New Library Directors Handbook

Acquisitions

Once you have selected the materials, you begin the acquisitions process. Every library has its own acquisitions process, so we won't try to give you a step-by-step description. Talk with your library staff or board about how acquisitions are handled in your library. What we will try to do in this section is define some terminology.

On-Order File: Think of this as a way to keep from ordering the same item twice. An on-order file lets you keep track of what items you have already ordered.

Standing Orders: This is an agreement where the publisher will automatically send you certain new titles. The library determines what items are in a standing order. Typically certain reference items like almanacs or authors (such as John Grisham) are on a standing order list. Be sure and keep track of what you have on your standing order list, so you don't accidentally order an item. Review your list annually to make sure that the items are meeting your community's needs.

Jobbers: Jobbers are companies such as Ingram or Baker & Taylor who work with different publishers to provide materials to libraries. If you don't use a jobber, then you have to work with each individual publisher and you probably won't receive a substantial discount. Jobbers frequently give libraries large discounts. For some materials, you may have to go directly to the publisher.