status of a departmental allocation?

Each academic department head receives a quarterly report concerning the status of the department’s allocation. Faculty members may inquire about their department’s balance at any time by contacting the Acquisitions staff at 942-2312

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What is the role of faculty in selection of library materials?

Building the library collection is a joint responsibility of the librarian and the faculty. The librarians select most reference and interdisciplinary materials and serials, and the members of the faculty select materials in the areas of their expertise to satisfy the research and teaching needs of their respective departments. In some departments, Library Committees do the selection.

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What are the guidelines for selection?

The guidelines for the selection of materials for the library are as follows:

  • New item should support an academic department’s instructional or research programs.
  • Title must be at the appropriate format/level for this university.
  • Item must be affordable.
  • Duplicate copies may be ordered in special circumstances.

The Collection Development Policy provides a detailed guide for selection of library resources.

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What is the deadline for ordering?

All order requests need to be submitted before April 15 of each year. However, we strongly recommend that you send your orders as soon as possible for the following reasons:

  1. It is the nature of publishing that many books go out of print very quickly.
  2. Acquisitions staff cannot handle the processing of large numbers of orders received on or near the deadline.

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What happens to our unused library funds? Would our future allocations be reduced accordingly?

Unused portion of funds is normally transferred to the Excellence Fund for the purchase of expensive resources that departments normally can not afford to buy. Future allocations will not be affected.

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How long does it take to receive an order?

“Turn-around” time varies as to the format of the materials ordered and normally ranges from two to twelve weeks. The ordering process can be expedited by providing as much information as possible about each requested item.

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How can I check the status of an order?

You may check RAMCAT or contact the Acquisitions Department. When an item is received and cataloged, the order card is returned to the requester. Canceled order cards will be returned with an indication of the reason(s) for cancellations.

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How do I submit my order to Acquisitions?

Library materials may be ordered by sending standard order cards (available from the Acquisitions Department), Choice Cards, by email, or by placing an on-line order form. Marked catalogs/brochures and subject bibliographies may be accepted in special circumstances. Rush orders may be submitted via email to or by fax (325-942-2198) to the Library. Rush orders that are submitted on regular order request cards should be clearly marked “RUSH” in red with a deadline for receipt.

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Do I need to have my orders authorized?

The department head or the designated representative must authorize all faculty orders, regardless of format/type.

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How many journals does the Library currently subscribe to?

Library currently subscribes to 100 journals/periodicals in print and has access to over 63,000 online full-text journals. 

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How soon are the latest issues of periodicals available for use?

In most cases, as soon as the daily mail is processed staff members check-in the new issues of the periodicals into RAMCAT (the Library’s online catalog). Shortly afterwards, the issues are taken to the current periodical shelves in the basement.

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