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Acquisitions process

Suggestions for purchase

Most items bought for the Library are selected by staff in academic departments. Each school/department is allocated a fund from the Library budget and requests are channelled through their Library representative to a Academic Liaison Librarian.

Library staff select some material - on general subjects or to fill gaps in our collections. Also, liaison librarians will order items they discover on reading lists that are not already in the Library - these are usually ordered from school/department fund.

Please contact your Library representative or Academic Liaison Librarian to suggest an item for purchase.

Placing the order

On receipt of an order from a Library representative we will:

  • check that the suggested item is not already in stock
  • check that it is available
  • place the order with one of our suppliers (usually within five days of it being checked)

If an order is urgent we will make it a priority. As soon as the order is placed with a supplier the title will appear on the Enterprise catalogue. This shows how many copies have been ordered. Contact the Acquisitions Team if you would like the item as soon as it becomes available - email

How long will it take to come?

We cannot predict how long it will take for an item to arrive in the Library - even if we tell our supplier it is urgent. Items can be delayed, for example because they are not yet published or are out of stock. We receive reports of any delays from our suppliers and we will chase any item not received within two or three months.

Contact the Acquisitions Team for information on the progress of an order - email


New items are received every day. We aim to start processing new materials within five days of receipt, usually sooner.

Once items have been received by our Acquisitions team they will appear on the Enterprise catalogue as "Not yet classified" with the location "Being Catalogued".


Once an item has been received you can place a hold on it.

  We aim to catalogue:

  • An item which has a hold on it within 2 working days 
  • Other purchased items within 4 working weeks.

Processing and binding

All items require processing for the shelf - adding spine labels, date labels, etc. This may take a couple of days, although urgent items are usually processed within a day.

If you have placed a hold, the item will be available to collect as soon as it is labelled. We will send you an email when it is ready.

Some items require binding before they can go to the shelf. This may add one or two days (or longer) to the processing time, depending on the preparation required.