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Faculty and Staff Information: How to Order Books

How to Order Books

Each division and program has money set aside for faculty to order books for the collection. The library keeps track of what has been spent out of each division or program's allocation. We strongly encourage you to order throughout the year. 

The deadline for spending your allocation is April 1 but don't wait until then to place your orders. 

We are glad to take requests after April 1 but these may be need to be taken from the next year's budget allocation, depending on how many people have waited until the deadline and how backed up the orders are. 

The following guidelines will help us to ensure that the books you want will be ordered, arrived, and processed by the time you want them.  If you order past these dates we will make every attempt to have them here and processed, but we cannot guarantee that they will be ready by the time you need them.  Exceptions include foreign language and out-of-print titles which are unpredictable and can take a long time to obtain.

  • For hard-copy materials to be used in the Fall semester, please give us your orders by July 10
  • For hard-copy materials to be used in Winter Semester, please order by November 17
  • For hard-copy materials to be used in May term, please order by February 2

To help you select materials the library sends cards from Choice with reviews of books on them. You should also feel free to order from catalogs or other sources that you receive.

When you find a book that you would like to order, you can request it in one of several of ways.

1). You can fill out the online book order form.

2). You can email Ann Long the information on the book. Be sure to include the author, title, publisher, pub date, and ISBN.

3). You can send us information via campus mail.  These can be Choice cards, catalog pages or any other format you wish.

Check with your program chair or division head to see if any internal departmental processes might be in place.

If you feel there is not enough money for you needs, check into requesting money from the discretionary fund.

DDA or Demand Driven Acquisition

In 2014-15, TU Library began a program of Demand Driven Acquisition or DDA.  This is sometimes also referred to as PDA or Patron Driven Acquisition. This means that we set up parameters for a collection of ebooks via Proquest.  Books included in our parameters come from academic publishers and cost below $200.  Records for these titles are added to the TU catalog and are searched along with the electronic and paper titles which we already have access to.  A buy is triggered by student or faculty use patterns which include spending a certain amount of time on the item, printing it, or downloading it.  We further stretch our funds by including books that are available in a program called Short Term Loan or STL.  If a book is only triggered once in a year, we only pay a portion of the full cost of the book.  These accumulate until a full buy is triggered at which point we own the ebook in perpetuity.

The advantage of this is that we spend money on materials that are immediately used by students and faculty.  The traditional way of selecting books involves faculty indicating what should be acquired.  Studies have shown that only 25%-34% of books selected by faculty account for approximately 80% of the total circulation in the first five years of their being in the collection. Allowing students and faculty to access books they need right now is a better use of funds.

Contact a librarian if you have further questions about this or would like one of us to talk with your department about ebooks and DDA.  We are always happy to discuss this with you.

ProQuest DDA and STL

Hardesty, Larry. "Use of Library Materials at a Small Liberal Arts College: A Replication," Collection Management 10 (1988): 61-80.

Dinkins, Debbi. "Circulation as Assessment: Collection Development Policies Evaluated in Terms of Circulation at a Small Academic Library." College & Research Libraries, vol. 64, no. 1, Jan. 2003, pp. 46-53.

Ebooks or paper?

The library has approximately 100,000 paper books in its circulating collection and approximately 200,000 ebooks.  Most of the ebooks that we have, have been acquired as a part of preset collections from Proquest, EBSCO, and JSTOR but many have now been bought individually, based on faculty requests and through our Demand Driven Acquisition (DDA) program, through those same companies.

We began buying individual ebook titles on a regular basis in 2014-15. We buy ebooks if they are available to libraries in e-format.  Most academic publishers make ebooks available through EBSCO, ProQuest, and/or JSTOR.  There are some publishers, usually popular press books, who won’t sell ebooks to libraries, or who have unacceptable pricing (like charging us for a book annually or allowing us to use a book for 5 years then making us pay for it again), and there are some who make access impossible for more than one individual (kindle is a good example).

A good reason for us to move toward ebooks is that we are running out of space for physical books.  In addition, ebooks can't be destroyed or lost the way that paper books can.

Decision factors for whether to buy ebook or paper include:

  • Is the pricing structure of the title or publisher acceptable for libraries?
  • Is the book accessible through a campus system (IP/Proxy) and available to more than one person?
  • How quickly does the content go out of date?
  • Is the book image heavy? If so, paper may be preferred.
  • Our space is at capacity.  Is there room on the shelf or are there paper books that can be removed to make room for the new paper?

We have developed a list of what each faculty member prefers personally.  If faculty members do not let us know their preference then we make a decision based on the subject matter.  When faculty send us orders, we order an electronic or paper copy depending on their preference.  If the preference is for electronic, we will make every effort to get an ecopy but may end up with a paper copy if the company/publisher has unfriendly pricing or access practices for libraries.