What is EDI?

What is EDI?

EDI stands for Electronic Data Interchange and it covers the exchange of electronic messages such as orders and invoices between libraries and materials suppliers. EDI is about computer to computer communication without human intervention.

What are the benefits of implementing automated acquisitions in Polaris?

  • Ability to add On Order records in the PAC quickly so that patrons can place holds.

  • Reduce staff time in placing and receiving materials orders.

  • Reduce the amount of time it takes to get ordered items out to the patrons.

  • Up-to-date Fund Accounting information. 

  • Reports on Vendor Performance

  • Notification of materials that need to be claimed because they haven’t been received.

Which vendors are able to use EDI with Polaris?

–Audio Book Services

–Baker & Taylor


–Children’s Plus

–Findaway World

–Gale-Cengage Learning

–Ingram Library Services

–Library Bound

–Library Services Centre

–MicroMarketing. LCC

–Midwest Library Services

–Midwest Tape

–CVS Midwest Tape

–Quality Books

–Rainbow Books

–Recorded Books

–Scholastic Library Publishing

–United Library Service (ULS)

–Whitehots, Inc.

–Yankee Book Peddler


What transactions does EDI include?

  • Transmitting a purchase order from Polaris to your vendor

  • Receiving an order acknowledgement from your vendor

  • Your vendor can transmit an invoice from their site to Polaris

  • You can choose to receive materials automatically through an EDI order


How do I set-up EDI?

  • The first time you use EDI, you will have a call with a Polaris staff member to make sure everything is ready for you in Polaris.

  • You will also be working with your vendor. EDI vendors have specialists in this area. They will help you.

  • You will need information from your vendor in order to create an EDI Supplier record.

  • You will work with your vendor to do a test order to verify that communications between the systems are working.

What is Enriched EDI?

A library that is receiving shelf ready materials from a vendor will use Enriched EDI. Enriched EDI updates item information such as Item Barcode Numbers and Call Numbers.

Our library would like to implement automated acquisitions but we’ll wait to start doing EDI.
It is recommended that if you are implementing automated acquisitions that you implement EDI processing at the same time. EDI processing enables purchase orders and invoices to be created with a greatly reduced amount of staff time. 

Why should I duplicate the fund accounting system for my library in Polaris?
The advantage of doing fund accounting in Polaris is that you can assign funds on a more detailed level than your general funds. Using a hierarchical fund structure allows you to group funds together when needed for analysis. The information in Polaris will be more up-to-date and will include encumbrances for orders that have not yet been received. 

Setting up a new fund structure is not a priority for my library right now. Does that mean I can’t use automated acquisitions?
If you have enough information on the money being spent toward your collections through your general funds you can create a single fund in Polaris with an imaginary amount of money. With this situation, there would not be a need to create invoices in Polaris. 


Kathy Schmidt