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Acquiring Books and Periodicals

Acquisitions Guidelines for Purchasing Library Books

The importance of the Library in the educational process of the University depends largely on those concerned with building the collection. Responsible selection policies, guided by a sincere desire to provide library patrons with needed research materials to supplement classroom instruction and provide impetus for independent study, will ensure the development of a high-quality selection of library materials in your discipline.


Because of limited funds, it is very important that only the best and most necessary items be purchased. Titles reviewed favorably in professional journals in your discipline are excellent items to be acquired. Recommended bibliographies might also be consulted. The reference librarians will be happy to assist you in locating special bibliographies which may be helpful for selection purposes. Reviews in Choice and Library Journal are other sources which you may wish to consult.

Ordering Procedure

To ensure that requested items can be ordered as soon as possible after they have been sent to the acquisitions department, please adhere to the following procedure:

    • There are several ways to send book requests to the Acquisitions Department. You can use an official requisition form signed by your department chairperson. A supply of requisition forms may be obtained in the acquisitions department. You can also send us e-mail ( Appleby, Acquisitions Librarian). Or you can send brochures, ads, and catalogs listing the item(s) you wish to request. 
    • Please supply complete bibliographical information, including author, title, copyright date, price, and ISBN number. Should complete bibliographical information be unavailable, please send advertisements with the requisition or cite the source of the information given on the requisition form.
    • When possible, check your department on order file (if the department maintains a file) and the FRIAR Online Public Access Catalog before submitting a request to determine whether or not the library already has the title.
    • Items needed within a short period of time should be designated RUSH on the request form. Since it takes a minimum of three to four weeks to obtain an item from a domestic publisher or book jobber, titles needed to support course offerings should be submitted to the acquisitions department at least six weeks prior to the time that they will be needed; foreign published titles should be submitted at least three months before date needed.
    • If a second copy of an item is desired, please indicate this on the requisition form.


The library has been given a budget amount for library books, and apportionment has been made for each department. The department chair is informed of this amount at the beginning of the fiscal year. These funds are used only for the purchase of library materials.

Deadline For Library Orders

The deadline for submitting department book orders is March of the current fiscal year. Any unencumbered funds after this date will be used for library materials at the discretion of the librarians.

Titles Added To The Library Collection

At the end of each month, a list of all titles added to the library collection during the previous month is added to the library's Web site.  This list is arranged by classification number, so that you can easily find materials within your subject area(s), and indicates gift titles. To see the New Book List area of the Web site, please click here. Neither the content nor the updating of these lists is the responsibility of the acquisitions department.

New Courses

If a new course is to be offered (or a course that has not been taught for a long period of time), it is recommended that library holdings in the subject area be surveyed far enough in advance to allow time for needed titles to be ordered and processed. If the number of titles to be ordered is large and represents a major portion of the department's library book budget, the department chairperson should consider a request for supplementary funds.



Spring: Review Lists Sent Out

Deans and chairs will receive Review Lists of current subscriptions of periodicals in their field. This is the main opportunity for faculty input in the periodicals acquisitions process; faculty may choose to add new subscriptions; to delete titles; or to suggest a different title to replace a little used item; or a periodical that no longer relates to our teaching or research needs. New subscription requests may be submitted in one of two ways:

  1. Suggest the cancellation of a title to be replaced with a new subscription. The ordering of a new periodical that costs substantially more than the one being cancelled will depend on the periodicals budget allotment for the year. A replacement order is the best way to deal with new subscriptions unless you are ordering in a subject area where we do not have any holdings.
  2. Request for a new subscription without suggesting the cancellation of another. Replacement requests and requests for new subscriptions will depend on the balance remaining in the periodicals budget, after the reviewed and approved subscriptions have been paid for.

Review Lists Due

Departments not returning their Review Lists run the risk of having little-used or expensive periodicals cancelled. Unlike books, which represent a one-time cost, periodicals subscriptions represent an on-going expense, and must be reviewed regularly.

January: Start of Subscription Year

This month is the "start date" for the majority of renewal and new subscriptions for periodicals, newspapers and other serials.

A budget request for periodicals is drawn up for the coming fiscal year (June-May). The total is based on the latest known prices, with an amount added for inflation and collection development.

Additional Information

Information regarding periodicals (usage, publisher, cost, subjects covered, new titles, etc.) is available from the personnel in the library.

Faculty requests for new subscriptions should have the chair's or dean's approval. You may send a memo or library acquisitions form (same form as for library books).

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Any questions may be directed to the following personnel:

Rayola Appleby
acquisitions librarian

Shirley A. Perrine
acquisitions assistant

Mary Jane Wepasnick

periodicals assistant


Friedsam Memorial Library
St. Bonaventure University
St. Bonaventure, NY  14778  USA
(716) 375-2323 (general number)
(716) 375-2389  (fax)

Last updated:  07/08/11
Please direct comments to the library webmaster