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How to Order Information Resources for Killam Library

Ordering Books

TAMIU faculty can send their book selections to the Acquisitions department (KL215) throughout the academic year in a number of ways:

  • By directly marking publisher's catalogs with the instructor‘s initials next to the titles requested. Send them via campus mail or bring them to KL215.
  • By sending Choice cards either print or electronic (supplied by the library), printouts, bibliographies, or photocopies with the instructor‘s initials. Send them via campus mail or bring them to KL215 (Acquisitions department) or to KL214C (Acquisitions Librarian’s office).
  • By contacting your Department Librarian Liaison, Acquisitions Librarian Rogelio H. Hinojosa rhinojosa@tamiu.edu or Acquisitions Assistant Anna Garza agarza@tamiu.edu.
  • Key data needed in your requests are: instructor‘s name and as much bibliographic information as possible (author, title, price, ISBN, publisher, etc. ISBN numbers are particularly helpful).

As a default, the library orders one copy only for each book and audiovisual title requested. Similarly, the library does not order textbooks. Book orders will be placed on a first-come, first-served basis unless the corresponding department chair asks us to follow a different practice. We do our best to comply with specific internal practices, but please be aware that internal departmental sub-allocations to faculty may slow down the overall response time of our services.

In FY2011 the library has the largest book and audiovisual budget allocation of the past ten years. We are respectfully asking faculty to be more active than ever in submitting selections for new books and AV items. In coordination with the University Library Committee, the library has structured all departmental allocations in such way that there are specific target amounts to be encumbered by each department on a monthly basis, from December through March 31. Details of such targets are available through your department’s library liaison or your ULC department representative. They will also be available through the library’s Uconnect channel (in process).

Ordering Audiovisual Media

Audiovisual materials are usually more expensive than books (an average of $80 for educational titles on DVD). Each Academic department can expend only up to 5% of its total allocation on AV materials. The only units exempted from this rule are the Fine & Performing Arts department and the Office of International Programs.

Selections for audiovisual media (e.g. CD ROM, DVD, audiocassette) can be sent to the Acquisitions department following the same steps as for books above. The Acquisitions Librarian orders titles from all requestors in as balanced a way as possible, usually after consulting with the requestors themselves or the department‘s University Library Committee representative for prioritization as necessary.

Ordering Periodicals and Databases

In contrast to books and AV materials, periodicals and databases represent a recurring annual commitment of funds. Many eBook “collections” fall in the same category. Due to budget restraints and accreditation purposes, the library must give priority to subscriptions supporting new or existing academic programs that require accreditation. All requests for new periodicals and databases are added to the budget request submitted to the administration each year. If the requests are funded we proceed to place the subscriptions. In certain cases it may be possible to cancel existing subscriptions in order to add new, more relevant periodicals or databases. Electronic periodicals are preferred over print periodicals.

Timeline for Acquisitions Services

The library must comply with a number of State contracts and fiscal regulations that sometimes prevent us from providing a fast-as-desired service. Most book requests get ordered within one week after they are received in the Acquisitions department if funds are still available for the corresponding academic unit.

  • Book requests received by April 1 every year will be ordered within the same fiscal year if there is still unencumbered money for your department. Requests received from April 1 through August 31 each year will be ordered as soon as new funds are obtained for the following fiscal year.
  • Most books are ordered through large book distribution vendors with a huge inventory. If a requested book is a hardback and is available in the suppliers‘ inventory, it arrives in the library and is catalogued within 2-3 weeks after the order for it was received in the Acquisitions department. Paperbacks take an extra 6 weeks to be processed, as they are sent for commercial binding. Foreign books and out-of-print materials may take several months to arrive in the library, depending on many factors out of our direct control.
  • When books requested are not in the supplier‘s inventory, vendors put them on "backorder" while they try to find them for us. Contracted vendors have the right to take up to 120 days in trying to locate a book not in their inventory. We can go directly to the publishers or out of print dealers after that grace period expires. We can order directly from non-contracted suppliers only in circumstances of extreme urgency or when their prices are more competitive that the contracted suppliers’ quoted prices, including shipping charges.
  • "Rush requests" from faculty are accepted on an exception basis. They need to be discussed directly with the Acquisitions Librarian. Please do not send rush requests through the regular channels.
  • When requested books arrive in the library they are sent to the Cataloging Section for processing before they are sent to the stacks. The time this process takes varies considerably, but most books are catalogued within two weeks of their arrival. Any book needed immediately by a faculty member can be rush processed. Contact Nerissa Lindsey, our Catalog Librarian at nslindsey@tamiu.edu or call ext 2114 in these cases.


The Acquisitions Section of Killam Library produces several reports to faculty members. This is a quick review of each of them:

  • In-Library report. When books requested are already in the library collection we notify requestors by sending them an Excel file listing the title(s) requested, the date the request was received, and the library location of the book that they asked the library to order.
  • Out-of-print report. We inform faculty members via email when our suppliers report an item as "out of print".
  • Budget status report. Budget status reports are sent regularly through the academic year to College Deans, Department Chairs, University Library Committee members and to all librarians as well.

Last Modified: 12/7/2010 10:35:22 AM
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