Ordering and Acquisition Systems
'The important functions of an ordering or acquisitions system might be specified as:
- To receive records of items to be acquired;
- To establish whether items requir.ed are already available in the stock or on order;
- To print order or despatch electronic orders to suppliers and otherwise to order the required items;
- To check when orders are overdue and take appropriate follow up action
- To maintain a file of records on order; -
- To maintain a file of Vendors/Suppliers;
- To note the arrival of ordered items and take necessary action for the payment of the hills; and
- To maintain fund statistics and related accounts.
The input for an ordering system to accomplish the above functions must include the following aspects:
- Details of new orders
- Changes or corrections to existing orders
- Vendors reports
- Details of received books
All requests for an order must be checked to ensure that the item is not already available in the library stock, and it has accurate and full bibliographic data that is necessary and sufficient for ordering purposes. Order records of each item include : book number 6.e., 1132N), short bibliographic details, number of copies ordered, price, currency, the vendor with whom the order is placed and the particulars regarding the fund against which the payment is to be made. All such bibliographic records comprise the main file of current orders. A second file must contain names and addresses of booksellers used by the library, and this file must be open to alterations, if needed. The order file is amended as and when the books arrive or. as and when the vendor notifies that the item/items are not available. In some libraries there may be a facility to define the type of the order for example, it could be a firm order, standing order or it may merely be on approval order, etc., provision may also be made to record multiple copies for different locations if the library has different branches functioning from different places.
The process is initiated by adding orders to the order file. This operation prompts the despatch of orders to the supplier either in p6nt or electronic form. When a particular item is received
Library Automation in the library, the order records become the basis of catalogue records in an integrated ordering and cataloguing system, order records may be examined and upgraded to cataloguing standards. At this stage of operation, book cards may be generated for use in the circulation system. It is necessary to make computer checks at regular intervals to find out the orders that remain unfulfilled. In other words, it may he stated that the output from an ordering system may be:
- printed or electronic listing of the order file
- an accession register/list of recent items acquired for the library
- details of accounting information
- remainders for unfulfilled orders
- book cards
- processing slips
- statistical information such as number of orders placed, orders executed, amount of funds spent, etc.
It may be stated here, the above mentioned aspects are the totality of operations associated with any acquisitions system in a library.