Acquisitions Globalized: The Foreign Language Acquisitions Experience in a Research Library

Judit H. Ward


This paper highlights foreign language titles from the perspective of acquisitions in a large academic research library. Selecting, ordering, cataloging, and providing access to non-English materials reach beyond the boundaries of departments responsible for the individual tasks. Assignments require different levels of language proficiency ranging from bibliographic proficiency to the near-native proficiency of the educated speaker. The highest level of language proficiency is used at the earliest and latest point of technical services (i.e., ordering and cataloging), and the rest requires only bibliographic proficiency or none at all. Because international vendor experiences vary country by country, strong cooperation is critical between the partners in the acquisition process. Vendor-supplied records used for foreign language acquisition purposes seem to have the potential to improve accuracy in bibliographic records.

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