Acquisitions Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Acronyms/Abbreviations


Acquisition Services
Activities related to obtaining library materials by purchase, exchange, or gift, including preorder bibliographic searching, ordering and receiving materials, processing invoices and the maintenance of the necessary records related to acquisitions.

A volume of maps, plates, engravings, tables, etc., with or without descriptive text. It may be an independent publication or it may have been issued as accompanying material.

The person or corporate body chiefly responsible for the intellectual or artistic content of a work, whose name is included in the author file. 



An order which was not completed when originally placed, but is being held for future delivery.

Batch Processing
Processing of data after it has been accumulated over a period of time, as opposed to processing it immediately or online.

Bibliographic Data
All the pertinent information that defines a specific item, including author, title, edition or volume, publisher, publication date and ISBN.

Bibliographic Item
A document or set of documents in any physical form, published, issued or treated as an entity, and as such forming the basis for a single bibliographic description.

Bibliographic Record
A record of a bibliographic item that comprises all data contained in or accommodated by a bibliographic format, such as MARC.

Bibliographic Reference
A set of bibliographic elements essential to the identification of a work, document, or bibliographic item to which a reference is made.

Situation whereby a library solicits from all available vendors and offers all or most of its business to the vendor that offers the highest discounts.

Billing Price (or Billed Price)
The cost of the book after it has been discounted or has had a surcharge added to the price; the invoice price.

Blanket Order
A plan by which a publisher or wholesaler agrees to supply a library one copy of all publications, as issued, within the specified limits of the plan, generally without return privileges.

A person whose business is selling books, especially the owner of a bookstore.



Cancellation Period
The period of time a library allows a vendor to provide a book before canceling an order; ninety days is a common cancellation period.

A list of library materials contained in a collection, a library, or a group of libraries, arranged according to some definite plan. In a wider sense, a list of materials prepared for a particular purpose (e.g., an exhibition catalog, a sales catalog).

Those activities performed in the preparation of bibliographic records for a catalog.

Cataloging-in-Publication (CIP)
A prepublication cataloging program through which publishers provide bibliographic data to the national library or other cataloging agency where a bibliographic record is prepared and returned to the publisher; this information is usually printed on the verso of the title leaf.

Notice sent to a vendor asking why an ordered item has not been provided.

Three or more independent works or parts of works by one author published together. Or, two or more independent works or parts of works by more than one author published together and not written for the same occasion or for the publication in hand.

A statement at the end of an item giving information about one or more of the following: the title, author(s), publisher, printer, and date of publication or printing. It may include other information.

See Subscription.

Copy Cataloging
The cataloging of a bibliographic item by using an existent bibliographic record and altering it as needed to fit the item in hand and to conform to local cataloging practices.

Copyright Date
The year as it appears in the copyright notice.



Data Base
The entire collection of files maintained in the computer system.

An individual or company who buys and sells books or other materials acquired by libraries.

An agent or agency that has exclusive or shared marketing rights for a publication.

Drop Ship
Mechanism whereby a library orders items from a vendor, the vendor orders from a producer, and the producer ships the items to the library, the producer bills the vendor, and the vendor bills the library.



EOM (End of the Month) Discount
An incentive offered by vendors to get customers to pay their bill early; usually a 1 or 2 percent additional discount may be deducted by the customer if bill is paid by the end of the month.

All copies produced from essentially the same type image (whether by direct contact or by photographic or other methods) and issued by the same entity.

Electronic Ordering
Using a computer, a modem, and certain software, the customer transmits an order via a dedicated telephone line directly into the vendor's database. The order may also be transmitted via the Internet. Also known as online ordering.

To set aside or commit money to pay for materials ordered; moneys can only be unencumbered when materials are paid for or when orders not received are canceled.

Mistakes or errors. Generally encountered in the term "errata slip," a small sheet of paper laid into a book by a publisher who has discovered errors prior to publication.

Items sent from one library to another library in exchange for publications, which that library sends in return.



Fill Rate

The percentage of materials ordered that is actually supplied by a vendor over a given period of time.

Folded leaf
A wide leaf bound in at one edge and folded one or more times to fit within the fore-edge.

Folded Plate
An oversize plate bound in by one edge and folded to fit the book.

Introductory remarks preceding the text of a book, written by someone other than the author of the work. Often used interchangeably with preface.

First Edition
Generally used by book dealers and collectors to mean the first appearance of a work in book or pamphlet form, in its first printing.

Freight Pass Through (FPT)
Mechanism designed by publishers for retail booksellers; the price charged to the bookseller (or library) is usually fifty cents less than book cover price indicates, to cover shipping costs for the bookseller/library.

An allocation of money and/or other assets set aside for a specified purpose in the budget, constituting a separate accounting entity.

Fund Accounting
In terms of acquisitions, the process whereby departmental or branch accounts within the library are charged for what they have purchased.



Gathering Plan
See Blanket Order.

Items donated to be included in a library's collection.



Half Title
The page carrying nothing but the title of the book, usually preceding the title page.



Adorned by hand with richly colored ornamental initial letters, decorative designs or illustrations. Illumination flourished with books intended for up market customers, especially during the late medieval period.

This term indicates that an item contains illustrations.

A photograph, drawing, map, table or other reproduction or systematic arrangement of data designed to elucidate or decorate the contents of a publication. Narrowly defined, an illustration appears within the text, or on a leaf with the text on the reverse side.

The part of the front matter of a book which states the subject and discusses the treatment of the subject in the book.

All copies of an item printed at one time from one setting of type. There may be several impressions, presumably unaltered, of one edition.

A systematic guide to the contents of a file, document, or group of documents, consisting of an ordered arrangement of terms or other symbols representing the contents and references, code numbers, page numbers, etc., for accessing the contents.

In Print
Books still available from the publisher; not yet declared out of print.

Independent Distributor (ID)
Vendor who distributes items to retailers within a given territory.

The university, library, or other corporate entity empowered to enter into a contract or to otherwise be responsible for ensuring compliance with that contract.

A document supplied by a vendor indicating the character, quantity, price, terms, and nature of delivery of goods sold or services rendered.

Invoice Symbol
In the book trade, information supplied by a vendor to explain why materials were not shipped; for example, NYP-not yet published; OP-out of print; OS-out of stock; NOP-not our publication.

The process of ensuring that an order, item received, and invoice is correct, creating a payment invoice for the approval of payment, and then forwarding the item to cataloging.

ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
A unique, ten-digit number assigned to every title, edition, and format published in most countries of the world. Essential for precise identification in searching and online ordering.

ISSN (International Standard Serial Number)
Unique, eight-digit number assigned to each serial published in most countries of the world.

Any physical piece of the library's holdings, including books, serials, maps, manuscripts, scores, sound recordings, audiovisuals, and computer data files.

Item Description
The description of, and related local and other bibliographic information for, an item.



See Wholesaler.




publisher's entire inventory of books still in print. May also refer to projected inventory, for example, the 2000 fall list includes those books that will be published in the fall of 2000.

List Price
The price at which a publication is made available to the public. It customarily is established by the publisher in is exclusive of any discount.



A generic term for any medium, transparent or opaque bearing images large enough to be read easily by the naked eye.

A representation, normally to scale and on a flat medium, of a selection of material or abstract features on, or in relation to, the surface of the earth or of another celestial body.

Physical entities of any substance that serve as carriers of information, e.g., books, graphics, audio recordings, or machine-readable data files.

A sheet of film bearing a number of micro images in a two-dimensional array.

A length of film bearing a number of micro images in a linear array.

A generic term for any medium, transparent or opaque, bearing micro images.

A book that is complete in itself, that is, not a serial.



Net Price
The price charged for an item, less discount



On Approval
Books provided to libraries by vendors for examination in light of possible purchase.

Online Ordering
See electronic ordering.

On Order
An acquisitions descriptor denoting the processing of bibliographic items from the time they are ordered until cataloging and physical processing have been completed.

Order Card
A 3x5 card that contains the bibliographic information, expected list price, authorization and three-letter department code of an item requested for order. Card colors indicate the library and the type of item; Cook: white-monographic, blue-media, ivory-music, green-serial; Cox: yellow: monographic.

Ordering/Placing an Order
The process of transmitting an item's bibliographic data as a purchase order to a selected vendor.

Out of Print (OP)
No longer available from the publisher.

Out of Stock (OS)
Not available from publisher or wholesaler, but not yet declared out of print.

Out of Stock Indefinitely (OSI)
Quaint euphemism used by publishers to denote a title that for some reason they do not wish to declare out of print but are unlikely to ever reprint. One step away from OP.

Refers to a library handing one or more of its functions over to be performed by a vendor.

The fixed cost of running a business. The entire general costs other than costs for materials and production: salaries and benefits, rent, office supplies, telephones, office equipment, and so on.



An independent publication consisting of a few leaves of printed matter stitched together but not bound, usually enclosed in paper covers.

A publication issued in successive parts at stated or regular intervals and intended to be continued indefinitely. Usually it has a distinctive title, each issue contains articles by different contributors, and there are two or more issues per year. Newspapers and society proceedings are generally not considered periodicals, but usage of the term varies from library to library. See also Serial.

A not preceding the text of a book, which states the origin, purpose, and scope of an item contained in the item and sometimes includes acknowledgements of assistance. When written by someone other than the author, it is more properly called a foreword. To be distinguished from the Introduction, which deals with the subject of the item.

Physical Processing
The activities carried out by a library to prepare items for use, including affixing labels or due-date slips, stamping ownership marks, etc.

Plant Cost
The fixed cost of producing a book includes composition, typesetting, design, color separations. It is a fixed cost because these things need to be done only once in the production process.

A leaf containing illustrative matter, with or without explanatory text, that does not form part of either the preliminary or the main sequence of pages or leaves.

A container for holding loose materials (e.g., paintings, drawings, papers, unbound sections of a book, and similar materials) consisting of two covers joined together at the back.

Author's introductory statement.

Publication Date
The year in which an item is published, in distinction from its copyright date.

Firm or other corporate body or the person responsible for the manufacture and distribution of an item to the public.

Purchase Order
The library's official order form for materials to be provided by the vendor.



A line of items waiting to be processed in a system.



The process that involves checking the elements of a received item's bibliographic data against the order; if the item received is indeed the item originally requested, then the item can be invoiced for payment purposes.

A collection of related items of data treated as a unit. The author, title and call number fields may constitute the item record in a circulation system.

The right-hand page of a book, usually bearing an odd page number. Also, the side of a printed sheet intended to be read first.

Remainder Dealer
One who specializes in buying publishers' overstock and then reselling to retailers and libraries at bargain prices.

Unsold copies of a book that the publisher chooses to sell to a remainder dealer; once remainders are thus sold, books are considered out of print.

A new impression of an edition. A new edition from a new setting of type, for which an impression of a previous edition has been used as a copy.

Books returned to the publisher for full or partial credit within a certain time period.



The process of searching the library catalog, all on-order and in-process files, and serial records to ensure that an item requested is not already in the library's collection, or that an additional copy is, in fact, desired.

The process of choosing which titles should go into a library's collection.

A publication in any medium issued in successive parts bearing numeric or chronological designations and intended to be continued indefinitiely. Serials include periodicals; newspapers; annuals (reports, yearbooks, etc.); the journals, memoirs, proceedings, transactions, etc., of societies and numbered monographic series.

Series Title Page
An added title page bearing the series title proper and usually, though not necessarily, other information about the series (e.g., statement of responsibility, numeric designation, data relating to publication, title of the item within the series).

Books to be sent later because they were not in the dealer's stock when the order was received.

Short Discount
Discount that is less than the standard trade discount.

Small Press Publishing
Publishing by nontraditional publishers other than trade, university press, religious publishers. Often referred to as alternative or independent publishing.

Standing Order
An order for all works in a series, all volumes of a set or all editions of a work.

An order for a title that appears over a long period of time; this includes titles with a specified number of volumes not all published simultaneously, as well as series titles.



Technical Services
The area of library operations that includes acquisitions of materials, the organization and bibliographic control of materials, physical processing, and collection maintenance.

The distinguishing name of a work or a subdivision of it, such as a chapter of the book.

Title Page
The title page, near the beginning of the book, lists the title and subtitle of the book, the authors, editors, and/or contributors, the publisher or printer, and sometimes the place and date of publication. The title page information, not the half-title page or covers, should be used for cataloguing.

Title Page Index
Used in describing periodicals, to indicate that the title page and index are present. Without a title page and index, the volume is incomplete.

Trade Book
Book intended for the general reader and sold to wholesalers, retail booksellers and libraries.

Trade Discount
The usual discount on trade books; most likely higher than discounts on most other categories of books.

Trade Publisher
One who produces trade books.



Uniform Title
The particular title by which a work is to be identified for cataloging purposes.

University Press Publishing
Books published under the aegis of a university. Usually intended for the scholarly community, although recent trends indicate that more university presses are publishing books for the general reader.

To modify a file with current information.



One who sells materials to a library; may be a publisher, wholesaler, or retailer.

The process of determining that a requested bibliographic item has actually been published and that the supplied bibliographic data are correct and adequate for use as order information.

The second, or rear, side of a leaf in a book; in other words, the left-hand page of an opened book. Also called the reverse.

In the bibliographic sense, a major division of a work, regardless of its designation by the publisher, distinguished from other major divisions of the same work by having its own inclusive title page, half title, cover title or portfolio title, and usually independent pagination, foliation or signatures. This major bibliographic unit may include various title pages and/or paginations. In the material sense, all that is contained in one binding, portfolio, etc., whether as originally issued or as bound after issue. The volume as a material unit may not coincide with the volume as a bibliographic unit.



A book dealer who buys from publishers and sells to libraries and bookstores. Synonymous with Jobber.



AACR1 Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, edition 1
AACR2 Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, edition 2
AACR2R Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, edition 2 (1998 revised)
ALA American Library Association
ANSI American National Standards Institute
BIP Books in Print
CIP Cataloging in Publication
IFLA International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions
ISBD International Standard Bibliographic Description
ISBN International Standard Book Number
ISSN International Standard Serial Number
LC Library of Congress
LCSH Library of Congress Subject Heading
LCCN Library of Congress Card Number
LCCS Library of Congress Classification System
MARC Machine Readable Cataloging
NOP Not our publication
NYP Not yet published
OCLC Online Computer Library Center
OP Out of print
OS Out of stock
OSI Out of stock indefinitely
OPAC Online Public Access Catalog
UBC Universal Bibliographic Control
UP University Press
USMARC United States MARC


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Acronyms/Abbreviations
Bib Services AcquisitionsCatalogingAuthority Control Serials