Acquisitions FAQ

Q: How Do I Set Up My 970 fields with my Vendor?

List of Valid 970 fields:

  • $l - location (Polaris three letter branch code) This can be found using the Bibliographic Find Tool and looking at the Branches tab. The code is in brackets.

  • $q - quantity

  • $f - fund (Polaris fund name or fund alternative name)

  • $c - collection (Polaris collection abbreviation) This can be found using the Bibliographic Find Tool and looking at the Collections tab. The code is in brackets.

  • $p - price (does not need dollar sign)

  • $m - material type (Polaris material type name or code)

  • $n - non-public note (appears on the Instructions to Supplier view of the Purchase Order Line Item workform)

  • $h - copy-level code. (All or part of the on order item template name) If the supplier supports copy-level information in subfield h, it is used in the creation of on-order items. The library creates item templates with the copy-level code in the template name. The code should not be longer than 10 digits. When the purchase order is released, the copy-level codes in the purchase order line item segments are matched to the template code and create the on-order items.


970 Tips:

  • All 970 fields should have a subfield l Location field.

  • When you are using the $h, do not include the $c (Collection) or $m (Material Type).

  • When you are not using the $h you must have $c (Collection) and $m (Material Type) along with $l (Location). These are the three fields that match to the correct On Order Item Template.

  • All information for one item ordered needs to be in the same 970 field.

  • If you have multiple 970 fields to order multiple copies they should have either a different Location, Collection, or Material Type. If they are the same in multiple lines you will get an error message when releasing the PO.

  • Don’t include additional subfields in the 970 than the ones listed above as they are invalid.

  • If a price is not in the MARC record’s 970 $p, the system checks for the price in the following tags:

    • 020 - If an ISBN is present in 020 $a, the corresponding 020 $c is checked for a price. If both are found, the ISBN is copied to the purchase order line item’s ISBN field, and the price is copied to the purchase order line item’s Unit price field.

    • 024 - If no price is found in the 020 $c, the system checks for a 024 $a with a first indicator of 3, and if present, the corresponding 024 $c is checked for a price (in OCLC records, the 13-digit ISBN and the accompanying price are in the 024 tag, if the first indicator is a 3). If both are found, the number in the 024 $a is copied to the purchase order line item’s ISBN field, and the price is copied to the purchase order line item’s Unit price field.

  • Net or Discount Price vs. List or Retail Price: In your purchase order, include the retail price to encumber the higher amount. This is also the price that will be transferred to your items. When the invoice is received it will list the actual discount price that the library is paying so your funds will be correct.


IMPORTANT: Please do not delete or overlay other libraries’ 970 fields! CCS will be running a utility to clean these up so they do not need to be deleted manually. Make sure that the import profile you are using to load On Order records retains the 970 field!

Potential Problems:

  • When you are using 970 fields, you should create and release your PO on the same day. This will prevent other libraries accidentally using your 970 fields.

  • It is recommended to try to load order records early in the morning or in the evening. This may help with not having as many locked records. Records can be locked by public services staff who are using LEAP. If the 970 is not saved in the record due to a record lock, paste the 970 in the record manually.

  • When you have a provisional record, it is ok to temporarily save the record as Final so that the order can be placed. However, someone should review and merge the records as soon as possible so that patrons can place holds on the correct records.   

Click here for more information about On Order Item Templates and Item Template Codes.


Q: What do I need to do to start using EDI?

  • Contact your vendor so they can start getting you set up in their system.

    • Make sure your grids and 970 fields are set up with the vendor.

    • Ask about setting up ASN shipments if you are interested. 

    • Ask for their SAN number and their EDI information so you can create an EDI Supplier record for them.

    • Make sure you know how to download a MARC file from the vendor's site. 

  • In Polaris:

    • Set up an EDI Supplier record. Fill in the address information as well as the SAN number and the EDI information.

    • Set up On Order Item Templates.​

    • Set up an On Order Import Profile. You can use one that already exists.

  • Create a help ticket for CCS staff

    • CCS staff will set up a phone call with Polaris staff to place your first order.​

    • Tell CCS what your library SAN number is.

    • Let CCS staff know what EDI Invoice defaults you would like. This includes a default fund, a header fund if you have them, and who should receive emails about invoices.


Q: What happens after I place my first order?

After the phone call with Polaris staff, check with your vendor to make sure they received the EDI Order. When the box of materials you ordered arrives, set up another call with Polaris staff. They will walk you through the receiving and invoicing process. It is best to not place EDI orders until after the second call in order to make sure that everything is working correctly.



Q: Why Do I Get a Message About My Funds Being Over-encumbered Every Time I Order?

Over-encumbered funds: When you create or edit a fund, make sure that the Encumbrance Limits have an amount other than 0. Otherwise you will get an overe-ncumbrance message whenever you place an order.


Q: Can I Have a Negative Balance in My Funds?

Yes, you can have a negative balance. This is especially useful at the end of the year and you know you have pre-ordered titles that won’t be published until the next fiscal year.


Q: How Can I Find the Total Number of Items Ordered on my Purchase Order?

You can see the quantity ordered in the PO Ordered column, but there is no total number of items provided by Polaris for the PO.

Q: What is the best way to add line items to a PO for multivolume set orders?

There are two options that are recommended. When ordering multivolume sets, it can be helpful to place them in a different cart than the single volume items. One option is to manually add each volume to the PO, without using a 970 field to automatically add the POLI to the PO. The second option is to use the 970 to add items to the PO. If you would like to use the 970 to automatically add the 970 to the PO, you will need separate vendor records for each volume in the set. Import the records using a profile that saves them as provisional records so they don't merge with existing records. Save the records as final. Then you can add the line items to the PO in bulk. After releasing the PO, you can merge the records.


Q: What is an ASN Shipment?

ASN stands for Advanced Shipment Notification. When you use ASN with EDI orders, you can receive a box of materials by scanning the barcode on the box. Not all vendors provide this service. If you are interested, check with your vendor. They will need to set it up for you on their end before using it in Polaris.

Q: How Do I Receive an ASN Shipment?


  1. Review Reports - Under the Utilities menu, select Reports and Notices. Then select Acquisitions. There are three reports there for ASN Shipments. Advanced Shipment Container Content ; Advanced Shipment Containers Not Yet Received; and, Advanced Shipment Notification Log. These reports are for informational purposes and for you to verify that the Polaris agent processed the shipment. It is a good idea to take a look at the reports and see what your shipment contains.

  2. Receive ASN Shipment - See steps below.

  3. Last – Process the invoice. Don’t process the invoice until you receive ASN Shipment.


Follow these steps to receive shipments using the ASN.

  1. Select Acquisitions, EDI Services, Receive ASN Shipments. The Receive ASN Shipments workform opens.

  2. To change the branch location selected in the Filter By Organization box, select a different branch or select All.

  3. Search for the ASN using one of the following methods:

    1. Select ASN tracking barcode, and scan the barcode located on the label attached to the outside of the carton. Or, type the number that displays under the barcode.

    2. Select Supplier SAN, and type the supplier’s SAN.

    3. Select ASN date range, and select from and to dates.

  4. Click Go.

Kathy Schmidt