Ordering Library Materials

Selection Assistance
When to Order
How to Order (Five options & required information)   
   Rush Orders   
   Order Status
   Reimbursement Requests
Paperback or Hardback?
New or Used?
Film/Video Rentals
Periodical Requests
New Materials

Librarians depend on faculty to participate actively in collection development. All academic departments and selected programs receive annual allocations from the library’s operating budget for the purchase of books, videos, DVDs, and other information resources necessary to support the curriculum in relevant academic disciplines. Department chairs and program directors are responsible for distributing allocations among faculty members or approving/submitting orders on behalf of the department.

All materials that departments purchase with their library allocations are cataloged and added to the library’s collection.

Selection Assistance

The library subscribes to the database Resources for College Libraries, RCLweb (username: goshencollege; password: reference0207), a core list of 65,000 book and e-resource titles in curriculum-specific subjects. Choice reviews and annotations may be accessed for thousands of recommended books.

Book review journals such as Choice, Booklist, and Library Journal, are available in print format in the library and may be searched electronically via Academic Search Premier. Journals of professional associations and other discipline-specific journals also carry reviews.

Choice covers scholarly works and has become a recognized source of quality book reviews for academic libraries. The library’s subscription to this journal includes monthly reviews on 3" X 5" cards for distribution to faculty. Library staff sorts these cards by subject area and sends them to department chairs, who may redistribute them to the members of the department for further consideration.

When to Order

Faculty may order books, videos, DVDs and other library materials for the current academic year any time after July 1. Items ordered by faculty members prior to the distribution of allocations (usually in October or November) will be applied retroactively against the appropriate department’s allocation for the fiscal year in progress.

To avoid a rush of last-minute orders that cannot be processed simultaneously at the end of the fiscal year, two deadlines are suggested for departments during the year – one in the fall term, the other in the spring – by which approximately half of their allocations should be spent. Liaison librarians will inform department chairs and program directors of expenditures and remaining funds periodically through the year and prior to the spring deadline.

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How to Order

The goal of Good Library staff is to make the ordering process as convenient as possible for faculty. You may submit orders in any one of the following ways:
  1. E-mail your liaison librarian a list you have created using RCLweb.
  2. Or
  3. Complete the Library Order Form available on the GC network at M:\Offices\Good Library\Forms\Library_Order_Form.XLT and send it to your liaison librarian as an e-mail attachment.
  4. Or
  5. Create an Amazon.com “wish list.” Please contact your liaison librarian or Mary Beth (marys2@goshen.edu or x7428) for specific instructions on how to submit a wish list as a Good Library order.
  6. Or
  7. Mark Choice cards and return them to your liaison librarian. Please write the faculty name and allocation/fund information on the reverse side of each card.
  8. Or
  9. Send promotional materials (flyers, catalogs with specific items marked, forwarded e-mail messages, web page printouts, etc.) to your liaison librarian. Please be sure to include the faculty name and allocation/fund information.
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Required information

Whatever method you choose, please remember that we need the following information about each item in order to process your order:
  1. Name of faculty member submitting the order
  2. Department allocation or other fund for the order
  3. Author or editor name
  4. Title
  5. ISBN (International Standard Book Number, 13 digit number, if available)*
  6. List price
*If there is no ISBN, please include other information to assist us in finding the material, e.g. publisher and year or vendor name and catalog number. Attach promotional flyers if information about the title is not listed at Amazon.com or in other standard bibliographic sources.

If a title is out of print, unavailable for purchase, or already in the library collection your liaison librarian will be in contact with you so you may spend your allocation on another resource.

If you have questions about ordering or selection, please contact your liaison librarian or Mary Beth Schlabach, Acquisitions Specialist (marys2@goshen.edu or x7428).

Time frame

It takes an average of three months from the time a “non-rush” order is placed until the item is on the shelves. Speed of processing depends on the volume of orders at any given time.

Occasionally, orders are delayed for a longer period of time. This happens when:
  1. The departmental allocation or other fund does not have enough money left. These orders will be saved and ordered when funds become available in the next fiscal year.

  2. Our vendors place a title on backorder or cancel it because it is out of stock. In this case, we will attempt to procure the book from another vendor if the title is still in print.

Rush orders

If you need a book to arrive by a certain date, please indicate that date on your order form and we will expedite processing. Although we make no guarantees, rush items are usually available within two weeks of the order. Faculty may also request pre-cataloging checkouts from library staff.

Order status

We will update departments periodically on the status of their orders. Please contact Mary Beth Schlabach(marys2@goshen.edu or x7428) if you want to know the status of a specific item on order.

The library catalog also shows items that are currently on order:
  • Orders that have not yet been sent to a vendor show a status of “Order initiation.”
  • Orders that have been sent to a vendor, but have not yet arrived, show a status of “On Order.”
  • Orders that have arrived and are waiting for library processing show a status of “Cataloging in Process.”

Reimbursement requests

Buying a book or video from a retail, professional, or online source and then requesting reimbursement is allowable only if the savings is significant or if the library cannot procure the item within the desired time period. In this case, reimbursement requests submitted to the library must be signed by the department chair or program director and accompanied by receipts. Any sales tax and shipping/handling costs (neither of which the library pays under normal circumstances) will be charged against the departmental allocation as well. The library will not approve reimbursement for any items already in the collection.

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Paperback or Hardback?

Consider these points when deciding between paperback or hardback covers:
  1. Is the book considered an enduring "classic" or "pivotal" work in the field? If so, consider a hardback edition..
  2. Do you expect high circulation? If so, consider hardback.
  3. Does the book contain reproductions of artwork and/or other specialized visual content that would be damaged or obstructed if the book had to be rebound? (The "gutters" - margins at the center of the pages - are often reduced during the rebinding process.) If so, consider the hardback.
  4. Costs for binding range from $8 to $10 per book for average-sized books (art books and other oversized materials cost more). Choose paperback if the price difference is more than $10.
  5. Choose paperback if the book is a 2nd, 3rd, etc., edition and will be replaced by a newer edition within several years.
If a faculty member does not indicate a preference on a book order, library staff will make the final decision regarding paperback vs. hardback books.


VHS is rapidly becoming an outdated audiovisual format. We recommend purchasing the DVD (widescreen) editions of films over VHS format. The library will consider VHS purchases under the following circumstances:
  • The film is not available on DVD, and a DVD edition will not be released in the near future.
  • The DVD edition of the film costs over $10 more than the VHS.
Unless the requester has expressed a strong preference for VHS, library staff will make the final decision regarding format.

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New or Used?

The library will purchase used books in some circumstances. Purchasing used books requires increased library staff time because used books do not always arrive in advertised condition, fulfillment rates are lower with used book vendors, and communication is more complex when using multiple vendors or used book websites.

Library staff may choose used books under the following conditions:
  • The advertised condition of the book is new or like new; the book does not contain highlighting, inscriptions or other damage.
  • The cost savings between used and new, including shipping, is significant.
  • Library staff has sufficient time to spend on used book orders.
  • An out of print title with continued relevance to the collection is readily available used.
While faculty members are welcome to suggest used books, library staff will make the final decision regarding their purchase.

Used audiovisual materials tend to be less reliable and often require more staff time to examine for defects. Thus, as a general rule we do not purchase used videos, DVDs, CDs, etc.

Film and Video Rentals

All requests for film and video rental should be made through the library’s technical services staff. When considering a rental, bear in mind that the library actively purchases videos and DVDs for its permanent collection if the material is likely to have ongoing use in the curriculum. For more information about renting vs. buying, see the library’s Video Purchase and Rental Policy.

Periodical Requests

Normally, periodical purchase decisions are made as a department and are relayed to the liaison librarian by the department chair.

New Materials

New materials are displayed in the NewsNook on the first floor (adjacent to the Reference Room) and may be checked out at the circulation desk.

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Updated 19-Jan-2010 LGC