Acquisitions Librarians


Acquisitions Librarians


Acquisitions librarians build and maintain library collections, which include print items, such as books and periodicals, digital items, such as CD-ROMs and DVDs, electronic resources, such as e-books and databases, as well as music, art, and other resources available to library patrons. Acquisitions librarians are also called collection development librarians and collection development specialists. Acquisitions librarians are employed by all types of libraries, though the majority work in academic libraries.

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

Master's Degree



Volunteer or part-time work in a library



Business Management


Personality Traits



According to the career company Glassdoor, acquisitions librarians earned an average base salary of $57,135 in 2016. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the median annual salary for all librarians in May 2018 was $59,050. The lowest 10 percent earned $34,630 or less, and the top 10 percent earned $93,050 or more. Most acquisitions librarians receive paid vacation time, holiday pay, compen...

Work Environment

Acquisitions librarians work in an intellectually engaging and fast-paced environment. The work can be challenging at times, as they must satisfy a variety of requests from patrons—from a student seeking an obscure book on medieval cooking to educators requesting a new series of historical biographies. Acquisitions librarians must be able to maintain their concentration and focus as they move f...


The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment for librarians will grow about as fast as the average for all careers through 2028. Today, libraries offer a wide variety of materials—including books, periodicals, electronic resources, music, DVDs, reference databases, and streaming services—to patrons, and acquisitions librarians will be needed to assess and acquire these materials. Oppor...