Central module : acquisitions management


  1. Central module : acquisitions management
    1. Suggestions
      1. Overview
      2. New suggestions
      3. Approval/Rejection
      4. Bidding
      5. Decisions
    2. Purchase orders
    3. Databases
    4. Administration of acquisitions module

This module deals with the administration of newly acquired objects and a pre-cataloging function. The pre- cataloged objects can, once acquired, be stored as objects for the Loans module. This is what ABCD ‘integration’ is about.

The acquisition module has the following main logical functions :

  1. Suggestions : the starting process of obtaining objects
  2. Purchase orders : the actual acquiring of objects
  3. Databases : management of the 4 acquisitions-related databases (suggestions, providers, orders and copies)
  4. Administration : configuration, statistics and reports, weeding (discarding objects).

Let’s discuss each of these in more detail.


The logical ‘workflow’ of acquisitions starts with suggestions (by library users, colleagues…) to purchase a book, followed logically by a purchase decision (approval or rejection), a bidding process and a decision on where to buy the book. Where the suggestions come from, at this time, has not yet been included into ABCD, but it is conceivable that a form to submit suggestions exists either on a webpage (e.g. the ABCD Site) or an e-mail can be sent to the librarian, either to be converted automatically into a suggestion record or to be manually edited into such a record by a librarian.

A record on suggested books, whether or not actually purchased, needs to be kept for future use (e.g. when the same book is suggested again).

This ‘logical’ flow is more or less reflected in the ABCD-acquisitions module.


Here the librarian can consult the status of the actual acquisition system’s activities, with an option to get a listing (popping up in a separate window) of the activity.

No changes or editing functions are provided here, so this is only for consultation of the acquisitions system.

New suggestions

Here a worksheett is provided to actually enter a new suggestion for acquiring an object, with some bibliographical fields but also the status and a ‘recommended by’ field. Under here is shown part of the data-entry worksheet.

Note: For the ‘date of suggestion’ field a calendar pop-in function is used.


ABCD will give a listing of the requested activities with their status, sortable by either Title, Recommended by or Date of recommendation.

Each of the items can be opened for editing, where the actual approval or rejection can be given. Under is an example of a rejected item :

At this point, after having either cancelled or saved (updated) the transaction, direct access to the main Acquisition menu’s options is also offered :

Also options are provided to send the listing to either a document (.DOC format) or a Spreadsheet (.XLS).


At this stage ABCD offers, starting from a sortable listing of the actual transactions, a worksheet where the bidding process can be kept track off : for each participant in the bidding some essential data (name of bidder, price offered etc.) can be stored with a box to mark acceptation or not :


Finally the recommendations administration is completed by a listing of the approved offers in a format (work- sheet) similar to the above. Again this listing can be exported to either a document or a spreadsheet software.

Purchase orders

[!!] The new acquisitions first need to be categorized as either purchase, donation or exchange. According to the selected option the subsequent editing form will contain slightly different elements, but these don’t need a lot of explanation here.

Note: In many cases libraries obtain objects without having gone through the ‘suggestions’ stage. Here it is possible to create a new order without having to refer to the suggestions phase. However there is another option here to deal with approved suggestions and to continue the full procedure into the actual acquisition process.

ABCD facilitates the ordering of objects by providing a form to create a new order, by listing the pending orders with editing possibility and by providing a listing or search possibility in the list. The received items, with their price and number of items acquired, can be filled in. Whenever a selection has to be made from a list of candidates, these can be sorted by different criteria which are listed above the list itself.

Acquisitions which have been received can be entered into the inventory with their date and order-number in a small form :

Listing the received orders is the last option in here :


The ABCD Acquisitions module maintains 4 databases, which can be accessed directly here, each time with a search function for fast retrieval of a specific record. Each of the retrieved records can then be edited with its dedicated worksheet and saved if indeed changes have been made. As an example we show under here the providers database.

The ‘Create’ icon allows to create a new provider record.

Administration of acquisitions module

In this last section of the Acquisitions module some functions are offered to manage the acquisitions system with reports, statistics, configuration of some parameters and also weeding the acquisitions system by deleting unwanted

items. In the initial version only one function is provided : reset the control number (which is the number of the last entered item or copy control number, to which 1 will be added when creating a new one (‘auto-increment’ field). Actually this number is kept in a file ‘control_number.cn’ in the folder \ABCD\www\bases\copies\data\, where simply the last assigned number is stored. Whenever copies are created, this file is write-protected to avoid duplication of the same number by concurrent users - so other users have to wait until this file is given free for writing.