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OCLC Support

About Acquisitions

Discover how to use OLIB for ordering bibliographic items, serial subscriptions, and non-catalogue materials such as equipment and services.


Acquisitions are integrated with the catalogue/OPAC and funds management. As soon as bibliographic items are created for an order, they are immediately visible in the Catalogue and OPAC. As soon as an order is authorised, this can start to affect the funds management system. Note that funds management is optional.

Workflow for ordering

When compiling an Order, you can enter a list of Order Items to represent all the titles you wish to obtain. For example, four copies of Catering Operations Management would constitute one order item, and ten copies of Time Series Sampling would be another order item on the same order to the same supplier. You may wish to order more copies of a title which is already in the catalogue. OLIB enables you to use an existing catalogue record to create an order item. Alternatively, you can create a new catalogue record as part of the ordering process.

An order can be created and left with a status of Pre-order until you have finished entering all order items and you are ready to send it to a supplier. Orders with a pre-order status are not reflected in the funds management system. Once an order item is Outstanding however, this is reflected on the account instance as a committed expenditure. When ready, from the Orders domain you can select a layout for printing orders to be sent to your supplier. Alternatively if using EDI when you authorise the order OLIB formulates the EDI message as an email and sends it to the supplier’s EDI email address.

Integration with supplier online services

OLIB can be configured to automatically integrate with a book supplier’s online ordering interface (e.g. Coutts’ Oasis system), so that it ingests bibliographic and acquisitions data that have been exported from the supplier’s systems once you have placed the order in that system.

Workflow for receiving

When items are delivered, they can be immediately checked in to the catalogue with or without recording invoice details. Copies can be created for the catalogue during the check-in process, or they can be created later during cataloguing processing. Invoice details can be recorded, making any adjustments necessary in terms of quantity, price, tax, and other costs. A single invoice can record items from several different orders. You do not have to record invoice details corresponding to only one single order or for all the items on the order.


Your organisation's supplier details are entered in the Supplier domain and this reference data is used every time an order is compiled for the supplier. Details relating to EDI, currency, website address, claims and performance monitoring, are all recorded in this domain.


EDI functionality is included with OLIB and you set up Suppliers for EDI in the Suppliers reference data domain. A background EDI driver process constantly monitors the database for authorised orders which are due to be sent to the supplier with the EDI flag set to Yes. OLIB then automatically transmits an email message to the supplier in the correct EDI Edifact format. The status of the order is then automatically changed from authorised to outstanding. Technical assistance may required from OCLC Support to ensure correct set up.

Manage funds

Acquisitions in OLIB can be implemented with or without Funds. As items are ordered and invoiced, the account instances are automatically updated to enable you to monitor commitments for items on order and to monitor actual expenditure figures as items are invoiced. A method of cost apportionment exists to allow you to split the cost of an item across several account instances when ordering. OLIB carries out any adjustments necessary at the time of invoicing, if the cost of an item differs from the order price. Additionally, if suppliers operate with foreign currencies, you enter the prices of order items in the supplier’s currency and the system automatically makes the conversion utilising the currency exchange rate recorded in the system.

Taxable goods

If you acquire taxable items and your institution requires the details on the system, then values should be defined in the Tax Rates domain. In OLIB, when order items are created, the relevant tax rate can then be selected. This is used together with other values to calculate the Total Cost for an order item:  

((price) - (discount x price) + (tax rate x nett price)) x quantity = total cost 

Any discount expected for an item can be entered as a percentage in the Discount field for each order item. In the reference data for Supplier Media Types, you may pre-define discount rates for items of different media types (books, videos, software, subscriptions, etc.) ordered from the supplier. For example, the library may receive a standing discount of 7% for all book orders from Login Brothers Book Company.


Transactions can be carried out in Acquisitions and Funds Management using several user maintained currencies. For example, you can order items from overseas using their original currency rather than your base operating currency. OLIB converts the cost of items from the supplier’s currency into your base currency, enabling the real cost of the item to be reflected as normal in the account instances. The library’s base currency is defined in the Admin Client Defaults domain and other currencies are defined in relation to that.

The effectiveness of currencies used in order items is dependent on the exchange rates being updated regularly in the Currencies domain. When invoicing an item ordered in the original currency, the Currencies domain is re-checked so that the total cost of the invoice item reflects any change in the exchange rate which you may have recorded since ordering the item. Changes in exchange rates are not retrospectively applied to records which already exist in that currency.

OLIB defaults

The system manager has various options and defaults to configure related to ordering, receiving, invoicing and check in. These are all configurable in OLIB Defaults: Funds/Acquisitions/Serials.