Acquisition Policy

The following procedures apply to published monographs, videos, compact discs (CD), digital video discs (DVD), and maps. Other library materials such as periodicals, online resources, and government documents are handled on a case-by-case basis.

The Acquisition Unit of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) aims to develop and update its collection of books, reference materials and other library materials through the purchase of these items.

The BA acquisitions process supports and implements the criteria established in the Library's Collection Development Policy.

The library shall acquire selected materials in a format and quality that have the depth and diversity to support the BA users. In order to fasten partnerships with vendors and jobbers of library materials, the library has issued these guidelines in order to achieve optimum success.

Vendors & Publishers
The BA acquires its library materials from vendors and publishers. For materials in Arabic, the BA prefers to deal directly with the publishers of the materials. As for non-Arabic materials, the BA prefers to acquire the materials through their vendors in Egypt. Although there are some cases in which the BA deals directly with publishers or vendors outside of Egypt in respect to non-Arabic materials in order to avoid certain obstacles that may occur by purchasing them from Egyptian vendors.

Evaluating Vendors & Publishers
A periodical evaluation will be conducted to evaluate the performance of the vendors based on the following criteria:

  • Fast reply on price inquiries;
  • Competitive, unprecedented prices;
  • Special offers and high discounts granted to the BA;
  • Easy and professional communication tools;
  • Delivery on time, every time; and
  • Materials delivered in excellent condition.
Price Inquiry Process
The Acquisition Unit works directly with the daily output of the Collection Development Unit. Therefore selections that come from the Collection Development Unit are handled on the same day the Acquisition Unit receives it. These selections are formatted into a spreadsheet and sent to the vendors for price inquiries. The following points summarize the work procedures for price inquiries on the selected materials:

  • After sending the price inquiry to various vendors, the Acquisition Unit requires a price quotation within 3 to 4 days.
  • If the price quotation is received after three working days it will be discarded and not taken into consideration when comparing prices.
  • All price quotations should be printed on the official letterhead of the vendor's company and stamped with the company's official stamp/seal.
  • All price quotations received before the deadline are compared with other offers in order to determine the most competitive price.
Purchase Orders
Purchase orders are issued by the end of the week following the receipt of the price quotation based on the eligibility of the prices. The purchase order is faxed with a cover letter to the vendor/ publisher. The original purchase order signed and stamped can be obtained from the Acquisitions Unit at the BA.

Delivery Time
Maximum delivery time for:

  • Arabic titles (from Egypt ): 45 days.
  • Non-Arabic titles: 60 days.
Penalty fees:

  • Delay in delivery of the ordered titles: 1 - 3% of the total invoice amount will be imposed on the vendor as a penalty fee.
  • Delivery no-show of specific titles: 3% of the total invoice amount will be imposed on the vendor as a penalty fee.
  • Delivery of wrong titles, different ISBNs, unsatisfactory condition of materials, etc: the vendor may substitute these titles within a maximum of three working days.
Delay in Delivery
  • The Acquisition Unit requires a list of the delayed or delivery no-shows purchase orders from the Receiving Unit every week.
  • The Acquisition Unit issues claim letters to all vendors with delayed deliveries.
  • Follow-up procedures are conducted to assure the vendor received the claim letter and to inquire when the titles will be delivered.
  • A maximum of two claim letters are sent to each vendor; the first one after one week of the delivery deadline and follow by the second one week later.
  • In case the vendor does not deliver the ordered materials, the purchase order is cancelled and a cancellation letter is sent to the vendor, the Receiving Unit and the Financial Department.
  • The incident will be recorded in the vendor's evaluation file and will affect future dealings.
Status of Materials & Documents
  • All library materials ordered through the Acquisition Unit must be new and in perfect condition.
  • A clean set of serial invoices must be submitted to the Receiving Unit upon the delivery of the library materials (ordered titles).
Material Processing
Acquired and delivered library materials will be processed through the Material Processing Unit and then will be cataloged and properly stamped.