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Our Services: Requesting a Purchase: FAQs

Frequently Askes Questions

Do I need to get permission from my lecturer/Dept Head/line manager before requesting a book for purchase?

We always encourage you to talk with your lecturer for support and advice about your studies but you don’t need permission from them to request a book purchase. You can simply complete the Resource Request Form online. If you want the library to subscribe to a journal or database, you will need to ask your lecturer to do this.

Do you buy eBooks rather than print because they are cheaper?

EBooks are not usually cheaper than print. They usually cost considerably more than print copies. Some 1 user licenses for example can cost over a £1000 depending on the publisher and type of book. The reason we buy eBooks is because they are accessible 24/7 from all over the world.

I am a member of staff in the University but not part of an academic department or Faculty. Can I still request books for purchase?

Yes. All members of the University can request titles for purchase. We order titles for a range of reasons including wellbeing, general fiction, diversifying the collections (Liberate My Library), personal development as well as teaching and research. Simply complete the Purchase Request form. 

Can I request a new standing order for book series?

The Library will consider requests for new book standing orders from departments. However in some cases where a decision is made not to create a new standing order it may be that you need to request titles from a series as and when they are published. 


Can I request a print book instead of an eBook?

The Library has a eBook First Policy. So if an eBook is available for purchase, we will purchase as an eBook as in most cases this is more accessible to more people. If there is a reason why an eBook is not acceptable, please state the reason on the request form (e.g health, disability). Unfortunately we are not able to accommodate personal preferences for material types.

Will I be charged for requesting a purchase?

There is no charge to anyone who makes a request for a purchase. The cost is paid for by the Library.

Is there a limit on the number of requests I can make for purchase?

Currently there is no limit on the number of requests for purchase you can make.

Why can't I make a purchase request a journal/article ?

Requests for Journal subscriptions need to be made by a member of staff in a Faculty/Department via their Faculty Librarian. This is due to the ongoing commitment that will be required financially for a subscription. For individual journals or articles please make a request for an Inter Library Loan.

There is a book that I am interested in reading but it is not yet published. Does the Library pre-order titles?

 The Library is able to pre-order print books that are due to be published within 12 months of the request. If an eBook is required a pre-order may not be available due to limited information about licenses. 

The eBook I need to use is currently in use. Can I request extra copies of an eBook?

All members of the University can request extra copies of a book and this will be reviewed by the Library. If you require extra copies of an eBook this will be considered but often if an eBook is in demand it will trigger an automatic purchase of an extra license. 

Will I be notified when the book I have requested for purchase becomes available?

You will be notified when the request is available. If you don't wish to be notified, please state in the note field of the resource request form.

Is it possible to get an update on the status of my resource request I made a few weeks ago?

Purchase Requests are approved/rejected within 7 working days and you will be notified of this. For all approved purchase requests you will be notified once the item is ready for you use. If you wish not to be notified please let the library know in the reason for purchase box on the request form. If you have an enquiry about a purchase request you have made, you can email the acquisitions team via Please provide details of the request and a member of the team will get back to you.

The book request I made for purchase has been rejected due to no eBook being available for purchase. I have checked the publishers website and they list an eBook for sale. Why can't you buy this eBook?

The Library can only purchase eBooks where is an institutional license available for purchase and from a contracted vendor. This can sometimes mean that a publisher restricts the license to a title for libraries to purchase even when it is available for purchase on a personal level direct from the publisher. 

How long will my purchase request take to be fulfilled?

We ask that you allow us 7 days to approve/reject your purchase request. If your request is approved delivery of printed materials will depend on the availability of the title with our vendors. English Language material (Print) can take on average 1-4 weeks to arrive and be processed by the library. Foreign Language can take on average 4-6 weeks. Electronic Resources are usually activated within 14 days of the request being approved.

On Discover there is a book saying it is on order until a certain date. Is this the exact date is it due or an estimated timescale?

The order date that is displayed on Discover is a generous timescale that is based on average delivery times for that vendor and the contracted claiming period. If you have any questions about an order please contact .

The request I made has been rejected because the book won't arrive by the date needed by. The date I provided was the earliest I need it by. What is the latest date the book would arrive?

The purchase request form asks the latest date the item is needed by. This is to help with prioritising orders at busy periods  and to help us to choose the best ordering option. Print books can take a number of weeks to arrive and the latest date needed by was not possible on this occasion. Please see information about Delivery Times on this LibGuide.

Can I make a purchase request for my College Library?

 The University Library can support College Libraries with purchasing resources for their library. Purchase Requests for College Libraries can only be made using the Purchase Request form by approved members of that College. If you have any questions about College Library Purchase Requests please speak to your College Librarian.

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