The following roles are required to perform purchase request tasks:
- Create request from Alma/Primo: Any role
- Create request from reading list: Course Reserves Operator/Manager (Ex Libris Support must add the Submit Purchase Request privilege to these roles)
- Manage requests: Selector
- Delete rejected requests: Selector + Selector Extended
Purchase requests enables librarians using Alma and instructors or patrons using Primo or Leganto to request that a library purchase an item. The requester can request an item for any reason, for example: the library does not have a copy (there is no bibliographic record, or there is a bibliographic record but no inventory), or the library does not have enough copies or in the right format or edition, or the existing copy is damaged. The requester (or a librarian on behalf of a requester) fills in as many details of the item as possible and then sends the request to Alma for review.
An Alma user with the Selector role (Selectors) can view the list of requests and assign each one to users. Selectors can edit a request, email a requester for more information, and approve or reject requests. Approved requests become PO lines.
To support this feature, two letters are used:
- Purchase Request Status Letter (letter code: PurchaseRequestStatus) – Sent to requester when the request is approved or rejected.
- Query to Requester (letter code: QueryToRequesterLetter) – Sent to the requester when the librarian queries him or her for more information.
Bibliographic records created using purchase requests use the Default bibliographic template (see Working with Templates) and are subject to normalization processes (see Working with Normalization Processes).
For more information, watch the Patron Purchase Requests video (3:46) Also see the purchase request presentation [PPT].
Purchase requests is a service exposed from Alma to Primo. Like any other service, it can be hidden from groups of users using Alma’s Display Logic Rules. This service is initially hidden from users by default with the rule Hide Service Purchase Request.
Purchase Request Link in Primo
- To enable the service for all Primo users, remove this rule.
- To hide the service only for specific groups, remove this rule and then add a rule/rules to hide the service for those groups.
- You can also configure all labels used for this feature.
- To create a direct link to the purchase request form from Primo, see Direct Linking to the Purchase Request Form.
For more information about configuring display logic rules and configuring labels, see Discovery Interface Display Logic.
A patron can create a purchase request in Primo. Requests made by patrons in Primo are submitted to Alma with the status In Review. A brief bibliographic record is created for the requested item, if required (and if the metadata is added manually, as stated in the note below).
You can also create a purchase request on behalf of a user in Alma. You can do this:
- When managing citations in a reading list (see Managing Citations), if the Submit Purchase Request privilege has been added by Ex Libris Support to the Course Reserves Operator/Manager roles.
- On the Purchase Request page (see below).
To create a purchase request on the Purchase Request page:
- On the Purchase Request page (Acquisitions > Purchase Requests > Create Purchase Request), fill in as much information as you can.
Alma: Purchase Request PageFor a description of the fields in the Resource Information area, see Adding a New Book or Journal Article. The fields in the Request Attributes area are as follows:
The fields Title, ISBN/ISSN, and Requester are mandatory.As a result of the ISSN/ISBN being a mandatory field, there is a known issue regarding an automatic merge of purchase requests with existing bibliographic records. The ISSN/ISBN will therefore not be mandatory as of the March 2018 release.Instead of entering the information manually, you can click Search in Repository, search for and select an item in the repository, and click Select. The item’s information is pre-filled in the page’s fields. See Searching in the RepositorySearching in Alma.When creating a purchase request associated with a bibliographic record, the bibliographic metadata cannot be edited on the purchase request page. This is to avoid either changing the existing record or creating a new one from this page. A new record is created from this page only when you enter the information manually.
- Requested Format – Whether the item should be acquired in electronic or physical format
- Requester – The user who is making the request
- Request Status – The initial status of the request, which is always In Review
- Owning Library – The library that should receive the item
- Estimated Cost – An estimated cost for the item, including the currency
- Fund – The fund from which to purchase the item. This field is only active after a library is selected. Note that it is recommended that you add the fund immediately before the purchase request is approved.
- Vendor/Account – The vendor and vendor account from which to purchase the item
- Approved By – This field is initially empty. It will later contain the name of the user who approved the item, if any.
- Requester Note – Any note to send to the user who will be approving or rejecting the request.
- Rejection Reason – This field is initially empty. This field will later contain the reason the request was rejected, if any.
- (When editing a request only) If you entered a Library, you can add locations and the number of requested copies for each location in the Quick Add area; click Add Location. If you do not specify quantities and locations, one copy in the default Acquisitions location is assumed.
- Add any notes in the Notes tab, as required.
- When you are done, click Save.
The request is submitted with the status In Review. A brief bibliographic record is created for the requested item, if required.
The following tasks are available to manage purchase requests:
To view pending purchase requests, select Acquisitions > Purchase Requests > Manage Purchase Requests from the Alma Main Menu. Alternately, if there are any unassigned requests, or there are any requests assigned to you, select one of the following tasks from the Tasks List in the persistent menu (see Tasks in the Task ListTasks in the Last List):
- Purchase requests - assigned to you
- Purchase requests - unassigned
Manage Purchase Requests Page
Use the tabs to see requests assigned to you or to others, or to view unassigned requests. Use the facets and the Find tool to filter the list of requests on the page.
For information on searching using special characters/diacritics, see Searching for Special CharactersSearching for Special Characters.
To view more details about the requested item:
- Click a request title to view the request in the MARC Record Simple View page.
- In the Unassigned or Assigned to Other tab, click View beneath a request to view the request details. The View link only appears in the Unassigned tab if the request was ordered or rejected.
You can assign a purchase request to a user or release an assignment. The user to which the request is assigned should approve or reject the request.
To assign requests to a user:
- Click Assign to beneath a requestin the row actions list. A dialog box appears.
Assign To Dialog Box
- Select the user to whom to assign the request. Only users with the relevant role appear in the drop-down list.
- Optionally add a note and select whether to send an email to the user.
- Click Assign To.
The request is assigned to the selected user.
To move a request back to unassigned:
In the Assigned to Me or Assigned to Others tab, click Release Assignment beneath a requestin the row actions list. The request is moved back to the Unassigned tab.
You can edit a purchase request.
To edit a request:
- In the Assigned to Me or Unassigned tab, click Edit beneath a requestin the row actions list. The Purchase Request page appears. For more information, see Creating a Purchase Request.
- Change any non-metadata fields as required. When you are done, click Save.
If the request was not already assigned to you, it is now assigned to you.
You can email the requester for more information about a purchase request.
To send email to the requester:
- Click Send Query to Requester beneath any requestin the row actions list. An Email Message dialog box appears.
E-Mail Message Dialog Box
- Enter information in the fields. The From, To, and Subject fields are mandatory. Note that if the requester’s email is not prefilled, you must enter it manually.
- When you are done, click Send E-Mail. A Query to Requester letter (letter code: QueryToRequesterLetter) is sent to the requester. For information about configuring the letter, see Configuring Alma Letters.
Approving a purchase request creates a purchase order line. Whether you approve or reject the request, Alma sends an email to the requester.
To create a purchase order line for (approve) the request:
Before ordering the item, ensure that a library and/or location is selected in the request. If one is not selected, edit the request; see Editing a Purchase Request.
Click Approve and Order beneath a requestin the row actions list. A PO line is created with the status In Review; it then proceeds through the purchasing process, as usual. The PO line number appears in the confirmation message at the top of the page. Alma sends the requester a confirmation letter, the Purchase Request Status letter (letter code: PurchaseRequestStatus).
To reject a request:
- Click Reject beneath any requestin the row actions list. A confirmation dialog box appears.
Alternately, you can reject multiple requests at once: Select the check boxes next to the requests that you want to reject and click Reject Selected at the top or bottom of the page. You can select all the requests on the page by clicking Select All at the top of the list of requests. Note that you cannot reject requests that were already approved.
- Click Confirm in the confirmation dialog box. A reject reason dialog box appears.
Reject Reason Dialog BoxThis list of reasons can be configured by an administrator.
- Select the reason for the rejection and click Reject. The request is rejected. If the request created a brief bibliographic record, it is also deleted. Alma sends the requester a Purchase Request Status letter (letter code: PurchaseRequestStatus) to inform him/her of the request rejection. For information about configuring the letter, see Configuring Alma Letters.
An administrator can configure the reasons for rejecting a request; see Configuring Purchase Request Reject Reasons.
After a request is rejected or approved, it appears in the list of requests with the option to delete the request. To delete the request, click Delete beneath the requestin the row actions list.
To delete a purchase request, you must have the Selector Extended role.