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Alma Acquisitions Resource Guide

This guide covers all aspects of the Acquisitions process, which includes setting up funds, ordering, receiving physical items, activating e-resources, and invoicing. This guide also covers Serials patterns and arrival/check-in.

Receiving Physical Materials Overview

Receiving Physical Materials

The basic receiving process is:

  1. Material is physical received by the library
  2. Go to the Receive New Items List under the Acquisitions menu
  3. Perform updates to the item record, if any
    • At this step, you are only updating the item record, such as adding barcodes or item notes, updating enumeration/chronology, etc.
    • Additional cataloging can happen after the item is fully received in Alma
    • Continuous order materials - journal issues, standing order items, etc. - may need additional actions at this point
  4. When complete, click Receive
  5. The item can move on to its next destination, either in Technical Services or out to the collections/reserves

For some items, invoicing and receiving happen at the same time. In that case, Alma is designed to go through the invoicing process first, then seamlessly continue to receiving. Choose the order of operations based on the material itself and local practice.

The Receive New Materials List

There is a lot of information available on the Receive New Items list. Let's go through it section by section.

Top Section

  • Click the Keep in Department box to indicate that received items should stay in a tech services department for additional work. Unclick the box to indicate that the items are ready to go straight to their owning library after being received.
  • Shelf Ready lets you quickly get to a specific item by searching for a barcode, including shelf ready material.
  • The Received date defaults to the current date, but you can change this to another date if needed.
  • You have the option to Receive all of the orders currently listed, or use the tickyboxes to the left of each order to select one or multiple orders to receive at once. Note that if you receive more than one item at the same time, whatever you do will apply to all of the items received in bulk. You can’t make individual changes to those items or give them different destinations for additional work.


Finding Orders in the List

The on-page search box is right underneath the two tabs. Most of the criteria are self-explanatory, but a few notes:

  • The Common fields criteria searches the Vendor reference number, PO line (number), Additional PO line reference, Title, Standard number, and Vendor title number simultaneously.
  • The bibliographic criteria (Title, Author name, etc.) search the brief Bibliographic reference that is part of the order, not all the fields within the full bibliographic record.
  • If you use the Title Starts With option, you need to include any initial article (such as The). This lets you quickly find a title you know exactly, as opposed to a general title keyword search.

There are several filters you can use to limit a large list. Again, most are self-explanatory, but a few notes:

  • The Vendor or Owning library filters will only present options available from the items in your list.
  • Orders are kept in this list until they’re closed, no matter the order Status. Because continuous orders are open until you stop the subscription and close the order, they will always be in the Continuous orders receiving list.
  • Locate identifies whether to find just the Order Lines that match the search criteria, or to find those plus any POLs packaged into the same purchase order.


List of Materials to Receive

Each order on the Receive New Items page shows a snapshot of information:

  • Click on the POL number to open the Purchase Order Lines Details page
  • Item description is the brief bib reference from the Description tab. Click on it to open the MARC record for the bib in view-only mode. From there, you can edit the bib record if needed.
  • Status of the order
  • Locations indicates the Library and Location of the attached inventory (item and or holding)
  • # Ordered is the number of copies ordered on that single PO Line (not previous orders)
  • Items received indicates if any items from that order have been received yet
  • Date sent is the date the PO was created and/or sent to the vendor
  • Next step indicates the next step for the item once it has been received. This might be transit to the owning library, or to a tech services department for additional work.
  •  A red clock icon indicates that something was a Rush order. When receiving a Rush order, you’ll get a pop up confirmation indicates that the order is Rush.
  • If there are Notes on the POL, there’ll be a green check mark in this column. Click on the check mark to open and view the note.
  • Receiving note displays any receiving notes from the POL
  • If there are Interested Users associated with the POL who want to know when the item has been received, there’ll be a check mark in this column. Click on the check mark to view the list.


The Row Action Item List

  • Manage items opens a list of the items associated with this PO Line. From here, you can view, edit, and receive each of the PO line's items. If you want to edit an item before receiving it, choose Manage Items.
  • Receive will allow you to receive this single item without editing it first
  • If the POL has interested users, you’ll also see Print Interested Users List