ETL503 Mod 3 – Acquisition

Our lecturer says that many people get selection and acquisition confused or think that it is even the same thing.

Selection is choosing which books you would like to get for the collection, while acquisition is actually getting or purchasing them, or finding out you can’t in some cases. In my mind I can clearly see the difference between the two.

I can go window shopping for all my wanted birthday presents, but I don’t actually have them until my husband ‘acquires’ them for me, or chooses not to acquire some of course. Or if I selected something for him to buy, but when he went they were sold out I cannot say that the item was acquired to my wardrobe, merely selected for acquisition.

Some questions Crotty (2012) lists that should be considered in the development of acquisition processes and policies include:

  1. Who is responsible for what aspects of acquisition?
  2. What educational authority guidelines and decisions need to be followed?
  3. What management system modules will be used?
  4. Will visiting bookseller be allowed and under what conditions?
  5. Will there be cooperative acquisitions with other schools?

So what’s the acquisition process? Kennedy (2006) lists the process well so I wont rehash it here. But one aspect I didn’t think of before this was that gifts and donations needs to be placed under this heading. I’ve never worked in a school library so I cannot say I have any experience in book donations and gift, but probably before this subject I would have thought they were purely a wonderful thing and should be welcomes with both arms open. Perhaps not the case, and in acquiring these type of items the TL has to make sure the donator understands they might throw them away or weed them later down the line. I can imagine this would be a sticky subject – one for assignment two’s policy to address I’m sure.

Amendment: How about my local school district? Well it turns out TLs in this school district are very limited by where they can acquire materials from! The dictrict office has a preferred publishing house that most acquisitions MUST be made from! A small percentage can come from elsewhere, but if the majority isn’t their publishing house watch out. Why? They have an agreement that their OPAC will be automatically updated by the publishing house for all orders ordered from them, thus saving the school district time and money.




Crotty, R. (2012). Acquisition – What does acquisition work involve? [ETL503 Module]. Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website

Kennedy, J. (2006). Collection Management: A concise introduction (rev. ed.). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.


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