Fundamentals of Acquisitions (Feb 15 - March 12)

Event Type: Online/web-based

Topics: Technical Services

Contact: Assocation for Library Collections and Technical Services

Date, Location

Mon, 02/15/2010 - 9:00am - 5:00pm


About the Event

About the Course

The Fundamentals of Acquisitions (FOA) web course focuses on the basics of acquiring monographs and serials:  goals and methods, financial management of library collections budgets, and relationships among acquisitions librarians, library booksellers, subscription agents, and publishers.  In this course, you will receive a broad overview of the operations involved in acquiring materials after the selection decision is made.

Note that in FOA, we distinguish between collection development, which involves the selection of materials for the library; and acquisitions, which orders, receives, and pays for those materials.  In many libraries, selecting and acquiring materials may be done in the same department—in the smallest libraries perhaps even by the same person.  In larger libraries, selection may be done by a collection development department and/or designated subject specialists, while a separate department acquires the selected materials.  Acquisitions, in essence, is the business side of bringing materials into the library or licensing access to library resources.  

As a “Fundamentals” course, FOA is introductory in nature.  It is tailored for librarians and paraprofessionals new to the acquisitions field, in all types and sizes of libraries.  Although many formats and types of materials are discussed, FOA focuses on the acquisition of monographs in a physical format.  Related courses in the Fundamentals Series, hosted by the American Library Association’s Association of Library Collections and Technical Services Division (ALCTS), include Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management and Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Acquisitions.  Courses in cataloging and preservation are coming soon, and one on serials is under development.  Taken as a series or individually, these ALCTS courses provide a basic foundation in the principles and procedures of collection management, technical services, and preservation of library materials.  
Although FOA focuses on physical book acquisitions, the structural components of the course – goals and methods of acquisitions, vendor relations, financial management, and ethics—constitute the key components of acquisition and licensing processes for all library materials, in all formats, in all types of libraries. 

There are four one-hour chat sessions held during the course.  The chat schedule is sent to participants 1- 2 weeks prior to the start of the course.

Who Should Attend?

The Fundamentals of Acquisitions is a distance education, Web-based course tailored for librarians and paraprofessionals new to the acquisitions field. It is a fundamentals course and thus, the topics are introductory in nature. Class segments are geared to cover issues of interest to staff in all types of libraries.

Taking a Web course is different than taking a traditional course in a classroom. Read Are You Ready for Online Learning to make sure the Web course structure is right for you.

Have Questions?

Read the FAQs for more information about the course. Feel free to contact Julie Reese, ALCTS Events Manager at (312) 280-5034 or 1-800-545-2433, ext. 5034; or email at if your question hasn't been addressed.


A Moodle-developed site is composed of self-paced modules with facilitated interaction led by the instructors. There are predetermined start and end dates and a suggested pace which includes interaction with the instructors and your classmates. Students regularly use the forum and chat room functions to facilitate their class participation. Section quizzes are offered and feedback given, however, there is no final class grade.

Contact Hours: 8 hours

Getting Started

The course Web site will be open for 1 week prior to the start date for students to have access to Moodle instructions and set their browser correctly. The course site will remain open 1 week after the end date for students to complete any sections and submit the course evaluation survey.


  • Virginia Taffurelli, Recently Retired as Head of Tech Processing, New York Public Library
  • Betsy Redman, Acquisitions Serials Librarian, Arizona State University
  • K.D. (Katie) Ellis, New Hampshire
  • Jesse Holden, Coordinator of Technical Services, Millersville University
  • Morag Boyd, Special Collections Metadata Librarian, The Ohio State University Libraries


Cost: $109 ALCTS Members; $129 Non-Members.

To Register:


To register, complete the online registration form for the session you would like to attend.

Event Website

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