January 18, 2022

Report: Emory Librarians Bring Home Books, Insight From Global Buying Trips

From Emory News:

When it comes to buying books about another country’s literature, history, government and myriad other issues, there’s no better way of knowing you’re getting the best offerings than traveling right to the source.

That’s what four Emory librarians on the International Area Studies team did over the past year when they traveled to Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, China, India and Japan to purchase books for collections used by students and faculty.

The trips marked the first time the team was given the opportunity to travel overseas to make direct collection purchases as part of its normal work practice.


On her trip to India in January, South Asian Studies and religion librarian Ellen Ambrosone attended the New Delhi World Book Fair, a massive event in 14 exhibit halls with more than 800 vendors offering materials in 14 South Asian languages.

Ambrosone acquired 157 titles in Hindi, English and Malayalam, including autobiographies, works of literature and books that will fill gaps in the Tibetan collection. During her trip, she also toured the Library of Congress office in New Delhi, visited both a small and large book vendor, and traveled to Kerala on the southwest coast of India, collecting additional works in Malayalam.

Prior to her trip, Ambrosone contacted faculty in Middle East and South Asian Studies and the religion and history departments, announcing her book-buying trip and asking people to forward any requests they had.

“I had an amazing response from faculty. They were very enthusiastic about my going,” Ambrosone says. “I had a healthy wish list from them before my trip.”

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.