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How do I request that the library purchase a book?

UMBC faculty, staff, and students can request that books be ordered for the library's collection at at You should fill out the form as completely as possible and retain a record of the order.

If the book is for course Reserves, see the section below on #Reserves.

Who decides if the book will be purchased or not?

Every academic department has a library liaison who approves or rejects potential purchases on that department's monograph funds. Library Acquisitions will not accept any requests that have not been approved by a liaison.

Why worry about things already owned by other USMAI libraries?

Since we have a very small book budget, we are extremely limited in the number of books we can buy. However, all UMBC faculty, staff, and students can borrow books from any of the sixteen USMAI libraries and have them delivered to the library here very quickly (with no charge to the patron or the library). By relying on this service for non-core materials, we can stretch our budget further while purchasing unique materials that aren't available for quick delivery from USMAI libraries. This substantially expands the depth and the breadth of the materials readily available for our use.

What are priority levels? When and how should I use them?

By assigning a priority level to your orders, you can let Library Acquisitions know which orders are most important to you. This allows Acquisitions to make sound decisions when prioritizing, queuing, or backlogging orders.

You may choose any of three priority levels for orders:

1. Rush orders are usually placed within one or two working days and the items usually arrive within a month. Use this for items needed in 1-2 months. Items purchased this way usually cost more.
2. Priority orders are usually placed within 2 weeks and the items usually arrive within 3 months. Use this for items needed in 3-6 months.
3. Collection Building orders are also usually placed within 2 weeks, but may take much longer. The items also usually arrive in 3-6 months, but may take longer. Use this for quality items for the Library collection.

In order to assign a priority level to your order:

On World Wide Web orders, click the button for the appropriate level when entering your order. If you don't assign a level, your order will automatically be assigned the lowest priority level, "Collection Building".

How do I request an item for reserves?

Do not submit orders for materials for reserves through the Web Order System. Reserve requests for books should be ordered through the reserves website at If the item needs to be ordered, Library Circulation or Library Media staff will submit the orders to Acquisitions.

How do I know when a book is in the library?

Acquisitions no longer provides a notification service. You can search that library catalog at periodically to find out the status of your order.

We do provide a special Hold service, which allows you to request that the item you ordered be held for you at the Circulation Desk. A notice is sent to the requester indicating that the item is now in the library and on hold for him/her. If not picked-up and checked-out within 14 days the item will be moved to the stacks for general use.

When I send an order to Acquisitions, when will it be placed? When will the book get here?

Rush orders are always placed within one or two working days of their arrival in Acquisitions. Processing of other orders depends on the time of the year:

Mid Sept. through the ordering deadline (February 28, 2013): So long as your department has funds, priority orders will normally be placed within two weeks of arriving in Acquisitions. Collection Building orders will also usually be placed within two weeks of arriving in Acquisitions, but may occasionally be queued because of staffing shortages or other special circumstances. Items usually arrive within two months, but Collection Building orders may take substantially longer.

Ordering deadline through June: All library funds are encumbered and orders are normally queued until the new fiscal year. Priority orders go to the front of your department's ordering queue and Collection Building orders go to the back.

July-Mid Sept.: Queued orders are placed. Your priority orders are given preference while your Collection Building orders go to the end of the queue.

Please do not assume that any items ordered in the spring will be available in time for fall classes. Because we are queuing orders after February, they may not be placed until late summer and not arrive before fall classes begin.

What are the roles of Collection Management, Serials, and Acquisitions in the ordering process? Which department do I contact with other questions?

Collection Management:

  • Provides direct support to faculty and liaisons in selecting library materials.
  • Offers training and assistance in using the library's ordering systems.
  • Shapes the library collection by establishing purchasing policies and adjusting departmental allocations for one-time and database purchases.


  • Provides direct support to faculty in selecting and de-selecting library journal subscriptions at the beginning of each academic year.
  • Manages library subscriptions by insuring that items on subscription arrive and by claiming missing items.
  • Shapes the library collection by establishing purchasing policies and adjusting departmental allocations for subscription purchases.
  • Maintains departmental serial fund balances.


  • Supports other library departments and programs such as reserves and media.
  • Manages purchasing of requested library materials, including books, media, and scores.
  • Maintains departmental monographic fund balances.

Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery . University of Maryland, Baltimore County . 1000 Hilltop Circle . Baltimore MD 21250
(410) 455-2232 . Questions and comments to: Acquisitions Department
Last modified: August 30, 2007 11:30:35

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