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Book acquisition problems in Bangladesh/ India

Book acquisition problems in Bangladesh/ India:

As we far from publishing world, it is difficult to evaluate every book for library acquisition. While selecting the reading materials, the librarian faces many problems, some of them are mentioned below:

1. Time-Lag:  Most of the books required by the libraries are published in foreign countries. College, University and research libraries depend heavily on foreign books which generally reach the library sometimes between six month to one year after their selection.
2. Book market value factor: Book selector can’t evaluate every book because of importing those foreign books to our country. They have to rely greatly on the reputation of the authors, publishers and year of publications.
3. Proliferation of knowledge: Development of knowledge is growing very rapidly. Now-a-days proliferation of knowledge involves more than one subject. That’s why selector got confused about book’s subject choosing.
4. Book selection materials: In Bangladesh / India there are not adequate book selection materials like Bibliography which will help the book selector to select appropriate books for library.
5. Delayed payment to foreign publishers:  Majority of importing agencies not paying the bills timely; it is a big problem. For this foreign publishers lost their interest in sending books to the country.
6. Language problem: Most of the people in our country do not understand English. This has a impact on ordering books from foreign countries.
7. Quotation method and books sent on approval: Quotation system in the libraries of Bangladesh is very problematic and unsuccessfully. Because an unreliable book-seller who quote much lower rate than the reputed book seller get the order. These types of a supplier can never supply hundred percent of the books for which the order is placed.
8. Society publications: Books published by the society/non-profit organizations are not easily available through commercial channel. Further these societies do not allow sufficient trade discount to the book, sellers as allowed by other publishers. On the other hand Most of the publications published by learned societies have comparatively less chance of getting reviewed than the books published by renowned publishers. There may be every possibility by by the book selector to miss some standard and valuable books which are very much needed or demand by the research workers and scientists.
9. Delay in review books: Timely reviews of publications are necessary, otherwise books may go out-of-print when actually reviews appear. Reviews generally appear in our country after eight months to one year after the publications of the books. Any standard work is usually sold out in a very short time before actually the demand comes.
10. Government publications: Non-availability of Government documents is a common problem. Further Information about the latest documents is not available from time to time.
11. Book Vendors: Choosing the right vendor is the crux of the problem as the right vendor can only execute the ordered books expeditiously.
12. Bangladeshi/Indian Book Seller:
Some common complaints about Bangladeshi book-sellers are,

  • They supply only those titles that are readily available and where they have a far margin of discount and also credit facility, and
  • The book-seller hardly report on the progress of orders.The result is that libraries do hardly get publications needed by the scientists and research scholars.

12. Foreign Vendors: In the case of foreign vendors, almost all the publications that are ordered, the librarians get the time. However, progress report is given foreign publishers in most cases. No discount in however offered by them as it is the usual practice of Bangladeshe/Indian book sellers. The foreign vendors charge also postage. If the document is needed urgently, it is better to place order with foreign vendors without thinking of some additional cost.

13. High Cost Factor: The cost of foreign scientific and technical books is so high that even research libraries cannot afford to purchase adequate number of foreign publications even to meet their minimum requirement from the grants allotted.

14.Change of Book Titles: The changing of book titles by the publishers merely by adding a chapter or some date etc., also creates problem. Some times important aspects of a book being a part/volume of a series are omitted in the review which results in acquiring two copies- one under the regular series on outstanding order basis and the other by the new title on specific requests.

15. Frequent Increase in the cost of Publications: Publishers, specially foreign publishers, frequently revise price of their documents. Booksellers do not stick to the prices quoted by them.

16. Frequent Revision of Exchange Rates: The frequent revision of exchange rates by the Good Office’s Committee are in consequence to the devaluation of Bangladeshi/Indian taka/rupee thus curtailing the budget provision.


Md. Ashikuzzaman

Work at North South University Library, Bangladesh.

One Comment

  1. Assalam o alaikum
    i am the thesis student of architecture.And my project is on digital library,and this library will be in the form of a physical structure and a website form(both).Normally digital libraries are in a web portal or website form,but i want to make a physical structure.My project name is HYBRID CULTURAL DIGITAL LIBRARY FOR PUBLIC.so i need standard library requirments such a, how we calculate the total staff member,hw we calculate the areas for staff working,furniture standars,etc ,every thing about the public libaries.

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