Stock Acquisition in Alex Ekwueme Library Federal Polytechnic


The work on this topic stock acquisition in Alex Ekwueme Library, Federal Polytechnic oko as a case study cannot be complete without review.

Stock acquisition is the process of procuring new materials for the library. It can therefore be said that the existence and use of library depends on the acquisition of materials that satisfies the needs of various users in the library. When what is required by users of a particular library is not in the library’s stock, the library is not able to achieve its aim and objectives. This literature review will be discussed under the following headings:


Acquisition policy

Types of library materials/stocks

Library materials/stocks

Problems of stock acquisition


Library performs the functions of acquiring, informing, educating, interpreting, and entertaining library users/clienteles. According to the encyclopedia of library and information science (2009) it is the transmission of the social heritage from one generation to the next.

2.2   Acquisition

Omoleyede (1981) says that: Acquisition is the process whereby book, journals and other learning materials are taken into stock of a library.

Harold (1998) says that acquisition is the process of obtaining books and other documents for a library, documentation center or archives.

Debo (1984) says that acquisition is the process of obtaining books and non-book materials are collected in a library or a group of libraries.

By this he mean that in addition to books, periodicals, government publication, reports, micro-forms, films that carry printed materials and reduce them to a great length are collected into a library.

Edward Evans (1979) also said that acquisition is the process of identifying the strengths and weakness of a library’s collections in terms of patrons’ needs and communities resources and the attempt to correct the existing weakness if any.

From Evans identification it can be said that acquisition attempt to evaluate the library’s stock.

At this juncture, it would be very important to look at the purpose of stock acquisition and procedures in acquisition of books (BOOK PROCESSING).

2.1.1        The main purpose of acquisition is to satisfy the users/patrons need, thereby adding to the collection of library’s stocks.

However, it could be said that library without collection is like a soldier without a gun or a library which does not acquire is like a car which does not go for maintenance. Library stocks especially books are weapon for education, civilization etc.

2.1.2        Procedures in book acquisition are like that of every other acquisition procedure in the libraries. It includes selection, ordering, processing and accessioning.


Acquisition policy is a plan of action designed for the selection of materials for the library. The policy is meant to guide the librarian’s thinking and decision as to what subject area to collect materials and how much emphasis each area should receive.

Arikenbi (1979) identifies the process as “acquisition system”. According to him, acquisition system covers that part of the issuance of order, the keeping of records dealing with the processing of order and cancellation of claims fund accounting, compilation of statistical data.

The policy differs from one library to the other, dependency on the type and size of the library. The purpose of the policy is to ensure a balanced collection, consistency and uniformity.

Roger (1971) says that every institution must have a collection policy or series of policies whether it is kept in a few minds or in a written form.

When an acquisition policy is not well spelt out or well defined, there might be imperfect collection and mistakes in acquiring materials. Highlighting the problem usually caused by lack of a well defined policy in collection development, Okpala (2000) stated that policy is a document which spelt out a plan of action and give information that are to guide decision thoughts and actions when acquiring or selecting materials.

He goes further to state the values of acquisition policy as follows:

  • Saves time and frees the librarian from worries and rigorous making of new decisions.
  • If the policy is written down, it will be easy to define in charges imperfection in collection.
  • A written down policy makes for ordered development of collection
  • There is always continuous path of development for collection
  • Irrational actions and irrelevant acquisitions are avoided.


Library collections have expanded to include media other than those that involves print. These materials can be visual or graphic materials such as slides, photographs, technical drawings, they can be audio visual such as films and videos.

Shrama (1978) gives a list of library materials as: non-book such as business archives, clipping/press cutting, film and filmstrips, illustrative materials, leaflets, pamphlets, maps, micro-cards, micro-fiche, and micro-opaque, micro-print cards.

Harolds (1982) list:

Books periodical pamphlets,

Reports micro-forms maps,

Gramophone records as library materials.

2.5   Types of library stocks

According to http: // opined that there are two different types of library stocks namely:

Print materials and non-print materials

Print materials consist of books which includes reference materials such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases etc. reference books are used to find quick answers, check facts, answers students questions and discover new information. Because reference books are often large, expensive and in constant demands, most libraries do not land them.

Information materials

This sometimes known as non-fiction and is stock about people, places and thing. Most of the stocks in the library, including textbooks, belong to this group.


These books are also known as story books or novels. Some fictions books are used by language teachers. Animal farm, George Orwell and things fall apart by Chinua Achebe. Fiction books are not just for studying, they can also be read for fun. Stocks can equally come in many different shape and forms including pamphlets, booklets, magazines, newspapers, posters etc.

The most important type of library stock, however will be the books.

In Alex Ekwueme library, the acquisition librarian mentioned they have 220,000 books.

Non-printed materials with reference to Alex Ekwueme library is in audio visual unit (A.V.Unit)

According to Uchedili and Uche dili (2006) says that non-print materials are the audio visual materials and they include:


16mm sound projector, 8mm projector, 2×2 slide projector, filmstrip projector, overhead projector, opaque projector, filmstrip/slide viewer, television, television receiver, microreader/printer tape recorder, cassettes, record player, reel to reel player, cartridge player, projector screen, radio receiver, photocopying machines, video tape recorder, display board, 35mm camera with accessories.


8mm film, 16mm film, tape and disc recordings slide, graphic, materials, microform, transparencies, multimedia kits etc. These materials require special handling and a good environmental conditions.

In Alex Ekwueme library, federal polytechnic, Oko, they have the following non print materials/stocks as mentioned by the polytechnic librarian.

Mr. F.O Obodozie as follows:

4 overhead projectors, 2 slide projectors, 4television sets, 29 computers but only 6 are functioning, 4reel-reel tapes, 2 load speakers, satellite dish installed by Tet fund, and while screen for projectors.


Library materials can be acquired through the following ways:

Through purchase

Through legal deposit

Through gifts/donations

Exchange and through inter library loan co-operation.


2.6.1        PURCHASE

A library material may be acquired through purchase and this is by maintaining a special account through which a library deposits some money in advance and drains upon it anytime a document is purchased.

2.6.2        LEGAL DEPOSIT

Some librarians are by right the depository centers for any publications within the country. Stipulated copies are being deposited in these libraries. The decree of 1964 act restored depository rights to the University of Ibadan Library.

The decree states that:

The publisher of every book in Nigeria should within one month of publication, deliver at his own expense three (3) copies to the University library.

2.6.3        GIFTS/DONATIONS

Philanthropist gives libraries support by donating valuable materials to the library or by undertaking the task of purchasing some materials for the library. Libraries also give their contributions to the up keeping of the library of their choice.

Tella (1989) say that

About ¼ of the library’s collection comes through gifts and donations from individuals, organizations and government agencies.


2.6.4        EXCHANGES

Libraries exchanges what they have with what they are unable to purchase with other libraries.

According to the Encyclopedia Americana it has been impossible for any library in the world to posses everything that has been published.

Tella (1989) disclosed that:

Most of the materials acquired by exchange are those materials that have been produced by other libraries. Libraries exchanged their publications with that of other publications

2.6.5        Inter-library loan co-operation.

This is the process whereby two or more libraries decide to co-operate with one another. It involves lending users of other library materials that are not available in their own library. This method helps to boost a library’s collection.


There are many problems militating against building library’s collection. These problems are as follows:



For acquisition to effective, efficient and accurate finance is needed. The non-availability of fund tends to hinder the progress of acquiring materials for library. Kumor (1987) argues that:

Finance is essential for running a library. The amount of funds made available towards library. The amount of funds made available towards library resources and personnel would determine to a large extent the quality of the library’s resources and service provided by it.


This problem is caused by not being able to keep track of all intellectual output in all fields of knowledge. It is very difficult task.

When materials are not listed, it makes it very difficult for libraries to acquire such materials


One fundamental problem of collection development in our academic libraries today is the lack of acquisition policy resulting from of non-articulated institutional objectives. When an acquisition is not well spelt out or well defined there might be imperfect collection and mistakes in acquiring materials.



The Nigerian book-trade is not yet developed and cannot be fully depended upon for the purpose of using lists prepared by the book-trade to acquire materials for the library.

Aguolu et al (1978) stated that:

The problem they identified revolves round the following; poor and underdeveloped nature of our book trade, our heavy dependence on foreign materials, poor communication distance, lack of selection tools, inadequate findings, poor staffing etc.



Poor communication system facilitates and bad roads network have caused a serious setback in acquisition of library materials. There are some locally produced materials that could compete with other popular ones in the market, but there is no way of communicating the availability of these materials to various libraries.


Selection tools is usually a publication that notifies the library or an organization of any existence of various publications. These publications includes books reviews catalogue Publisher List/catalogue, bibliographies, journal etc.

Non print materials with reference to Alex Ekwueme library is in audio visual unit (A V unit)

According to Uchedili and Uchedili (2006) non print materials are the audio visual materials and include :

Equipment ;16mm sound projectors,8mm projector, 2×2 slide projector,filmstripe projector,overhead projector, opaque projector, microreader/printer, tape recorder,cassettes,record player,reel to reel player,radio receiver etc.

Materials :

8mm films,16mm films,tape and disc recordinds,slides, graphic materials,microform,multimedia kits,etc.

These materials requires special handling and a good environmental conditions.

In Alex Ekwueme library,Federal Polytechnic,Oko non print materials/stocks mentioned by the polytechnic librarian Mr Obodoeze, F.O as follows :

4 over head projectors,2 slide projectors,4 television sets, 29 computers but only 6are working,4 reel-reel tape, 2loud speakers,satilite dish installed by TET fund,and white screen for projectors.

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