Discusses the two basic channels of book procurement ‐ the domestic market and imports (either directly or through local bookdealers). The former is the most popular method at present. Acquisition through this method is almost totally directed and controlled by availability of materials in the market, leaving only a limited choice for systematic collection building. Imports through the local bookdealer, favoured by special libraries in the mid‐1950s and 1960s, is no more employed owing to red‐tapism on the part of the dealer. The direct import system, which has proven beneficial in many respects for university libraries, has also gradually been given up. The reasons include: an uncertain import policy, import restrictions and trade embargoes against some countries because of political and ideological reasons, the fluctuating rate of the Pakistani rupee, hurdles in customs clearance, and, above all, the departure of competent personnel conversant with this kind of work to positions in OPEC countries.
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