Libraries are organised into units / departments / sections based on the functions that they are expected to perform. Acquisition Department (=AD) is one among them and is concerned with various activities relating to collection development. Its objective is to build up information resources in conformity with the objectives of the parent institution on the one hand, and that which is suitable to the differential information requirements of the different users on the other. It involves the processes of selection, procurement and accessioning of documents. The requirements of selection and acquisition are given below:
A Selection Policy (involving a statement about users and needs; subject, topic or mission to be dealt with and type of information sources to be covered). Selection Aids and Tools which will help in selection and verification. Specification of a Selection Process (involving decisions on who selects; procedures for judging intrinsic value of information in sources and procedures for judging demand and user appropriateness).
Procedures for procurement of necessary information sources. In cases where no outright procurement is planned or possible procedures for access to sources, e.g., getting on loan, photocopying pertinent sections, getting permission to use them in another information centre/ system, etc., have to be set.
Specification of procedures for taking all the books and documents acquired to be added to the stock of the library which involves the assignment of a serial number called Accession Number and, if applicable, a Donation Number. Every item, and its bibliographic details thus, entered in the Accession Register. Thus, these three successive stages of operations - selection; procurement and accessioning - correspond to the three sections of the Acquisition Department. The collection of a library, as you know, can contain various types of documents. Some libraries may have a special preference for specific types of documents. However, in most libraries books form the major part of the collection. It is, therefore, usual to refer to the activities in AD as book selection, book ordering and book accessioning respectively. Nevertheless, it may be noted that acquisition of all types of documents comes within the scope of AD. However, there is one exception. Acquiring current issues of periodicals and newspapers in not done by AD. Instead it is done by the Periodicals Department. AD has to deal with periodicals and newspapers only when they are received as bound volumes.