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Discovery Services Procedures: Acquisitions

"How to" documents for OCLC, Alma, and general Discovery Services Procedures.

Acquisitions Process: Requesting an Item


  • Requests are accepted in any written format:
    • Catalogs: submit the whole catalog or the order page + book information page; all the vendor's ordering information is required
    • Email
    • Printout or typed list
    • Request card
  • Include selector's name or initials on every request, beside each title being requested if submitting a catalog page or on each page if submitting a typed list from which every title is to be ordered.
  • Note on every request the fund code to be charged
  • Check the fund balance before submitting requests. If you don't know how to check your fund balances, ask the Acquisitions assistant.
  • If the item is NOT to be located in the Main Stacks, note the alternate location.
  • Acquisitions staff check for duplication, but if the selector checks for duplication, it will save the time and effort of putting a new request list together if duplicate orders are rejected.
  • Deadlines for ordering foreign materials, older materials, out of print materials, or videos are set to allow harder-to-find or lengthier-to-process materials to be received and paid for by the end of the fiscal year. Orders submitted after the deadlines might not be ordered in the same fiscal year, depending on the judgement of the Acquisitions staff.
  • Rush requests may be brought to the attention of the Acquisitions staff.
  • Discuss big-ticket items with the Collection Development librarian in case there are special funds with which to purchase them.
  • GOBI 2 is Yankee Book Peddler's catalog. You can search it in various ways and create lists for yourself or your departmental liaisons. All subject selectors should be familiar with it.

Acquisitions Process: Receiving and Processing

  • Received materials are checked against a packing slip and Sierra to be sure they are the correct items and that they are complete and undamaged.
  • Depending on the vendor, invoices may be received with the shipment or accessed online through the vendor's site.
  • After initial verification, items are received online and a "received date" is entered in the Sierra order record.
  • After all the items on an invoice have been received, the invoice is approved for payment by the Acquisitions Assistant, approved by the department head, and sent to Library Administration for payment.
  • Status code in the order record is changed to "a" (fully paid) and the note in the OPAC should say "in process".
  • New items are taken in batches from Acquisitions to Cataloging and distributed among the Cataloging staff.
  • Bibliographic records already in the system are verified, edited, or replaced as necessary.
  • Catalogers produce labels and barcodes once the catalog data is complete and correct.
  • Student assistants attach stickers, stamp the books, insert security strips, put Mylar covers on any books that keep their jackets, and perform any other physical processing required.
  • Materials go through a final quality control check to ensure that online data and physical processing are correct.
  • Completed materials are taken to Access Services for shelving or sent to an alternative location specified on a processing slip.

Acquisitions Process: Ordering

  • Orders are processed in the order in which they were received, provided all pertinent information is present (selector name or initials and fund code).
  • The Acquisitions staff selects the best vendor for the material. Anything we can order through our regular jobbers will be ordered from Yankee Book Peddler, Latin American Book Store, or others. However, if you think an item will be hard to find, we're always glad to get your information about a vendor.
  • The order is processed online.
  • A bibliographic record is entered into the system, either as a download from OCLC or as an original "brief bib".
  • An order record is attached to the bib record. It shows the vendor, date ordered, and other information. In Sierra, if you want to see an order record, you must be in the Cataloging or Acquisitions module. Find the bib record, then click on Summary, and open the order record listed.
  • An order is placed with the vendor, normally by electronic methods.
  • Status reports may be received from vendors regarding out of stock or delayed items. These notes are entered into the order record in the catalog.
  • The OPAC should display a note indicating that a title is on order. However, if we have ordered a second copy, the note will not display, since it will not display if the bib record has a "date catalogued".


Acquisitions Process: Compliance With Procedures

  • Any items acquired outside the normal process are problems. No one at all is authorized to order or purchase any materials without going through the Acquisitions process.
  • If a vendor contacts you and you wish to purchase something, get the information about the material and give it to Acquisitions for ordering. No one except an Acquisitions staff member should ever agree to purchase materials for the collection, accept a trial copy, or place an order.
  • If the normal procedure is not followed, payment to the vendor will be delayed until the procedures are completed. Processing will not be "rushed", but will be placed in the normal ordering queue.

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