Approval Plans

Authored by: Robert Nardini

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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An approval plan is an acquisitions method under which a library receives regular shipments of new print books or activation of new ebooks selected by a vendor. The selections are based on a formalized profile of local collection interests, and a library has the right to reject what it decides not to buy. The dealer also provides electronic new title announcements which the library may use to place orders for titles fitting the profile less perfectly. Approval plans were first implemented in the 1960s and following a period of controversy, by the 1990s had become the predominant way larger academic libraries in the United States and Canada acquired new books. By 2010, the rise of ebooks, new acquisitions models, and new financial pressures had caused many libraries to stop or to reduce the size of their approval plans. The underlying profile mechanisms first developed to support approval plans, however, are still widely used for new title announcements and to support "Patron-Driven" or "Demand-Driven" acquisitions programs, as well as to generate new title selection records for use by librarians.

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