On Order Item Templates and Item Template Codes

On Order Item templates are very useful in creating items when a purchase order is released. By having On Order Items, patrons can place holds on the ordered items.

When you create on-order items when you release a purchase order, Polaris attempts to match the values in the fields on the purchase order line item and the values for the corresponding fields in an on-order item template. The matching of item templates against purchase order line item data can occur in two ways:

  • Matching branch, collection, and/or material type. On-order templates that do not have a template code are matched to the purchase order line item based on branch, collection, and material type.

  • Matching the item template code in the template name. If the supplier supports exporting copy-level codes in 970 $h, you can name on-order templates with this code and use it in the matching process. 

Matching With Item Template Codes

Some libraries add holdings or copy-level codes to the supplier’s database, in addition to the library’s distribution and fund codes. When a staff member selects titles and creates the shopping cart on the supplier’s site, they also select the appropriate copy-level codes, distribution codes, and fund data. When the brief MARC records are exported from the supplier’s site, the records contain the order data and the copy-level code in one or more 970 tags.

The library then imports the brief bibliographic records in Polaris, and bulk-adds them to a purchase order. The 970 order data creates the purchase order line items and segments. The copy-level codes are saved in the database to be used in on-order item creation.

The copy-level codes bulk-added from the 970 $h are stored in the purchase order line item segment table. While they are not visible in the purchase order line item, they are displayed in the PO line item segment property sheet.

To create on-order items, the library creates item templates with the copy-level code in the template name. When the purchase order is released, the copy-level codes in the purchase order line item segments are matched to the template codes and create the on-order items. To make the match, the stored value from the 970$h must match the code in the item template name.

The item template must be named On-order or On order (with or without the hyphen). If your library uses a copy-level code supplied by the vendor in 970 tag $h, the item template name must also include this code.

Follow these general steps to use copy-level item template codes in the creation of on-order items:

  1. Define copy-level codes on the supplier’s materials selection Web site (may be referred to as a grid). The codes can contain at least one alpha or numeric character, not to exceed 10 characters.

  2. For each copy-level code, create an on-order item template with the code in the template name, following On-Order. For example, On-order MAV4WKBCD Main AV 4 Week.

  3. Select titles on the supplier’s Web site, select the appropriate code for each copy, and other order data, including branch, quantity, fund and price. 

  4. Download the brief acquisitions bibliographic records containing the 970 tags with the copy-level code in subfield h. 

  5. Import the bibliographic records into a record set, and bulk-add them to a purchase order. 

The 970 subfields l (location), f (fund), q (quantity), and p (price) are used to create the distribution and fund data in the purchase order line item segments. The collection code ($c) and material type ($m) are not necessary if the item template code is included in the $h. If the 970 tag contains a $h, but not a $c, and a matching template is found, the Assigned Collection from the template is copied to the Collection field in the purchase order line item segment.

  6. Release the purchase order and select the option to create on-order item records. 

To automatically create the item records using the tags in the 970 $h, the system looks for a matching item template that has all these characteristics:


  • the template’s name begins with On-order (with or without the hyphen); 

  • the item template code in the template’s name matches the copy-level code stored in the purchase order line item segment table; 

  • the item template code contains at least one alpha or numeric character, not to exceed 10 characters;

  • the item template code is preceded and followed by one space, though it may be in any position in the Item Template name field;

  • the item template code does not contain any diacritic characters within the code;

  • and the branch in the Assigned field in the on-order item template matches the branch in the Destination field in the purchase order line item segment.

If the template has all these characteristics, on-order items are created. If no on-order item template has all these characteristics, an error message appears and no on-order item records are created.

Winnetka-Northfield Sample Templates

Naomi Wolfson at Winnetka-Northfield created the following set of On Order Templates. She is using EDI with vendors Baker & Taylor and Midwest Tape. When records are downloaded from the vendor sites, they contain 970 fields with the needed information, including the $h that contains the template's name. This insures that the match will be with the correct template. Thank you to Naomi for being willing to share her hard work with us!


Winnetka orders AV formats together (Blu-Ray/DVD) (Playaway/Audiobooks) in one cart and also separates materials out by Audience (Youth/Adult) thus the templates shelf location and material type for these materials will not be specified for a specific format until the item is in hand, but the Audience and collection has been designated.

Kathy Schmidt