Requesting a book purchase

The Library works in partnership with teaching departments in the selection of material. Each Faculty Librarian is allocated a specific group of subject areas and they will be happy to advise you on book selection for your subject area.

The Faculties have different ways of ordering books for the Library, so please contact your Faculty Librarian for advice on how they prefer to accept suggestions for purchase. It is usually acceptable to send an email or a marked up catalogue to your Faculty Librarian. We also encourage you to send the Library your reading lists.

What information do we need?

In all cases we require certain information to make sure we are ordering the right book:

  • Author or editor
  • Title
  • Publisher
  • Year and edition
  • ISBN

Please check Discovery or the Library Catalogue first and indicate if you know the book is already in stock.

It is useful to know how many students will be likely to use the book, and if they are campus-based or distance learners. This helps us decide how many print copies to buy and which ebook licence we should choose.

Please indicate if you would like the book reserved for you when it arrives. If you would like to know when a book has been received, there is a monthly list on the Library website broken down by fund code.

How long will it take for a book to arrive?

We are members of a national purchasing consortium which means that we have to use certain approved suppliers for most orders. This gives us a good discount on most items, which allows us to buy more resources for the Library, but it does mean that orders usually take 2-3 weeks to be delivered. The Library also does work at many stages of the ordering process, from checking book suggestions and deciding on the number of copies required, to classifying and cataloguing the books and processing them (sticking on labels and adding protective covers). Time taken to complete Library work on book orders fluctuates throughout the year depending on workloads, but we can prioritise items if necessary. Our busiest time of the year is March-July.

Standard priority orders take 4-5 weeks on average from being ordered by the Faculty Librarian to being made available on the Library shelves. If you need a book sooner than this, please mark it urgent; this allows us to use different suppliers and we will prioritise these books once they are delivered.

Any unusual items, such as out of print books, audiovisual material, or books in a foreign language or published overseas, may take longer.

Please plan well in advance if you need new books for teaching or research and allow enough time for your orders to arrive. If you have any queries about the status of your order, contact the Procurement Team on ext. 3237 or


We can help you by ...

  • Advising on the price of materials
  • Acquiring material that may be out-of-print
  • Advising on access difficulties to e-material
  • Providing information on the state of your budget
  • Providing notification of forthcoming new books