Technical Services

Technical Services is the behind-the-scenes department responsible for acquiring new resources for the Library and for maintaining its existing collections. The department consists of three units: Acquisitions, Cataloging, and Serials.

Acquisitions is responsible for purchasing new resources, including books, journals, audiovisual materials, and electronic databases. The staff receives orders from librarians, searches for appropriate vendors/publishers, and receives materials when they arrive. The Head of Technical Services is responsible for negotiating contracts with vendors and for initiating journal/database subscriptions. Besides acquiring new materials, Acquisitions also accepts gift donations.

Another important function of Acquisitions is management of the book budget. The Head of Technical Services is responsible for making budget plans according to annual allocations, balancing the budget to avoid over/under expenditures, and processing all invoices sent by vendors/publishers.

On average, orders sent to Acquisitions take four to six weeks to process. Subscriptions may take less time, depending on the vendor. Acquisitions reserves the right to decline an order if its cost exceeds budget limits.

Cataloging is responsible for making library resources accessible to patrons by adding bibliographic and holding records of new acquisitions to our local CUNY+ catalog. When a new item is acquired, Cataloging staff retrieves a bibliographic record that matches the item from a large universal cataloging database. After editing, the record is exported to CUNY+ for local use. A holding record is also added to show the item’s classification number and location.

Cataloging is also responsible for maintaining the Library’s existing collections, performing functions such as deleting CUNY+ records of discarded books, adding new volumes to standing orders, and changing item locations.

Serials maintains the print journal collection. Patrons can find out if the Library owns a particular issue of a journal by checking the holding record of that journal. If an issue is missing, Serials staff will claim that issue for replacement from our journal vendor. Serials is also responsible for sending journals and books to the bindery.

For questions, contact Carol Gee at 718-960-8428 or

Last modified: May 7, 2010