Serial Acquisition in Library

Serial Acqusition

“Serial acquisition and ordering is the most difficult phase of serials management. A number of channels and alternatives are found in the field. To obtain periodicals through appropriate channels is the responsibilities devolve not only on the librarian but also on those who are engaged in library management.

Basically, there are six means of acquiring periodicals to libraries Serial Acqusition

1) By purchase from a local bookshop or newsagents.

2) By subscriptions to publishers of the periodicals who mail copies directly to the libraries.

3) By dealing with vendor/ agents.

4) By taking up the membership of the learned society or professional body.

5) By gift.

6) By exchange programme.

1) By purchase from local suppliers: Local suppliers although accept responsibilities to supply periodicals seldom render a good job. Worst happens when they are invited to bid for the supply contract. Local suppliers are also found who offer a small discount on the cover price of certain periodicals on the condition that a certain amount of lucrative book business is given to them. A supplier giving a poor service wastes time and energy of the library staff for outweighing the discounts obtained.

2) By subscription: More often libraries prefer purchase periodicals direct from the publishers who accept subscription and mail copies at the basic subscription prices. The subscription to the periodical is generally paid annually in advance, the reason being that the publishers want to be sure as to how many copies would be consumed in a particular year.

Disadvantage: There are some disadvantages in dealing with the publishers. It is argued that direct ordering costs more to the libraries because postal charges will increase as for each item a separate letter will have to be written. Also, bills are not received for many months from the publishers despite requested many a time. A lot of time is taken by the banks in preparing the drafts for remittance. It will also need more staff members to deal with this increased correspondence. But the experience says that this cost is worth the return that we get in the form of satisfaction to the readers.

3) By Dealing with Agents: The agents accept the whole responsibility for the supply of periodicals to libraries from the initial placement of order to the renewal of subscription, and the payment of multiplicity of invoices in a variety of currencies.

4) By Becoming Members of Learned societies: Some periodical is received by a library in lieu of payment made either by the library or its parent body to various learned and societies and organization a membership fee. These societies generally publish one or more regular publications for keeping their members and the concerned professionals in touch with their activities, programmes, and achievements. These publications are generally received by the library without paying any extra amount.

5) By Gift: Some publishers also supply some of their publications especially new ones so that these may be popularized. Some organizations, including libraries, offer as gifts duplicate copies of certain periodicals. One of the important functions of UNESCO’s Clearing House for Publications. Similarly ‘ASLIB Information’ and ‘Library Association Record’ publish lists of periodicals, which are spare with certain libraries for disposal to those libraries which are ready to have them. But before accepting the gifts, it should be ascertained as to whether the material in question is of any use to the patrons of the library in question or not.

6) By Exchange: “The UNESCO Bulletin for Libraries” publishers under the heading “Exchange” the list of many periodicals which can be had in exchange. UNESCO has again done an enviable job by publishing a “Handbook on International Exchange of publications, Paris, UNESCO.”

“The periodical and magazine can be acquired by any one or more of the following methods. Mittal has suggested following methods of the procurement of periodical.

1) Subscription.

2) By becoming a member of societies and learned institutions.

3) By Gifts;

4) By Exchange.”

Reference Article:

  • Baburao, S. T. (2011). Management of periodicals in college libraries affiliated to Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University Nanded A study. Retrieved from:
  • Serial acquisition in library, Library Serial acquisition, Serial acquisition
Declaration: Articles shared in this blog are collected from different sources available on the internet to help students of Library and Information Science. Sources are mentioned in the reference section of the article. If you have any objections about the content of this blog, feel free to contact the site admin at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top