University of Bath

Ordering Library resources: Information for academic staff

Advice for academic staff who want to suggest new items for the Library collections to support research and teaching.

Suggesting items for Library stock

The Library encourages suggestions for library stock from all our users. Depending upon departmental preference, either contact your departmental library representative or your subject librarian. The subject librarian will consider the request and if they are happy to authorise the order they will pass on the relevant information to the Library Acquisitions team.

Ordering items

  • Academic staff may pass on order information to their subject librarian in a number of ways. Reading lists, annotated publishers’ catalogues or e-mail are common methods of providing this information.

It is useful to give as much information as possible, including:

  • Author
  • Title
  • Publisher
  • Edition
  • Year of Publication
  • ISBN
  • Number of copies required (multiple copies will be purchased as requested, subject to funds being available)
  • Loan category
  • Cost if known
  • Course code and name
  • Approximate number of students

  • It is helpful if you check your order against the library catalogue before sending to see whether it is already held in the library collection.

  • Once authorised by your subject librarian, the relevant information is passed to the Acquisitions team. Orders marked Urgent are dealt with first, and all other orders are processed in strict date order. We generally place orders for material within 5 working days of receiving them, but this can fluctuate in response to the volume of requests.

  • Within the contractual terms with our suppliers, we aim to receive the majority of those items in publication within three weeks.

For information on the progress of your order, please contact the Acquisitions Department:

Books needed urgently

  • While it’s best if you can allow sufficient time to order items, we realise this is not always possible. Books needed urgently should be marked as such when contacting your subject librarian. These may include items such as core texts on reading lists or feature material required quickly for student or research projects.

Library suppliers

  • The University of Bath is a member of the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC). As such, the Library benefits from some very favourable deals with contract-winning book suppliers in terms of discounts, customer support and extra services such as book covering and collection profiling. It would not be feasible to rely solely upon online suppliers such as Amazon as they would not be able to provide us with this level of support (or discount!)

  • We will, however, make occasional use of these services where there is no acceptable alternative, for example, to obtain out-of-print books. We also maintain links with a number of smaller, specialist suppliers.

Receiving and processing items

  • The Library gets deliveries of new books every day. Once a book has arrived in the Library it will show as ‘in-process’ on the catalogue.

  • We give priority to items marked Urgent, and then process the rest in strict date order. If a user has an urgent requirement for a book, it can be fast-tracked through the various processing stages.

  • All items need to be allocated a classification number and given an accurate record on the Library catalogue before they can be made available for loan.

  • If you have specifically requested an item, you will be alerted via email when it has arrived and when it is available to be borrowed.

Reserving ‘on-order’ or ‘in-process’ books

You are unable to place holds through the library catalogue for items that are ‘on-order’ or ‘in-process’. If you would like to place a reservation, please contact the Acquisitions Team by one of the following methods (you will need your library card number when you contact us):

  • e-mail
  • call x5581
  • visit our office on Level 2 of the Library (adjacent to the Copy and Print Office)

When the item is available, we will place the hold on your behalf. The Issue Desk will contact you by email when the item is ready for collection.

  • Please note that the same restrictions apply to reserving ‘on-order’ books, as apply to 'on-loan/reference' books i.e. you cannot place a hold on short-loan or reference items.


  • The Library is always happy to consider gifts or donations of books and journals. These will be passed to the relevant subject librarian for consideration. We do however reserve the right to decide whether or not to retain such material for stock or to dispose of it according to Library guidelines.