The three factors namely: demand, supply, and finance are mainly responsible for the success of an acquisition policy framed by the information centers and libraries. Demand and supply must be known, and finance secured. Further, men and materials required for the work need to be arranged.
The planning aspects can be grouped under the following four heads:
The following sources can be made use of in ascertaining demand:
Statistics relating to books circulated from, and consulted in the library;
– Suggestions from library staff working in the service departments;
– Suggestions from readers;
– Indents from subject experts of departments;
– Findings of user and need surveys conducted, if any;
– Syllabi and prospectuses of courses of studies; and
– Profiles of researchers.
A good source collection may contain the following:
The demands have to be assessed in terms of their volume, value and variety.
– Trade catalogues issued by individual publishers and booksellers;
– Previews and announcements issued by publishers;
– Book reviews appearing in newspapers and journals;
– Book reviewing journals;
– Book selection lists brought out by competent bodies;
– List of textbooks prescribed for various courses of studies;
– Published catalogues of book exhibitions;
– Published catalogues of important libraries;
– Subject bibliographies and subject guides to selection;
– National bibliographies;
– Comprehensive retrospective bibliographies like Book-in-print; and
– Catalogue of second-hand booksellers.
The sources have to be sorted and stored for convenient uses. Updating of the sources and weeding out of old ones should be done on a regular basis.
Proper planning of finance is basic to good acquisition work. The total of the library will include a separate provision of books. This amount will have to be apportioned among (a) books; (b) Periodicals (print and non-print materials); (c) Binding. Once the allocation is finalized, acquisition work has to be conforming to the financial discipline dictated by it.
The people involved in selection process are the librarian, the acquisition staff, the subject experts and the library authority or selection committee. The document selection is not a one-man job. It is outcome of good team work.