Guide to Ethics in Acquisitions—eEditions e-book

The download link for this product can be found on the final confirmation screen after you complete your purchase, and may also be accessed from your Account Profile. For more information about ALA eEditions file types and how to view them on eReaders, desktop computers, and other devices, see this page.

ALA Member
Item Number

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both Members and non-Members. 

If you are Tax-Exempt, please verify that your account is currently set up as exempt before placing your order, as our new fulfillment center will need current documentation. Learn how to verify here.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the authors

The study of ethics, essential for effective acquisitions librarians and collection managers, is largely missing from standard library science curriculum. New library professionals must learn about ethics in librarianship on the job, supplemented by reading, attending conferences, and participating in webinars. Guide to Ethics in Acquisitions provides an historical perspective on ethics related to acquisitions of library materials and gives practical examples of situations that require thoughtful consideration of ethical behavior. Ethical issues include:

  • conflict of interest,
  • vendor relations,
  • intellectual freedom,
  • access, and
  • privacy.

The Guide also examines

  • different ethical codes in librarianship,
  • how these codes have evolved to reflect the changes in library practice, and
  • how they impact acquisitions and related activities.

While the primary focus is on acquisitions, some of these ethical issues have direct impact on the larger collection management of the library. Consequently, the Guide also examines a collection management perspective, but only insofar as it is related to acquisitions. Written from the perspective of an academic library, the Guide to Ethics in Acquisitions can easily be used by those working in other types of libraries, such as school, public, or special.


Organization of the Guide

 Chapter One: Ethics

Definition of EthicsPersonal and Societal ValuesLegal Ethics (State and Federal)Professional Ethics

 Chapter Two: The Acquisitions Librarian and Ethics

Brief History of the Association for Library Collections and Technical ServicesReason for Acquisitions FocusGuidance from Twelve Statements

 Chapter Three: Decision Points in Ethical Collection Development

Intellectual FreedomCollecting Materials According to Collection Development PoliciesSelection StageScope of ContentReceipt of MaterialsChecks and BalancesSecurity of MaterialsCost of PreservationStorage of MaterialEthics of Collection Access

 Chapter Four: Privacy and Confidentiality Issues in Library Acquisitions

The Legal Landscape of Privacy and ConfidentialityWhen Library Best Practices Violate Patron PrivacyRecommendations

 Conclusion Appendix: Major Ethics Codes for LibrarianshipGlossary: Ethics TermsBibliographyAbout the Authors

Wyoma vanDuinkerken

Wyoma vanDuinkerken is the coordinator of cataloging record support and an associate professor at Texas A&M University Libraries. She has also been interim head of cataloging staff, coordinator of monographs acquisitions, reference librarian for Islamic studies, and project leader for the implementation of virtual reference at Texas A&M. Before that, she managed documentation and support and customer service response for a library software company in Canada and worked with the Office of Strategic Business Initiatives of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, managing an extensive project portfolio.

Wendi Arant Kaspar

Wendi Arant Kaspar earned an MLS from the University of Washington in 1994 and an MS in Management from Texas A&M University–College Station. She joined Texas A&M University in 1996 and received tenure in 2002. She is a Professor and Policy Science & Economics Librarian but has held a number of additional administrative roles in the Library College at Texas A&M University, including Assistant Director of Access Services, Coordinator of Outreach Services and Liaison, Coordinator of Electronic Reference Services, and English Liaison Librarian. Her research interests include human resources and management in libraries, innovation in library services, outreach, and liaison. She has written numerous articles and book chapters. She currently serves as the co-Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Academic Librarianship.

Jeanne Harrell

Jeanne Harrell received her MLS from the University of Oklahoma in 1982. She joined the faculty at Texas AandM University in 1985 and received tenure in 1993. She is currently Coordinator of Monograph and Automated Acquisitions and served as Head of Acquisitions for many years. Previously, she was a cataloger and LIAS trainer at the University of Tulsa. Harrell has been active in the Texas Library Association and the American Library Association since 1985 in numerous leadership roles and is currently chair-elect of the Acquisitions Section of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services of the American Library Association. She has published mainly in the area of library acquisitions, most recently in fund accounting and e-book management, including patron-driven acquisitions.