Issues of Book Acquisition in University Libraries: A Case Study of Pakistan
Ameen, Kanwal, Library Philosophy and Practice
Acquiring information resources is a core activity of libraries. University libraries all over the world still acquire and maintain massive book collections while managing other formats. Despite prophecies of vanishing print collections and emergence of the digital paradigm, printed books still have a central role in library collections and publishing industry (Kanwal 2005; Carr 2007)
Until 2005, collections in Pakistan's university libraries (UL) mainly consisted of books (foreign), when the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan provided access to thousands of digital databases (Government of Pakistan. Higher Education Commission). A doctoral study found that in Pakistan, university libraries annual collection funds are mostly spent on new books and serial publications (Ameen 2005a). These funds have increased each year under the present regime; however, the book market has never been capable of efficiently supplying the imported current and research material for libraries. This researcher's experience as university librarian, as faculty member, and a review of literature establishes that university libraries face serious problems in the acquisition of books and journals. Despite the gradual adoption of information and communication technologies, libraries still find it hard to acquire current books through vendors or direct purchase, which makes it difficult to meet clients' needs quickly, efficiently, and economically.
Statement of the problem
There is a need to explore the basic issues in the acquisition of books through purchase in the emerging paradigm. The study explores these issues with reference to major university libraries in Pakistan.
* What are the prevailing strategies of book acquisition in the university libraries of Pakistan?
* What are the major problems in acquisitions?
* What kind of interaction prevails among vendors and acquisitions librarians?
The study uses a multi-method approach. The data was collected in 2003 and 2004 as part of the author's doctoral research. Questionnaires and interview guide were developed to collect quantitative and qualitative data. The questionnaire was sent to the central libraries of 40 major accredited universities in Pakistan. Thirty responses were ultimately received. After initial analysis of that data, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 librarians using the interview-guide. Interviews were then transcribed by the researcher and the text was analyzed and categorized using a thematic approach.
Review of Literature
The literature on acquisition, access, and …
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Publication information: Article title: Issues of Book Acquisition in University Libraries: A Case Study of Pakistan. Contributors: Ameen, Kanwal - Author. Journal title: Library Philosophy and Practice. Publication date: July 2008. Page number: Not available. © 2009 University of Idaho Library. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.
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