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Acquisitions: Policies & Procedures

Library Faculty Liaisons to academic departments

Each member of the library faculty is assigned to one to four academic departments. The librarian liaisons share responsibility with departmental faculty for the selection of library materials and most are active selectors. Liaisons also provide academic departments with information about new acquisitions, services, and changes in library policy. They help ensure that the Libraries acts in response to the faculty's needs. They try to stay abreast of new courses, programs, and faculty interests, and any other developments likely to influence the need for library resources and services. Many departmental liaisons are also active in providing instruction in information literacy. Here is the list of current liaisons.

Mike Poulin, the Head of CollectionManagement supervises the Acquisitions and Serials Departments and coordinates collection development activity in both Case and Cooley libraries. He welcomes questions about acquisition or collection development policy as well as suggestions for strengthening the collection.

Approval Plans

With an approval plan, books which meet certain criteria (certain publishers, genres, and subjects)are received by the library automatically as they are published.  The library can then either approve the selections and catalog them, or reject certain books and send them back to the vendor. There are currently four approval plans:

1) University Press and commercial press approval plan: Most US, and UK university press books in the humanities and social sciences will be acquired automatically as they are published. Selected academic commerical presses are also part of the plan. A more detailed subject and publisher profile is available from the Acquisitions Department. Excluded from the plan are reprints, new editions, and books in a series. The latter are frequently already on standing order with various vendors. If that is not the case these titles can be firm ordered. Our vendor sends us slips for those books which will not come automatically on the plan. Shipments are received weekly.

2) Latin American Literature plan. This plan includes core Latin American authors, key women authors and works about Latin American Literature.  Works about indigenous oral tradition are also included. Shipments are received monthly.

3) German Belles Lettres Program. Approximately 105 core authors are included on this plan provided by Harrassowitz.

4) Contmeporary French Author plan. The French Department identified a list of core authors in the winter of 2007. We receive the works of these authors through Touzot and also receive slips in key subjects of interest to the French Dept.

Book orders

Book order are welcome from all Colgate University faculty, staff, and students with the highest priority given to materials which support the curriculum. Books which support the research interests of the faculty are next in priority. Books for recreational reading are ordered only after research and curricular needs are met and as the budget permits. Orders may be placed by email, by web form, through the campus mail, and in person, and may consist of marked up publisher's catalogs, approval slips, or typed or printed bibliographies. Please include as much bibliographic information as possible including author, title, publisher, price, and ISBN.

An analysis of book order placed in FY2006/2007 showed that 77% of firm orders arrived within four weeks. 55% of this number arrived within two weeks.  Some out of print materials are unobtainable. Rush orders are possible for time sensitive materials. We do not generally acknowledge routine orders for books. If you submit a book request and do not hear from us, you can assume that we have processed the order. All materials which have been ordered will appear in the Colgate library catalog with the status of "on order".

Books in Process or received but not yet cataloged

A book which has been received but not yet cataloged will show a status of "in process" in the Colgate Library catalog.  If you want immediate access either email the citation to Mike Poulin or tell someone at the Circulation or Reference desks.  Staff will notify the Acquisitions Department that an item is needed ASAP and the book will be located in processing, cataloged quickly, and put on the hold shelf at Circulation for you. Books can be cataloged within 24 hours during the course of a normal business week.


The Library adheres to the Library Bill of Rights (ALA, 1996). Sections I and II of this state that :
"Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval."

For more information about intellectual freedom issues see the American Library Association Office of Intellectual Freedom website or the Intellectual Freedom Manual Case Main Z711.4 .I57.


We will attempt to purchase dissertations requested by Colgate faculty and by seniors who are conducting honors level research.  Masters theses will not be purchased.

Fiscal Year

The Library's fiscal year runs from June 1st through the end of May. Some orders received after mid April may be delayed until June depending on the state of the budget.

Gifts of materials to the Library

The Library welcomes gifts/donations of books and other materials in support of the University's programs. Gifts/donations are added according to the same selection criteria as purchased materials. However, since processing and housing materials is expensive, the library reserves the right to accept or discard any materials received as gifts/donations.  If gifts are accepted it should be understood that, upon receipt the University becomes the owner of the material and, as such, reserves the right to determine its retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations related to its use, maintenance, or removal. Gifts/donations that are not added to the collection are usually put in the library book sales or forwarded to other libraries.

The Library encourages donors to consider, for their own interest, obtaining an appraisal of their gifts for income tax purposes. Such appraisals are the responsibility of the donor and should be made, if possible, before the gifts are transferred to Colgate in order to establish their fair market value. The Internal Revenue Service considers the Library to be an interested party which therefore precludes appraisals made or financed by Colgate. For this reason, donors must bear the costs of appraisal, but the costs may be deductible expenses.

Please see the Policy Regarding Gifts to the Colgate University Libraries for more details.

Out of Print Materials

The presence of out of print dealers on the internet has greatly improved our success rate in locating out of print materials especially those published in the United States.  If a book cannot be located immediately through an out of print dealer we will send the order to an out of print search service. A book will remain on search for one year. If the title has not been located by then the order will be cancelled.

Reimbursement for purchases by the Colgate faculty

Individual faculty are sometimes in an especially good position to purchase certain kinds of items which are difficult to obtain normally. A professor traveling overseas may have immediate access to materials not available through US library suppliers, for example. Under these circumstances, we are sometimes able to reimburse faculty for items purchased on behalf of the Library. We strongly suggest that you contact the Acquisitions Librarian before making these purchases. Otherwise, we cannot guarantee that the Library will provide reimbursement. Purchases made by individual faculty must include a receipt. For further information, please contact Mike Poulin.

Reserve Reading Materials

If a book is needed for reserve reading, indicate the course number, the approximate date the title is needed, and the number of copies desired in your request.

Normally the Libraries do not purchase more than one copy of each item requested for hard copy reserves. The Libraries do not normally purchased paper copies of books already owned in electronic format.  If the Libraries own more than one copy of an item or if the instructor provides more than one personal copy, all available copies will be placed on reserve. Instructors who believe that additional copies are needed should contact Ricki Muller (x7491) in Case Library or Kristi Mangine (x7312) in Cooley Science Library.  Additional copies may require purchase with funds from the instructor's academic department of program.

Faculty are advised to request materials for reserve reading at least three weeks in advance of a semester in order to insure that the materials will be on the shelf when they are needed.  Please let us know if  multiple copies of the same book have been ordered through the Colgate bookstore.

Rush orders

We will make every attempt to acquire books through the fastest possible method if they are needed for reserve reading or for some other time sensitive reason. Many current in print US published books can be acquired within a week. Rush books will be cataloged immediately upon receipt.

Text Books

Text books will generally not be purchased.


We welcome suggestions of what cds to purchase for the collection. Priority is given to those works which support the curriculum.  Audio recording request form.

Periodicals and other continuing titles

Periodicals and other continuations represent a long term commitment on the part of the library.  They are costly to purchase, process, house, and maintain. Electronic journal access is rarely free these days and ejournals require the negotiation of sometimes lengthy license restrictions. The average annual percentage increase for a periodical is around 8 to 10%, and the price of a foreign published title can double in the space of a year.  Because of these factors few subscriptions are added unless the cost is balanced with a cancellation of equal value.

Only those subscriptions which support the curriculum are acquired and only as the budget permits. Suggestions concerning subscriptions which are no longer needed by the community are always welcome.  The Periodicals evaluation committee favors journals which are likely to be used by a number of students and faculty, journals which receive good reviews, and titles which are indexed in standard sources. Consideration is also given to the projected cost per use.

Colgate faculty who wish to submit a periodical request should fill out this form.

Video and DVD requests

Send requests or inquiries to Media Acquisitions Coordinator Rhonda Pancoe by web form or by email.

Page Created Emily Hutton & Maintained by: Mike Poulin | Last Updated: August 20, 2014 | © 2009

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