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Last updated: 4/01/04

Collection Management
How to Buy a Book for the University Library Collection

Subject selectors
Subject Selectors are responsible for selecting materials for the University Library.  Each subject selector is assigned to specific subject areas or disciplines.  They also act as liaisons with the academic departments, working with faculty to request materials important and relevant to the various departments, programs and research projects.  Information regarding subject selectors and their specific responsibilities can be found at

All requests for monographs (books, videos, DVDs, CDs) should be initiated by the appropriate Subject Selector to ensure acquisition.  Requests should include all the information necessary to obtain the correct material (author, title, publisher, edition, year of publication, ISBN). If the requestor wishes to be notified when the material is received, the Subject Selector can indicate the name and contact information on the request.   Subject Selectors submit requests for monographic materials to the Collection Management Officer for approval. All requests must be approved by the Collection Management Officer prior to purchase. Requests are coded with the appropriate fund code, approved and submitted to the Monographic Acquisitions/Copy Cataloging (MACC) Unit for purchase. The MACC Unit purchases monographic materials for the main library collections.

Requests for materials can be submitted in various ways. Book Request Forms (BRF), a preprinted form (available from MACC or subject selectors), or printouts from an online resource, such as Amazon, are the most common formats used in requesting materials. These formats help ensure that pertinent information is included in the request. Additional materials such as reviews or blurbs from catalogs may be submitted to further clarify what material being requested.

The Order
When the order is received by the MACC Unit, pre-order searching is done by the staff. The Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) is searched to verify that the material is not already in the collection. This is done to avoid duplication. If an item is already part of the Kingston collection, the request is returned to the Subject Selector with that information. If the item is not owned by the Library but is owned by another institution within the HELIN Consortium, the request is returned to the Subject Selector to ask if another copy is needed on the Kingston campus. If the material is unavailable through the HELIN Consortium, the search continues to other sources to verify the information provided in the request. When the information has been verified and price confirmed, the material is ordered.  If the information is not complete or specific enough to identify the item being requested, it will be returned to the Subject Selector for clarification.

Once an item is ordered the status of that order is viewable online. When the item is searched the message displayed is “One copy ordered for URI.”  When the item has been received, the status will be updated to “One copy in process for URI.”  When the item has been cataloged and is available to circulate the item will appear with a call number and the status will be “Available.” If there is any question as to the status of an ordered item, the Subject Selector should be contacted (


Karen Ramsay April 2004

University of Rhode Island Libraries

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