Acquiring Library Resources

There is no longer a form for requesting library purchases.

  • Items added to your Leganto Reading List are automatically considered for purchase, and we'll contact you through your list.
  • Requests for purchases outside of Leganto lists can be sent to Please include details about the item and what it supports.
  • See Faculty Services: Acquisitions.


Each year the Library is allocated a budget with which to purchase Library materials. The budget is divided into two portions:

  1. Most is used to pay for print and electronic subscriptions, interdisciplinary and reference materials, maps and government documents, freight and bindery services.
  2. The balance is allocated across undergraduate and graduate departments.

Generally print and electronic subscriptions account for about 90% of acquisitions purchases, with the balance used for print or electronic monograph (book) purchases, ongoing series, and audio-visual materials.

Factors that have an impact on the spending power of the Library budget include the rate of inflation in the publishing industry, exchange rates for foreign currencies, and the discount rates available from book vendors.

Selection of Monographs (Books)

The Library regularly selects monographs, including outstanding academic books, prize winners, and thematic collections. However, much of the monograph selection is based on requests from faculty members through their Leganto reading lists. These requests are reviewed by a Learning & Liaison Librarian, who decides what can be purchased with the current funds available.   

A single copy of any monograph is normally acquired.  At the Librarian's discretion, or for local conservation purposes, a second copy may be acquired.  For more specific criteria on selection, please refer to the Library Resource Management Guidelines.

The monograph acquisitions requests must be submitted by December 31 each year

Purchase of Monographs (Books)

Materials are ordered by the Library throughout the year. We do not close for holidays in the summer. If material is required for a fall course, requests should be submitted in the spring, since it can take several months for an item to arrive and make its way through the workflow of cataloguing and processing.

Monographs may be ordered rush and should be marked as such at time of ordering.  Items that are designated rush are expedited through ordering, cataloguing, and processing and involve an additional handling charge from the vendor. If the material being ordered is required for Reserve, this should also be noted - see Submitting Reserves.

The Library often uses book service providers (also known as jobbers or vendors) for the purchase of new print monographs, including some with expertise in acquiring specialized, regional, or foreign-language materials. We use jobbers for a myriad of reasons, including the fact that they offer significant discounts, place our orders on account, have liberal return policies, and offer better service over sellers such as Chapters or Amazon, although we use these as well. We also acquire out-of-print material using our regular vendors or services such as AbeBooks.

The Library also purchases sets of e-books licensed for our institution.  More publishers have moved into licensing e-books for universities, and we take advantage of large consortial deals when they are relevant to our needs and cost effective. We anticipate that this format will proliferate in the near future.

Serials (Journals & Periodicals)

Print serial subscriptions are also ordered through jobbers, principally because they offer better discounts as well as the benefit of service in tracking lost or missing issues. Most electronic serial subscriptions are acquired either directly from the publisher, or via consortial purchases through the federal Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) or the provincial Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). Many, but not all, of our full-text serials are available through Scholars Portal.  Talk to your Learning & Liaison Librarian about any new or existing subscriptions.

Audio-Visual Materials

Where possible, we prefer to purchase videos via online streaming services. The Library also uses jobbers to acquire non-print material such as DVDs. Alternately, we may order direct from places like the National Film Board. Films purchased for a library are often much more costly than those sold to individuals.  Heavily used audio-visual materials, or those required for online courses may be selected to be hosted and streamed. 

For more specific criteria on selection, please refer to the Library Resource Management Guidelines.

If you have any questions about the Library Acquisitions procedure, contact