Frequently Asked Questions
How do I request materials to be kept in my office/department?
Materials which are not kept in the library must be purchased with other funds; please contact your department head. Materials purchased with library funds must be kept in the library and inventoried there according to state regulations.
To keep materials available for use in class, you may place them on reserve for in-library use only or other short periods. Faculty may check such materials out for short periods. This allows other faculty to use them for classes, allows students to do catch-up work for absences, allows access during periods when an instructor is out of the office, allows the library to count usage to justify expenditures in your subject, and meets our legal responsibilities for inventory.
How do I request materials be bought by the library? What information is needed to order materials?
Periodical/Journal/Newspaper (Paper or Online) Subscriptions
Periodicals (magazines, newspapers, journals) and databases should be discussed with your department chair or dean, and once approved, can be ordered by emailing Jordan Ruud, public services librarian, or calling 479-788-7208.
All Other Resources (Books, Ebooks, Videos, CDs, etc.)
All other resources should be discussed with your department chair or dean, and once approved, the information provided to your liaison librarian. Links to websites about the material are perfectly acceptable. You may also send pages, photocopies, or marked catalogs through campus mail.
Please note: Not everything listed by websites is always available from that vendor. It may be that the site is willing to order the material but it might not come in (which is the case with Amazon.com when they say it may take some days to weeks to arrive.) Please do not assume that we can or will order from the same source you used to confirm the information, as we may need to follow other rules to obtain materials.
Audiovisual materials should have a catalog or all available information provided whenever possible, as there are no standard references or numbers for audio-visual material, unlike books.
Please Remember: Materials found on services such as Amazon.com should include the ASIN or other order number if there is no ISBN, as non-book titles (such as music or sound recordings) are often difficult to search on those services.
If no specific title is known but material needs to be found for a course, please discuss this with the liaison librarian for your subject area, or the technical services librarian, so the exact needs can be determined. A librarian can then search for a list of current materials available and provide some possibilities for selection.
Special Information: Software & Links in Books
The library does not purchase software as such. It needs to be acquired through the Help Desk.
Please note this important information for books with CDs, DVDs, and logins for special websites:
- All software with such books is authorized for ONE and ONLY ONE user. Students are legally required to delete the software from their computers when they return the book, unless it is specifically designated as freeware.
- All logins provided for websites, downloadable files, etc. are for ONE and ONLY ONE user. The library CANNOT enable this for multiple users, download materials, or otherwise violate copyright terms.
Can the library use my membership for a discount?
Thank you for considering using your membership discount for purchasing library materials, but the membership is YOUR membership and not the library's membership. Library materials must be purchased through regular channels, which normally are not accepted as a "member" purchase and therefore are not eligible for member discounts, according to organizations.
Does the library purchase current course textbooks or materials?
Textbooks currently assigned for purchase at the bookstore are not purchased by the library.
Textbooks are intended for purchase by individual students, and publishers may object to students substituting library copies for purchases. Also, textbooks tend to be checked out or otherwise removed by the first student in the door and not returned until the end of the semester (if at all) or heavily photocopied, rather than purchased, which is unfair to other students in the course and may violate sales contracts with publishers and the bookstore.
Photocopying more than a few pages out of any book is a violation of Fair Use and is not legal.
Faculty may provide textbooks and materials not assigned for purchase for the Reserve Room or request that they be purchased if approved. Please refer to the Reserves instruction page for instructions on this.
Expendable answer books, student guides, etc., which are intended for fill-in answers and notes will not be purchased. Such materials, even in the Reserve Room, tend to have a high rate of damage (pages removed instead of photocopied). An alternative to this would be for the faculty member to obtain permission from the publisher to have the relevant pages scanned into our Electronic Reserves system so students could print them as needed.
Materials such as the publisher's accompanying CDROMs, videos, etc., may be placed in the Reserves, provided this is approved by the copyright owner. Please refer to the Reserves instruction page for instructions on this.
What if a vendor asks me to "review" a copy of something?
This is a common practice for selecting textbooks, but it is not related to library purchases. While it is always your decision and privilege to review materials, the library cannot purchase materials in quite that manner.
You should make it clear that any copy requiring any payment at any point, now or in the future, will have to be returned, and then a request for it will have to be sent for approval and purchase through normal library procedures. It will not save any time or effort for the library or the publisher.
The library, like other parts of the university, must encumber funds before it can even order materials for review, in case the item is accepted for purchase.
Reputable vendors are willing to send information and cite reviews, rather than depend exclusively on sending out copies. If the vendor is still willing, the decision is up to you, but any recommendations will need to go through the normal procedures later. Returning the sample copy, if required, depends on you.
When is the best time to order materials?
As early in the fiscal year (beginning in July) as possible.
Bear in mind that library purchasing is rarely done after March, and all funds may be completely encumbered and often spent by then.
Remember that materials requested and approved, but not purchased in time, will have records kept on file for future purchase as soon as funds are available during the next fiscal year (starting in July).
Remember: You may research but please do not try to order materials for a new course until the course is officially approved for scheduling. If the course is delayed for any reason, new editions of titles may be released, and materials purchased too early could become obsolete.
What if a desired title is out of print?
This is quite often the case these days. The library will attempt to purchase even out-of-print titles, as long as the price and condition is reasonable.
Please remember that the library is restricted to purchasing materials from vendors and cannot legally reimburse faculty or staff for purchases given to the library. The library must go through the proper purchasing process.
What format should audiovisual materials be ordered in?
- Videorecordings in standard DVD (Region 1 encoding) or VHS videocassettes (NTSC format) only are purchased. Players for other formats are not readily available in most classrooms.
- Please be aware that videorecordings from sources outside North America (such as those labeled "PAL") may not be playable on campus equipment, and CANNOT be legally converted for use.
- HD (High Definition) or Blu-Ray materials are not purchased unless that is the only medium available and the material is still playable with existing non-HD/Blu-Ray players and systems. Please note: At this time, most applications here require putting the picture through a standard television or projection system in order to reach classroom viewing size or greater. This removes much or all of the "High Definition" quality.
- "Clean" versions (edited for profanity, nudity, etc.) which have been offered from some sources are going through court trials at this time. The findings so far tend to consider such edited versions as violations of copyright (if the copyright owners wanted them edited for content, they would have done it themselves, is the reasoning, and changes without permission are not legal). Such materials may be confiscated during or following a court decision, and therefore will not be purchased.
- Filmstrips and slides are no longer purchased.
- Sound recordings are purchased primarily on compact discs, but some kits containing audio cassette tapes are also considered when compact discs are not available.
- Other formats are being phased out of the collection unless they have unique value.
What about bestsellers, popular fiction and other topics?
The public library systems in the region handle popular works not related to the curriculum.
While the Boreham Library often accepts donations of popular works not related directly to the curriculum, such materials are not regular purchases and may not necessarily be added to the collection.
UAFS Lion ID cards may also be used during semesters at the Fort Smith Public Library branches and Scott-Sebastian Regional Library by current faculty, staff and students. They already have extensive, on-going popular fiction collections.
Materials may also be obtained through InterLibrary Loan. This is faster than purchasing materials and is usually done at no charge for faculty and staff.
How do I make sure the material will be available for use in my classes if it is not kept in my office?
If library materials are to be used in a class during a semester, such materials should be placed on reserve in the library and checked out by faculty only long enough for classroom use before being returned.
- allow other faculty to assign this material for their classes
- allow other faculty and students who missed the class to use the materials, even when the instructor is out of the office
- allow the library to accurately count the uses made by other faculty, students, etc., to help justify purchases in that subject
- simplifies the inventory process which is required of the library as well as the entire university.
Please consult the Instructions for Reserve Materials.
May I have a special section in the library for my materials?
Faculty already do have a special section.
The Reserves system allows materials and websites to be listed with the faculty member's name and/or class in the online catalog, whether or not the item or web site is in the reserve room or limited in circulation. Please consult the Reserves manual for instructions on how to arrange this convenient service for your students.
We've found that this is the most reliable method of locating materials for everyone.
How do I give books or materials to the library?
Just contact the Library at 788-7200 or by email.
The library accepts materials for the Book Sale all year.
Materials to be placed in the collection must be approved by the library director.
Materials to be placed on reserve for class work should go through the regular procedure.
Thank you for thinking of the library when you donate!
How do I donate funds to the library?
Please contact the UAFS Foundation at 788-7020 about donating funds. You can specify that funds are to be used specifically for library purchases or other uses. This can also be done with your Bell Tower contribution.
Please, before requiring a specific title for purchase, consult the technical services librarian to see if it is available and suitable for the library collection, and discuss alternatives if it may not be. Once funds are committed for a specific purchase, they become unusable if that item is not available. It is usually safer to specify a subject area or state that a specific title is "preferred."
Materials donated to the library may have, at your discretion, a special label inside stating that this was purchased with your funds, in memory or honor of the person you specify. This note is also accessible through the online catalog and is searched like an author's name, last name then first name, either donor or honoree. (This is being updated retroactively for older donations; please be patient with us.)
Thank you for thinking of the library when you donate!