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Bibliographer's Manual

Table of Contents | I. Introduction | II. Collection Development at UCB | III. Bibliographers | IV. Functions & Activities | V. Appendix



IV. Functions & Activities

Due to the wide disparity of characteristics between various disciplines, it is not possible to invent “rules” or even priorities for all bibliographers. For instance, close relations with publishers and vendors may be essential for Special Collections but not for many other disciplines. Selection of materials may not be as important as acting as faculty liaison for disciplines with small budgets, whereas selecting materials may be the primary occupation of bibliographers whose disciplines have a heavy volume of publishing. Thus it is essential that the following be considered not as absolute but as general guidelines to be applied in different ways to different disciplines.


A bibliographer should periodically review the discipline’s collection development statement. If revisions are made, the bibliographer is responsible for sending a copy to the Faculty Director, Collection Development.

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A. Selection of New Materials

  • Approval Plan: Click here for information on approval plans - or here for Virtual Approval Plan info


    Other Monograph Orders


    To supplement the Approval Plan, bibliographers will need to submit individual orders to the Acquisitions Department. To order additional monographs or other non-serial items, sufficient information in the form of a brochure, an on-line record, or a catalog may be placed in the “New Orders” basket in Acquisitions or sent to Acquisitions. Be sure to indicate the fund code, bibliographer’s initials, and whether it is an added copy or an added edition. An online record may be emailed to the Assistant to the Faculty Director, Acquisitions, with the required information. The bibliographer should encourage purchase suggestions from departmental faculty and students. However, these should be treated as suggestions. The final decision belongs to the bibliographer.


    Large Microform Sets


    Before ordering large microform sets that consist of many parts, each of which requires a cataloging record, bibliographers should consider the cataloging/access implications. It is imperative that all options be considered for access (for instance, MARC records, e-guides that may be linked to collection-level records in Chinook, and/or print guides) and every attempt made to select the one that will provide the most detailed information possible to patrons. The Faculty Director for Cataloging is available to discuss the possibilities. Also, there should be a plan in place for storage of large sets.


    Out-of-Print (OP) Orders


    Acquisitions will inform a bibliographer if a requested book is out of print. The bibliographer must then ask Acquisitions to pursue the order through out-of-print sources. It is the policy of Acquisitions to instruct the vendor that, if a used copy is found, Acquisitions be informed of the price and condition of the book before it is purchased. The bibliographer must consider these factors and instruct whether or not to purchase. Promptness is of the essence since the copy may be purchased by someone else. It will be more expedient if the bibliographer can include with the instructions a maximum amount to spend on a used copy.


    If the bibliographer knows in advance that the book is out of print, the bibliographer should inform Acquisitions and give a maximum amount to be spent.


    There are many factors, not only with ordering but also with choosing, purchasing, and shipping, that can cause OP orders to go very slowly. They require patience and close attention on the part of the bibliographer.


    Special Orders


    Special orders could include those at auction, from foreign countries, from individuals, etc.; materials purchased with more than one fund; prepublication orders; orders that are out of the ordinary. For all such purchases the bibliographer must consult with the Faculty Director, Collection Development.




    It is expected that media purchases (video, dvd, sound recording, cd, etc.) to support teaching and research for a discipline be purchased by bibliographers using monograph funds. Note the following exceptions:

    • Media materials designed to facilitate the learning of foreign languages. Such materials are provided to the campus community by the Anderson Language Technology Center (ALTEC).

    • Visual materials such as films, dvds, videos, etc. to be used for class instruction. Two times a year a notice is sent to all campus departments asking for requests for such materials. Funds used for these purchases were “inherited” through Academic Media which was previously housed in the Stadium.


    Serials: Click here for information on the selection of serials


    Gifts (Gifts-in-Kind Policy)

    Gifts-in-kind (books, materials) may add substantially to the Libraries’ collections or they may add substantially to staff work load without significant benefit to the collections. Remember also, space is at a premium. It is not possible to make rules about gifts, but rather suggestions are offered that must be tempered with common sense. If a gift is accepted, a gift form should be filled out and submitted to Acquisitions. Always make sure the donor understands the conditions under which the gift is accepted. Before gifts are accepted, the donor must be aware that those materials not put into the Libraries’ collection will be disposed of according to our policies. When in doubt or when faced with a very large gift, the bibliographer should consult with the Faculty Director for Gifts.


    Large gifts from out of town require more preparation than a couple of boxes of books from a professor. For large gifts, the bibliographer must request a list before accepting the gift. The list may then be checked to determine if the materials are suitable for the Libraries. If not (mostly textbooks or duplicates, for example), then the gift should be politely refused. Generally, gifts are delivered to Norlin or to the branches. Periodicals should seldom be accepted. An exception could be a long run of a rare periodical. Monetary worth of the gift must be determined by the donor.


    A gift presents a bibliographer with an opportunity to create positive public relations for the Libraries. However, be very careful about special handling or storage requests made by the donors. These may not be in the best interests of the Libraries or its patrons. Check with Acquisitions or Collection Development to ascertain if it is even possible to honor such a request.


    When gifts-in-kind come in through the Acquisitions Department, bibliographers will be contacted to decide on acceptance or rejection of materials.


    Gifts of money should be referred to the Faculty Director for Gifts. The Special Collections Department, Archives, and Music Department (including American Music Research Center) maintain their own gift policies.


    Reimbursement for Out-of-Country Purchases: See Appendix for these guidelines

B. Collection Management

  • In this manual, collection management will involve overseeing and/or working with materials after they have been received or added to the collection. Heads of Departments are responsible for collection management in their departments. Collection management may include other topics in this manual as well as those discussed below.




    Unless otherwise instructed, books will be sent to locations in the stacks or in the branches according to call number. Bibliographers may specify the location of approval books on the pink slip. The desired locations of other orders or gifts may be specified at time of ordering or processing. Unless otherwise requested, non-book materials will be sent to Media. Small numbers of books may be transferred in some circumstances with the permission of the person in charge of the area to which the material is going.


    Print serials will be located in the appropriate branch, department, Norlin Periodicals Room, or in off-site storage.


    Off-site Storage

    UCB Libraries, along with the University of Colorado at Denver (UCD), University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCHSC), and University of Denver (DU) share an off-site storage facility in Aurora called Preservation and Access Service Center for Colorado Academic Libraries (PASCAL). In general, our Libraries use it for older materials, back issues of journals, some special materials, etc. Bibliographers may be called upon to choose materials from their discipline for transfer to PASCAL. These transfers will be subject to the PASCAL agreement between the four schools. Bibliographers should always remember that the space is expensive to maintain and only materials worth keeping should be designated to go there. See PASCAL policies in Appendix.



    Withdrawal, or weeding, may be the best option for some materials rather than sending to PASCAL. Some reasons for withdrawal could be that the materials are too fragile to use, are damaged, are out of date and not useful for historical purposes, are not appropriate for a university collection, represent too many copies, etc.


    It is very difficult to suggest overall procedures for weeding due to the very diverse natures of the different disciplines. Some disciplines value their old books, some do not and may need only the minimum for historical purposes. Some faculty groups value printed materials more than others. Bibliographers are encouraged to formulate their own withdrawal procedures. These may be submitted to the Faculty Director, Collection Development, for comment and approval.


    Preservation personnel can offer advice and alternatives in cases that involve preservation matters. (Note: Be careful when considering the withdrawal of boxed materials. The fact that materials are boxed means that they have been previously reviewed and found worthy of retention. However, PASCAL is a good location for boxed materials.) Withdrawal decisions may be reviewed by the Faculty Director, Collection Development.


    Replacement of Lost or Damaged Materials


    The Libraries maintains a fund (5brep) that is to be used to replace lost or damaged materials that are still considered vital to the collection. Bibliographers should consider edition, use, price, and availability before requesting a replacement. To request that materials be charged to the replacement fund (5brep), send justification and availability information to the Faculty Director, Collection Development. Bibliographers may want to run a periodic list of monographs in their discipline that have been lost or lost and paid for.




    An important part of collection management is ascertaining that materials remain in good condition. This responsibility may rest with department heads, as in the branches. In Norlin, the Circulation Department will detect materials in need of attention and direct them to the Preservation Department. If there is any question as to the proper disposition of the material, the bibliographer will be asked to decide. The Preservation Department relies on bibliographers to establish and update priorities for collections salvage in the event of a disaster. Priorities for salvage are listed in the Collections Emergency Plan on the Preservation Department webpage. The Preservation Department evaluates new and damaged books for binding, repair, or special enclosures and can assist bibliographers in collection management.


    See the Preservation web site for instructions and procedures.


    Transfer to Special Collections


    A bibliographer may request that Special Collections consider a book for their collection. See Guidelines in Appendix.