Acquisition Operations and Supplier Performance:An Evaluative Study of Central Library, IIT Kharagpur


  • Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Library and Information Centre, Kolkata, India
  • Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, 110 068, India


The Acquisition Section of Central Library, IIT Kharagpur conducts a mix of manual and computerized operation to perform the acquisition work. LibSys, a commercially available integrated library house keeping system, is being used to eliminate purchasing duplicate copies of books, generating order forms, processing bills and completing entries of bibliographic details for onward processing of books. Order files are maintained using reports provided by LibSys, but the accession and invoice registers are still maintained in handwritten forms. The Section collects requests for books from near about 500 faculty members attached to over 30 departments of the Institute. It then interacts and places orders for these books with around 40 suppliers who are local as well as outsiders, checks and accessions the procured books and transfers them to the Technical Processing Section for further processing such as classification, cataloguing, and indexing and processes the bills for payment. The current annual budget allocation is Rs. 1.5 Crores and around 3000 specialized (mostly international) books are added to the collection annually. On an average, the Section places orders for purchasing over 1600 titles, generates about 1000 orders and processes around 700 Bills. To examine how the library acquisition section meets the expectation of users and book suppliers, an evaluation of the Acquisition section is being attempted to. Apart from this, the Acquisition Section is also interested in assessing the performance of its different suppliers. Time required for ordering recommended non-duplicate titles, time taken for assigning accession numbers, time involved in processing bills are selected as vital parameters to judge the efficiency of acquisition operations. Similarly supply time and percentage of books supplied are treated as indicators to assess the performance of a book supplier. To complete the evaluation in a time bound manner, the time involved in scanning and analyzing the required data from the handwritten registers would have been major constraints and hence the study adopted data collected and available from the software package for this exercise. The results obtained out of evaluation using data collected from the LibSys package over a three year period from 2002 to 2005 are presented in this study in tabular format. The results of the study would help to assess the performance of a large acquisition system in an educational Institute of repute and its suppliers drawn from different corners of the country.


Document Acquisition, Supplier Performance, Case Study.

Subject Discipline

Library Management

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