Webology, Volume 5, Number 1, March, 2008

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Book Review

Agee, Jim, Acquisitions go global: An introduction to library collection management in the 21st century . Published by Chandos Publishing, Chandos House, 5& 6 Steadys Lane, Stanton Harcourt, Oxford OX29 5RL, United Kingdom. 2007, xviii, 132 p., Paperback, ISBN 1-84334-326-6 £ 39.95, Hardback ISBN 1-84334-327-4 £ 57.00.

Acquisitions librarianship is the key to having a rich collection and being able to serve information needs of the library’s user community best. An acquisitions librarian needs several skills including financial and managerial skills. Jim Agee, a librarian with twelve years of experience, has tried to write an ‘introduction’ to the acquisitions librarianship for the information professionals. ‘Acquisitions Go Global’ is an attempt by the author to share his practical experiences in different aspects of acquisitions librarianship and collection management with librarians and information professionals.

The book consists of eight chapters. The first chapter is about community analysis. It discusses issues concerning knowing the user community of the library. Knowing users is fundamental to all library activities from acquisitions to providing services. The second chapter deals with the evaluation of collection. It discusses two main approaches to collection evaluation which are the user-centred evaluation and the collection-centred evaluation. The next chapter is on selection of material and it introduces selection tools that librarians can use for selecting library material; tools such as publisher catalogues, book fairs and book reviews are introduced. Some theoretical and practical issues related to the management of the collection are the subject of the next chapter on ‘collection management’.

Acquisitions librarianship entails many financial considerations that a librarian needs to take into account in order to spend the library’s budget in the most efficient way. These financial considerations are the subject of the fifth chapter. In Chapter Six, book chain development is considered including some suggestions for direct involvement of acquisitions librarians in developed or developing information societies. The next chapter is about an important element in acquisitions librarianship which is vendors. The chapter is about vendor assessment and it deals with techniques that librarians can apply to find out which company provides a better service for the library. The last chapter of the book is a short chapter on ‘Speculations about the future’. The author tries to inspire readers to speculate how the acquisitions librarianship might evolve and change in the future as we witness constant changes in the information technology and services.

The book is part of a series targeted at Information Professionals. The information given is concise and very helpful as they are based on years of experience of the author. Although the book briefly discusses the effect of digital technology and the Internet age on the collection management I would have liked to see a bit more in this area.

Overall, the book is an easy and joyful read that could be very helpful for the students, information professionals and librarians who want to acquaint themselves with collection management. The book has been written in straightforward English. It has a short glossary of acquisitions technical terms and is illustrated with helpful pictures and diagrams, and the author provides insightful examples and case studies from different countries around the world.

Hamid R. Jamali, PhD
Department of Information Technology
Tarbiat Moallem University, Iran

Bibliographic information of this book review for citing:

Jamali, H. R. (2008). "Review of: Agee, J. Acquisitions go global: An introduction to library collection management in the 21st century." Oxford: Chandos. Webology, 5(1), Book Review 12. Available at: http://www.webology.org/2008/v5n1/bookreview12.html

Copyright © 2008, Hamid R. Jamali