Answered By: Chris Clouser
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2014     Views: 209

Your question doesn't have a nice, easy answer, because -- "It depends...."

Usually, the library doesn't automatically get books as they are published.  We have to select and order them.  We do have a couple of membership or subscription plans with publishers where they automatically send us new things, but those are in very narrow subject areas with specialized publishers.

In most cases, the library gets recommendations for purchase from the teaching faculty or the subject bibliographers (librarians who concentrate on specific subject areas) scan catalogs and new book lists to identify new titles for purchase.  We have a set of policies based on the subjects and programs taught at IUP that guides the selection of materials we buy.  We may select something immediately after it's published or it might be identified several years after publishing.

Once a decision is made to purchase an item, we send the order to a book jobber (specialized 'bookstore' company that specializes in working with libraries) we have a contract with.  If the jobber has the item in stock, we will usually have it within two weeks.   If the jobber has to contact the publisher to get us a copy, it can add significant time to receive the order.  Once we receive the book, we have to catalog it (put it into our online system so that users can find it) and process it for the shelves.  Generally our average is about six weeks from order to on the shelf, but that can vary widely.

Are you looking for a specific book?  We do have an option where our users can suggest materials for the library to buy.  Go to the Library Home Page (, and look at the 3rd column "Library Services".  The last item reads "Materials Request Forms".  On that page you can find our collection policies and a form to suggest a purchase.  If the library has received an item but it has not yet been cataloged, you'll also find a "Rush Cataloging" request.  If you use that form, we try to have the item ready for you within 24 hours.

I hope this helps.

If you need more information or have further questions, please feel free to submit another LibAnswwers question or contact us at (724)357-3006 or (toll-free) 1-866-836-8815.  You can also contact me directly at 

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