James H. Thomason Library

Basic Procedure

In addition to checking your materials requests against our current holdings in THOMCAT, the Library's catalog, please also check the PASCAL Catalog in the case of books to see if there are sufficient copies available from other South Carolina academic libraries to meet your anticipated need.

When preparing requests, please include enough information to clearly distinguish the items, as titles are often duplicated, new editions are released, and titles go out of print. At a minimum, include Title, Author, ISBN (or equivalent number) and Publisher. Specify the edition desired, otherwise the latest edition will be acquired.

You may submit your materials requests in a variety of ways:

  1. E-mail Dave Chatham with a list (dchatham@presby.edu).
  2. Send a typewritten list via campus mail.
  3. Ask student workers to deliver your requests.  Please make certain that lists in this case are typed.

In each case please be sure to indicate the correct departmental fund.  Materials will be ordered until a fund is exhausted, at which point the remaining requests will be ordered in the new fiscal year. If you have new items that take priority over existing requests, please indicate so on your lists.

Each department has a number of funds assigned to it according to either subject or faculty member. The amount of money available in each fund will change as orders are processed. Department Chairs will receive a Quarterly Budget Report. Please review this report for any errors.

Ordering Policy

Turnaround Time

The time it takes to acquire and process an item that has been requested for the Library varies widely by the type of material requested.  In all request fulfillment, our staff is dependent on the vendor from whom the item was ordered. Once received, items may have to wait to be processed as the flow of items into the collection varies according to material type. Books are processed differently than are CDs, DVDs, or kits. The Library Technical Services staff work diligently to minimize the turnaround time as much as possible so that items will be on the shelf and ready for use as soon as possible.

Rush Orders

The Library staff realizes that sometimes an oversight or unanticipated find can necessitate a rush order. Rush requests will always be handled as quickly and efficiently as possible. When requesting a rush item, please provide a date by which that item will be needed so that we can try to accommodate your request.

Guidelines for Rush Requests

  1. When requesting a rush item, please provide as much information about the item as possible.
  2. If your need for an item by a certain date is absolute, consider placing an Interlibrary Loan request for the item as a backup in the event we have difficulty locating a copy for purchase.

International Orders

The Acquisitions Department acquires foreign titles from domestic vendors when possible. When an item is not available from domestic vendors, foreign vendors are used. It is very beneficial, whenever possible, if the faculty member requesting the item will identify the specific in-print edition that best suits their needs. Providing us with detailed information about the edition as well as the vendor that offers it, when possible, is the best way to expedite the order.

Remember that for any library, materials published in other languages and other countries can take much longer to receive than domestic imprints. The cataloging and processing of these items can also be more difficult. Ordering far enough ahead of the time you expect to need the item is crucial.

Out-of-Print Titles

The WorldWide Web has made the location of copies of out-of-print titles easier and more practical than in the past. The Acquisitions Department is fairly successful in locating used copies of needed works requested by the faculty. If a vendor reports an item as out-of-print, the Acquisitions Department will try to locate a used copy.

Requests for items that are out-of-print are kept for six months and searched at least three times during that six months in an attempt to locate an acceptable copy. If after six months no acceptable copy has been located, the Acquisitions staff will contact the faculty member requesting the item to see if it is still needed. If the item is still needed, the staff will continue to search for another six months.  Please keep in mind that searching for and acquiring out-of-print titles in acceptable physical condition and for a reasonable price can be time consuming.  As a result, turnaround time is likely to be longer for these items.

Notification of Receipt

Once a month the Technical Services staff creates a list of all materials added to the library collection during the previous month. This list is distributed to the faculty via e-mail on "faculty announce" and is also available on the Library's web site under Search THOMCAT, New Materials.

Requesting that the library order an item does not guarantee that a faculty member will be the first to check it out after it is processed. If you want to check an item out as soon as it is processed, please let the Acquisitions Department know at the time the request is placed. Rush orders will be held for the requester at the Circulation Desk. You will be notified that they are ready for checkout either via a phone message or e-mail.

When requesting that an item you have ordered be placed on Reserve as soon as it is processed, please provide the course title and number for the item.

Faculty Reimbursement for Purchase of Library Materials

It is the policy of the Acquisitions Department to carry out the ordering and purchasing of all materials to be added to the library collection. Exceptions may be made when a faculty member has the opportunity to purchase material while attending a conference or under special circumstances.

  1. Faculty members who purchase material for the library collection and plan to be reimbursed for these purchases should follow the procedure below. Discuss your plans in advance with the Acquisitions Department.  All materials purchased must conform to the library's collection development policy.  All titles must be titles the library does not already have in the collection or reimbursement will be denied.
  2. Confirm if the items are available for the library to purchase directly from the publisher.  If so, please obtain all the necessary information including author, title, publisher and ISBN and submit a request for the library to order the item.  It is preferable that the library order the item directly.
  3. New material is added to the library constantly.  Please verify that the library does not already own the item(s) you are interested in purchasing. This information is available from the library's online catalog.
  4. Bring all materials and receipts to the Acquisitions Department upon your return to campus.  Your receipts will be forwarded to the Business Office for reimbursement after they are coded.


Final Note

The library depends on faculty requests to enhance the library collection and to ensure that the collection supports the needs of the students and faculty of Presbyterian College. The Acquisitions Department works hard to acquire the material requested by the faculty in a timely and cost-efficient manner. We are here to assist the faculty in anyway possible. Though we will make every effort to check for duplication in your requests, the onus of responsibility falls on each requester to check our current holdings for materials. In some cases, materials are non-returnable and thus the relevant budget line will be charged regardless of duplication. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Dave Chatham at 864-833-7028 or dchatham@presby.edu.


Search Library Catalog


PASCAL Catalog

Journal Finder