Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) a division of the American Library Association

Six-week online course that is a basic primer for library acquisitions concepts common to all library material formats. It covers:

  • goals and methods of acquiring monographs and serials in all formats
  • theoretical foundations and workflows of basic acquisitions functions
  • financial management of library collections budgets
  • relationships among acquisitions librarians, library booksellers, subscription agents, and publishers.

This course provides a broad overview of the operations involved in acquiring materials after the selection decision is made.

In FOA, we distinguish between collection development, which involves the selection of materials for the library; and acquisitions, which orders, receives, and pays for those materials. In many libraries, selecting and acquiring materials may be done in the same department—in the smallest libraries perhaps even by the same person. In larger libraries, selection may be done by a collection development department and/or designated subject specialists, while a separate department acquires the selected materials. In essence, acquisitions is the business operation, bringing materials into the library and licensing access to library collections and resources.

Because success in acquisitions depends on ability to collaborate, negotiate, and be flexible to work out win-win solutions with others, this course includes collaborative and social elements.

The Fundamentals of Cataloging (FOC) is a six-week online course that provides an introduction to the principles, policies and practices of cataloging in libraries. It is designed for librarians and library support staff new to cataloging; librarians and library support staff from other units who want to know more about cataloging; LSSC candidates pursuing certification in the Cataloging and Classification competency set; and experienced cataloging librarians and support staff seeking continuing education and networking opportunities.

Course components:

  • Introduction to catalogs and cataloging, including an exploration into the principles behind the development and evolution of cataloging codes and rules
  • Introduction to descriptive cataloging, including bibliographic description and descriptive access points with AACR2 and RDA
  • Introduction to subject analysis and classification, with a focus on Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC)
  • Introduction to reading and understanding MARC 21 formats for bibliographic and authority data
  • Exploration of the history of cooperative cataloging, current trends and some suggestions about the future for cataloging and bibliographic management

Course written by Vicki Sipe, with Dewey Classification Module by Teressa Keenan.


The goal of this online course is to introduce the fundamental aspects of collection assessment in libraries. The course is designed for those who are responsible for or interested in collection assessment. The course will introduce key concepts in collection assessment including:


·What is Collection Assessment


·Techniques and Tools


·Assessment of Print and Electronic Collections


·Project Design and Management


The Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management addresses the basic components of these important areas of responsibility in libraries.

Course Components

  • What collection development and management are Collections policies and budgets as part of library planning
  • Collection development (selecting for and building collections)
  • Collection management (e.g., making decisions after materials are selected, including decisions about withdrawal, transfer, preservation, etc.)
  • Collection analysis--why and how to do it
  • Outreach, liaison, and marketing
  • Trends and some suggestions about the future for collection development and management

The Fundamentals of Collection Development and Management addresses the basic components of these important areas of responsibility in libraries.

Course Components

  • What collection development and management are Collections policies and budgets as part of library planning
  • Collection development (selecting for and building collections)
  • Collection management (e.g., making decisions after materials are selected, including decisions about withdrawal, transfer, preservation, etc.)
  • Collection analysis--why and how to do it
  • Outreach, liaison, and marketing
  • Trends and some suggestions about the future for collection development and management

The Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Acquisitions Web course will provide an overview of acquiring, providing access to, administering, supporting, and monitoring access to electronic resources. It will provide a basic background in electronic resource acquisitions including product trials, licensing, purchasing methods, and pricing models and will provide an overview of the sometimes complex relationships between vendors, publishers, platform providers, and libraries.


The Fundamentals of Electronic Resources Acquisitions Web course will provide an overview of acquiring, providing access to, administering, supporting, and monitoring access to electronic resources. It will provide a basic background in electronic resource acquisitions including product trials, licensing, purchasing methods, and pricing models and will provide an overview of the sometimes complex relationships between vendors, publishers, platform providers, and libraries.

The Fundamentals of Preservation (FOP) web course is an introduction to the principles, policies and practices of preservation in libraries and archives. It is designed to inform all staff, across divisions and departments and at all levels of responsibility. Provides tools to begin extending the useful life of library collections.

Course components:

  • Preservation as a formal library function, and how it reflects and supports the institutional mission
  • The primary role of preventive care, including good storage conditions, emergency planning, and careful handling of collections
  • The history and manufacture of physical formats and how this impacts on preservation options
  • Standard methods of care and repair, as well as reformatting options
  • Challenges in preserving digital content and what the implications are for the future of scholarship