[OPEN-ILS-GENERAL] Acquisitions question: how do you handle orders from Amazon?

Donald Butterworth don.butterworth at asburyseminary.edu
Fri Oct 14 09:30:27 EDT 2016

Hi Jane and All,

For any who use Amazon as a primary vendor, or any vendor for that
matter, JTacq
freeware <http://www.jtdata.com/jtacq.html> will make your workflow very
smooth and can save you a ton of money.  This may sound too good to be
true, but it's not.

Full Disclosure:
I have worked with Jim Taylor, the developer of JTacq, for more than 15
years. He worked for ATS while his wife was getting her degree, and he
still does contract work for us. I also, regularly, make recommendations on
JTacq features.

JTacq began with Jim creating an automated holdings search of our local
Horizon System and grew from there. JTacq was doing federated searches
before anyone. Since then it has grown into a mature collection
development/purchasing application. And, yes, it is free.

Here is what our workflow looks like with an Amazon Order.

   1. Type ISBN into search box and hit Enter. JTacq will pull a title
   record from the Amazon database. Repeat searching until you work through
   the pile/list. (or import spreadsheet title list, or import file of MARC
   2. Hit the "Holdings" button to determine if you already own the title
   3. Batch delete any duplicate titles you do not want to order
   4. Hit the "GetData" button. JTacq then does a federated search of any
   vendors you purchase from. e.g. B&T, YBP, EBSCO, Amazon, Amazon Used,
   ABEBooks, etc.
   5. Check the retrieved offers, decide who to order from based on
   cheapest vendor, and move them into order bins/files
   6. Apply order data and item record data either as a batch or one title
   at a time to the bin of titles you are ordering. (This includes coded
   Evergreen data like shelving location, budget code, price, owning library,
   etc. I create "Copy Profiles" that lets me apply all this data in one
   fell swoop. It will later be used to generate a 962 field which Evergreen
   will use to populate the Purchase Order.)
   7. From the Offers Screen, click the "Cart" button, then the "Amazon Cart"
   button. This will place your order into the Amazon cart.
   8. Follow the typical Amazon checkout routine.
   9. Return to main screen and click the "Get MARC Records" button
   10. Chose the appropriate bin/file and click "Get MARC". JTacq will then
   pull bib records from OCLC or from another Z39.50 database.
   11. Delete the unwanted records records retrieved, e.g. the electronic
   records, German, French, Italian, U.K., etc
   12. Edit the finalized list of bib records. There are several tools
   JTacq provides to batch change/delete data. (very powerful, very cool)
   13. Apply the 962 fields to all bib records with one keystroke. Here is
   an example of what one looks like:   =962  \\$aGN799.A8 H37
   14. When all bib records have been edited click "Export to MARC". All of
   your permanent bib records will be place in a file, that you designate, so
   that they can be imported into Evergreen.
   15. Exit out to the finished bin and delete all the titles you have
   purchased. That's the end of the JTacq process.

On the Evergreen side:

   1. Click "Load MARC Order Records"
   2. Enter the appropriate data to the Upload screen
   3. Click the "Browse" button in the File to Upload text box
   4. Select the correct file
   5. Click the "Upload" button

This results in your fully populated Purchase order being created, your
permanent MARC record being created, and your fully populated item records
being created. This makes the receiving process very, very fast. When the
volumes come in, labels are printed and they are usually out the door
within a day or two.

Truthfully getting everything set up can be daunting. But once it is all in
place, it is *so* worth the effort. Getting the Evergreen parameters
defined took some mental energy. But that was a onetime deal. Setting up
parameters for every vendor you order from could be a little tedious. On
the JTacq side Jim will help you make all the necessary connections. In my
opinion, Jim is the most service oriented person you will ever meet. If you
need help, you can count on him; usually the same day.

Am I prejudiced? Maybe a little. But I know for a fact that we are able to
"average" better than a 30% discount on our purchases, because we are able
to tell at a glance who has the cheapest cost ... and yes we do buy used
books to keep cost minimized on our rapidly shrinking book budget.
Happy purchasing,


On Thu, Oct 13, 2016 at 5:22 PM, Jane Sandberg <sandbej at linnbenton.edu>

> Hi colleagues,
> We're thinking about how we want to approach on-order records from
> Amazon, and wanted to know how you approached this in your own
> libraries.  We had a few ideas:
> 1) Just wait on creating POs until the Amazon orders actually arrive.
> This doesn't give patrons the chance to put holds on items before they
> are received.
> 2) Just type out the brief order records when the order is placed,
> which seems time consuming.
> 3) Also when the order is placed, use the Acquisitions MARC Federated
> Search, and if nothing shows up, then type the brief order records,
> which also seems time consuming.
> 4) Be sad that the chopac Amazon2Marc converter went away [1]
> How do y'all handle this?  I'm particularly interested in hearing
> about how your workflow works for your cataloging/acquisitions staff
> and how it looks to patrons using the catalog.
> Thanks in advance,
>   -Jane
> [1] http://web.archive.org/web/20160319050314/http://chopac.
> org/az2marc_goodbye.html
> --
> Jane Sandberg
> Electronic Resources Librarian
> Linn-Benton Community College
> sandbej at linnbenton.edu / 541-917-4655
> Pronouns: she/her/hers or they/them/theirs

Don Butterworth
Collection Management Librarian /
Faculty Associate
B.L. Fisher Library
Asbury Theological Seminary
don.butterworth at asburyseminary.edu
(859) 858-2227
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