Evergreen in Action

Ordering materials 

Acquisitions allows you to order materials, track the expenditure of your collections funds, track invoices and set up policies for manual claiming. In this chapter, we're going to be describing how to use the most essential functions of acquisitions in the Evergreen system.

When should libraries use acquisitions?

  • When you want to track spending of your collections budget.
  • When you want to use Evergreen to place orders electronically with your vendors.
  • When you want to import large batches of records to quickly get your on-order titles into the system.
If your library simply wants to add on-order copies to the catalog so that patrons can view and place holds on titles that have not yet arrived, acquisitions may be more than you need. Adding those on-order records via cataloging is a simpler option that works well for this use case.

Below are the basic administrative settings to be configured to get started with acquisitions. At a minimum, a library must configure Funding Sources, Funds, and Providers to use acquisitions. 

Managing Funds

Funding Sources (Required)

Funding sources allow you to specify the sources that contribute monies to your fund(s). You can create as few or as many funding sources as you need. These can be used to track exact amounts for accounts in your general ledger. 

Example funding sources might be:

  • A municipal allocation for your materials budget;
  • A trust fund used for collections;
  • A revolving account that is used to replace lost materials;
  • Grant funds to be used for collections.
Funding sources are not tied to fiscal or calendar years, so you can continue to add money to the same funding source over multiple years, e.g. County Funding. Alternatively, you can name funding sources by year, e.g. County Funding 2010 and County Funding 2011, and apply credits each year to the matching source.
  1. To create a funding source, select Admin > Server Administration > Acquisitions > Funding Source. Click the New Funding Source button. Give the funding source a name, an owning library, and code. You should also identify the type of currency that is used for the fund.
  2. You must add money to the funding source before you can use it. Click the hyperlinked name of the funding source and then click the Apply Credit button. Add the amount of funds you need to add. The Note field is optional.

Funds (Required)

Funds allow you to allocate credits toward specific purchases. They typically are used to track spending and purchases for specific collections. Some libraries may choose to define very broad funds for their collections (e.g. children's materials, adult materials) while others may choose to define more specific funds (e.g. adult non-fiction DVD's for BR1). 

If your library does not wish to track fund accounting, you can create one large generic fund and use that fund for all of your purchases.
  1.  To create a fund, select Admin > Server Administration > Acquisitions > Funds. Click the New Fund button. Give the fund a name and code.
  2. The Year can either be the fiscal or calendar year for the fund. 
  3. If you are a multi-branch library that will be ordering titles for multiple branches, you should select the system as the owning Org Unit, even if this fund will only be used for collections at a specific branch. If you are a one-branch library or if your branches do their own ordering, you can select the branch as the owning Org Unit.
  4. Select the Currency Type that will be used for this fund.
  5. You must select the Active checkbox to use the fund.
  6. Enter a Balance Stop Percent. The balance stop percent prevents you from making purchases when only a specified amount of the fund remains. For example, if you want to spend 95 percent of your funds, leaving a five percent balance in the fund, then you would enter 95 in the field. When the fund reaches its balance stop percent, it will appear in red when you apply funds to copies.
  7. Enter a Balance Warning Percent. The balance warning percent gives you a warning that the fund is low. You can specify any percent. For example, if you want to spend 90 percent of your funds and be warned when the fund has only 10 percent of its balance remaining, then enter 90 in the field. When the fund reaches its balance warning percent, it will appear in yellow when you apply funds to copies.
  8. Check the Propagate box to propagate funds. When you propagate a fund, the system will create a new fund for the following fiscal year with the same parameters as your current fund. All of the settings transfer except for the year and the amount of money in the fund. Propagation occurs during the fiscal year close-out operation.
  9. Check the Rollover box if you want to roll over remaining encumbrances and funds into the same fund next year. If you need the ability to roll over encumbrances without rolling over funds, go to the Library Settings Editor (Admin > Local Administration > Library Settings Editor) and set Allow funds to be rolled over without bringing the money along to True.
  10. You must add money to the fund before you can begin using it. Click the hyperlinked name of the fund. Click the Create Allocation button. Select a Funding Source from which the allocation will be drawn and then enter an amount for the allocation. The Note field is optional.

Fund Tags (Optional)

You can apply tags to funds so that you can group funds for easy reporting. For example, you have three funds for children’s materials: Children's Board Books, Children's DVDs, and Children's CDs. Assign a fund tag of children's to each fund. When you need to report on the amount that has been spent on all children's materials, you can run a report on the fund tag to find total expenditures on children's materials rather than reporting on each individual fund.

  1. To create a fund tag, select Admin > Server Administration > Acquisitions > Fund Tags. Click the the New Fund Tag button. Select a owning library and add the name for the fund tag.
  2. To apply a fund tag to a fund, select Admin > Server Administration > Acquisitions > Funds. Click on the hyperlinked name for the fund. Click the Tags tab and then click the Add Tag button. Select the tag from the dropdown menu. 


Providers (Required)

Providers are the vendors from whom you order titles.

  1. To add a provider record,  select Admin > Server Administration > Acquisitions > Providers
  2. Enter information about the provider. At a minimum, you need to add a Provider Name, Code, Owner, and Currency. You also need to select the Active checkbox to use the provider.

Distribution Formulas (Optional)

If you are ordering for a multi-branch library system, distribution formulas are a useful way to specify the number of copies that should be distributed to specific branches and copy locations. 

  1. To create a distribution formula, select Admin > Server Administration > Acquisitions > Distribution Formulas. Click the New Formula button. Enter the formula name and select the owning library. Ignore the Skip Count field.
  2. Click New Entry. Select an Owning Library from the drop down menu. This indicates the branch that will receive the items. 
  3. Select a Shelving Location from the drop down menu.
  4. In the Item Count field, enter the number of items that should be distributed to that branch and copy location. You can enter the number or use the arrows on the right side of the field.
  5. Keep adding entries until the distribution formula is complete.

Helpful acquisitions Library Settings

There are several acquisitions Library Settings available that will help with acquisitions workflow. These settings can be found at Admin > Local Administration > Library Settings Editor.

  • Default circulation modifier - Automatically applies a default circulation modifier to all of your acquisitions copies. Useful if you use a specific circulation modifier for on-order copies.
  • Default copy location - Automatically applies a default copy location (e.g. On Order) to acquisitions copies.
  • Temporary barcode prefix - Applies a unique prefix to the barcode that is automatically generated during the acquisitions process. 
  • Temporary call number prefix - Applies a unique prefix to the start of the call number that is automatically generated during the acquisitions process.

Preparing for order record loading 

If your library is planning to upload order records in a batch, you need to add some information to your provider records so that Evergreen knows how to map the copy data contained in the order record.

  1. Retrieve the record for the provider that has supplied the order records by selecting Admin > Server Administration > Acquisitions > Providers. Click on the hyperlinked Provider name.
  2. In the top frame, add the MARC tag that contains your holdings data in the Holdings Tag field (this tag can also be entered at the time you create the provider record.)
  3. To map the tag's subfields to the appropriate copy data, click the Holding Subfield tab.  Click the New Holding Subfield button and select the copy data that you are mapping. Add the subfield that contains that data and click Save

  4. If your vendor is sending other data in a MARC tag that needs to be mapped to a field in acquisitions, you can do so by clicking the Attribute Definitions tab. As an example, if you need to import the PO Name, you could set up an attribute definition by adding an XPath similar to:
code => purchase_order
xpath => //*[@tag="962"]/*[@code="p"]
Is Identifier => false
where 962 is the holdings tag and p is the subfield that contains the PO Name.

Preparing to send electronic orders from Evergreen

If your library wants to transmit electronic order information to a vendor, you will need to configure your server to use EDI. You need to install the EDI translator and EDI scripts on your server by following the instructions in the Evergreen 2.3 documentation. (http://docs.evergreen-ils.org/2.3/_installation.html)

Configure your provider's EDI information by selecting Admin > Server Administration > Acquisitions > EDI Accounts. Give the account a name in the Label box.

  1. Host is the vendor-assigned FTP/SFTP/SSH hostname.
  2. Username is the vendor-assigned FTP/SFTP/SSH username.
  3. Password is the vendor-assigned FTP/SFTP/SSH password.
  4. Account is the vendor-assigned account number associated with your organization.
  5. Owner is the organizational unit who owns the EDI account
  6. Last Activity is the date of last activity for the account
  7. Provider is a link to the codes for the Provider record.
  8. Path is the path on the vendor’s server where Evergreen will send its outgoing .epo files.
  9. Incoming Directory is the path on the vendor’s server where incoming .epo files are stored.
  10. Vendor Account Number is the Vendor assigned account number.
  11. Vendor Assigned Code is usually a sub-account designation. It can be used with or without the Vendor Account Number.

You now need to add this EDI Account and the SAN code to the provider's record.

  1. Select Admin > Server Administration > Acquisitions > Providers.
  2. Click the hyperlinked Provider name.
  3. Select the account you just created in the EDI Default field.
  4. Add the vendor-provided SAN code to the SAN field.

The last step is to add your library's SAN code to Evergreen.

  1. Select Admin > Server Administration > Organizational Units
  2. Select your library from the organizational hierarchy in the left pane.
  3. Click the Addresses tab and add your library's SAN code to the SAN field.