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Adapting the III Acquisitions Module for a Multi-Branch Public Library System

Jane Keeton, Birmingham Public Library
Sheila Thompson, Birmingham Public Library

The goals for the acquisitions system were:

Electronic Ordering: Discuss with the vendors how they handle electronic orders. Innovative sets up a reply e-mail address.

Vendor Maintenance: Notes 2 and 3 are used if there are multiple accounts.

Creating Selection Lists

Birmingham Public Library produces five lists per month (for example, “popular” materials, video, audio, and other) and distributes them via e-mail to selectors. Codes allow them to sort the lists. An order note tells how many days a title will be on order (sic).

They looked at three different sources of bibliographic records to download into the system to create the selection lists:

  1. OCLC - This cost money for records which may end up being deleted.
  2. B&T Link - Wouldn’t work.
  3. BIP - Ideal because they could download pre-order records at no additional cost.

The ISBN field is the critical field for electronic ordering; it drives electronic ordering. To order a title with the 2nd ISBN listed you need to manipulate the record. (Refer to the handout in the IUG conference notebook.)

They create a list using the beginning and ending order numbers. They use Code3 to sort by location and then broadcast a list of 300-500 items to selectors. Selectors have three to four days to make their selections from the lists.

Ways [for selectors] to submit orders include:

  1. Order from a list. “Add records” in INNOPAC is not practical so they can reply by the line number in the list.
  2. Monographic series orders. These are ordered by series and cataloged by title.
  3. Miscellaneous orders.


The quickest method is to rapid update create items. The minus is that you can’t see the entire record and can’t receive partial shipments.

Processing Invoices

This locks the order and the bib from other activity during the process.

Conclusion: What Did They Learn?

Unexpected quirks occurred. As an example, on April 1 and April 2 the system duplicated all orders (April Fool’s?).

In many ways the system is designed for single copy, single location of subscriptions (for example, they have 20 copies of magazines which go direct to all branches so they can’t use EBSCO’s online invoicing system option).

What Are Their Wishes?

Recorded by: Marcia Rogers, Arlington Heights Memorial Library

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