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Faculty Guide: Acquisitions Policy


Faculty members have the majority of the responsibility of selecting appropriate new materials for the University Libraries.

Materials Budget

The University administration determines the total library materials budget for the fiscal year on the recommendations of the Dean of University Libraries. A large portion of this budget is allocated to selections made by academic departments based on a formula recommended by the Faculty Library Committee. Materials needed by faculty in their schools, departments or offices on a permanent basis are not purchased with library funds.

Materials paid for out of the library budget must be ordered by the library staff, using vendors under contract to the library so that maximum discounts can be achieved. Faculty members who place their own orders for “approval” or “review” materials will be asked to return the materials, and to place orders in the usual way through the library.

Book Budget Allocation

The library budget determines the amount of library collection-development funds to be used by the academic departments for the purchase of library materials. Fifty thousand dollars is initially set aside from this total to improve graduate library materials in general. The following procedure describes how the remainder of that amount is divided among the academic departments.

Of the remaining amount, 20% will be distributed among departments offering graduate courses. Each department's allocation will be determined as follows:

50% based on student hours sold the preceding year (May term to Spring semester)

50% based on courses

(The special $50,000 for graduate library materials will be divided similarly.)

The remaining 80% of the original development funds (less $50,000 for graduate studies) will be distributed among all departments. Each department's allocation will be determined as follows:

30% based on number of courses listed in the catalog

30% based on undergraduate hours sold (May term to Spring semester); upper-division x1.5

30% based on number of FTE faculty

10% based on Materials Cost Factor*

The HSU Office of Institutional Research will provide the data on student hours sold and FTE faculty. The number of graduate courses offered is determined by counting courses listed in the HSU catalog.

*The Materials Cost Factor is determined by publisher data, indicating items of a certain discipline that tend to be more expensive than are those of other disciplines. Including this factor in the above formula gives departments with more expensive materials a slight increase in collections allocations.

Book Orders

Book order requests should be submitted to the librarian serving as the department's liaison or via the online order form. Book order requests may be submitted in one of the following ways.

CHOICE Reviews - These cards are distributed to academic departments on a monthly basis. To order from these reviews, write on the review card the department name and the name of the faculty member submitting the order.

On-line ordering at:

Printed Order Forms - Use the libraries materials order form for other order requests. The library needs the following information:

a)         Author

b)         Title

c)         Publisher

d)         Date of publication (if known)

e)         Your source of information about the book.

f)          Department name placing order.

g)         Grad or undergrad library fund

h)         Name of faculty selector

i)          Titles owned by the Abilene Library Consortium will not be duplicated for HSU unless you check the lower corner of the form indicating the importance to HSU.

If the item ordered is basic to its discipline, check the order card line “Check here if copy is needed at HSU when one exists in Abilene.” If the item is basic and the order is submitted by Choice card – mark the card HSU and the library will order an ALC duplicate. If the order is not marked to duplicate, the order card will be returned if a copy is listed in the ALC database.

If ordering from a publisher’s flyer or a sale catalog, please attach a copy of the catalog to the Book Order Form or the webpage url.

All faculty book order requests should be approved by the department head or dean in each academic area before being sent to the librarian serving as liaison with the department.

The Library Staff will do the following:

a)         Determine if the title is already in the collection or is already on order. (The library does not order duplicate materials.)

b)         Check for availability and current prices.

c)         Order and process the book.

d)         Notify the faculty member submitting the order when the book has been cataloged and is available for use.

e)         Notify the faculty member when a requested title is already in the collection or is out of print.

For most titles, a hardback edition will be ordered instead of a paperback edition for purposes of durability. If available in both electronic and paper format, the person ordering should indicate which is preferred.

Deadlines: Please consider book ordering as an ongoing process by submitting orders throughout the year. After the projected costs for periodicals, approval plan purchases, and other standing orders have been deducted, the amount remaining should be committed in the following manner:

         October 1  - 33% should be committed

         December 1  -  66% should be committed

         March 1  -  100% should be committed

Each department should submit approximately 10% above its budget in case of cancellations. Orders received after March1st will be ordered the following budget year. Funds left uncommitted at each of the above deadlines will be reallocated or spent by the library staff to balance the overall library collection.

Status of budget commitments: The Library will provide department heads with monthly reports (July through March) of the amount of the departmental library budget which has been spent or committed.

Audio-Visual Materials

Faculty members may purchase audiovisual materials from their department’s library materials allocation.

New Periodical Subscriptions

Subscription requests are to be submitted to the Dean of Libraries. As with books, these order requests should be approved by department heads or deans, since the orders represent an ongoing commitment of the department’s library materials budget. Requests for new periodical subscriptions must meet the following criteria established by the Library’s selection policy:

The periodical must be indexed in one of the indexes to which the Library subscribes or be available electronically.

As a general rule, HSU does not add subscriptions for periodicals which are carried in one of the other libraries in Abilene (Abilene Christian University, McMurry University, Abilene Public Library). Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Dean of University Libraries.

The department requesting the periodical must agree to subscribe to the newly selected periodical for a minimum of five years.