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Orders Material Types


@VirginiaMartin and @LauraW - just a couple of follow up questions:
a) Then ‘Material type (order)’ is to be considered as a subset of ‘Material type (items)’?
b) Or is the decision not to show the brief order records in Inventory with any ‘Material type (order)’ data. And not until the tangible item is received, then a ‘Material type (item)’ is applied?


I think we need to consider the purpose/function of each field. The Material type (item) tells a staff member (and, presumably, a library user) exactly what the thing represented by the item record is. It likely also drives statistical reports. It is a much more granular list than Material type (order).

Does the Material type (item) also interact with loan rules in Circulation?

Is Material type (order) intended for humans to quickly understand the nature of the order? To invoke different workflows? To generate statistics? All of the above?


Laura - yes, the Material type (order) is intended for all three things you mentioned:

  • Quick reference for staff
  • Workflow trigger
  • Statistical reports


Would this need to include material types for items that may not necessarily be part of an acquisitions workflow, but are still circulated? I’m thinking of things like cameras, power chargers, etc. that many public service desks check out for patrons.


Just now reading this thread - a couple quick replies:

Acq (order) material type would seem to be the thing that you are ordering, which may not be exactly the same as how you eventually package and circulate the thing via an inventory item record. One use case: a library orders a DVD/blu-ray combo pack, but then repackages the DVD and blu-ray disc to circulate as 2 separate things, represented by 2 separate item records.

Good question. If a library intends to order supplies like you describe via their FOLIO Acquisitions system, then I think we would need Acq Material Types for them. Do you think we would need specific categories like you list (cameras, power charges, USB stick, etc), or perhaps a more general category like Supplies? Similarly, we’ve discussed the need for order records/payments for Services, like MARC record services, Shelfready processing services, Platform fees, etc. It seems like a Acq Material Type of “Service” would be useful.


Hi all - Just added some questions/comments to the spreadsheet:

@VirginiaMartin: See rows 9 & 10
@VirginiaMartin/@Kristen_Wilson: See row 16
@Kristen_Wilson: See rows 26, 28, 29

All: see rows 32-33 - would be good to get your thoughts
Libraries with DDA/PDA programs: see row 34 - would be good to get your thoughts

Acq Small Group will be discussing this spreadsheet on Thursday, so the sooner, the better!


Hi @Ann-Marie

I think it would depend on how reporting ties into these categories, and whether individual libraries could modify the type list if needed to make it more specific for their needs. I could foresee both scenarios being helpful, particularly if this material list is feeding acquisitions reporting functionality.


For v1, this will likely be a static list, common to all libraries. We would aim to have it be an editable list in a future version. Depending on what is needed for reporting, I could see combining an Order Material Type (book, audio, video) with an Order Type (P, E, P/E combo) to get stats on eBooks vs pBooks, or Streaming Audio vs Physical Audio. If more detail were needed, then certainly tags could be used in v1, in combo with the other values, to collect stats on different physical video formats (DVD vs Blu-ray vs VHS vs USB stick). If we had a single material type for supplies, I could see using tags to more finely categorize those supplies for reporting purposes (USB sticks, power cords, printer paper, etc). Would that suffice for a first version?


@Ann-Marie - yes, that makes a lot of sense to me for a v.1 implementation (though worth noting I am not in acquisitions.)


Hi everyone, FOLIO Acq Small Group met today and went over the recommended Order Material Types. Please review the spreadsheet:

Here’s a few notes:

  1. You can ignore column A - it was just a way for us to group similar categories so that we could talk about them together. Column A will not be a code or category in the order.
  2. Column B is the Order Material Type that the Acq Small Group recommends. Please review and add comments if you disagree with any of them. You’ll see a few that are highlighted yellow, which we feel are covered by other terms.
  3. Column F: you’ll see a few other comments from the Acq Small Group, explaining how a particular Order Material Type might be used.

There are also some general comments at the bottom of the spreadsheet.

Most importantly: not all FOLIO libraries will need to use these Order Material Types the same way. So long as a single FOLIO library, or single tenant, uses the Order Material Types consistently, then your reporting and stats should be solid.

We’d like to wrap this discussion up by next week, so please add any other questions or comments in this Discuss post and/or the spreadsheet by Wednesday 8 August.

Thank you!


I had a question about why we’re not using the material types that are being used in Inventory. That was our original intent, but the Order Material Types are a bit more general, plus they cover categories not well represented by the Inventory material types. The Order material types are mostly being used to categorize orders/financials for statistical/reporting purposes, and perhaps for filtering orders.

We are not adhering to a standardized list. This list will likely be a static list for all FOLIO Acquisitions users in the first version of Orders, but ultimately we want to make it editable for each FOLIO library/tenant. If there’s any additional value that you cannot live without for the first iteration, we need to know that. If there’s any existing value in the list that you dislike intensely, we need to know that.

Thanks again for all your input so far!


I put some comments into the document, but I want to list them here as well. I am thinking in particular about a couple of things:

  1. Do we need to bring out medium as a separate category? That has come up with some of the different Material Types. I’m concerned that if we put in every medium possible, we’ll create a matrix of different possibilities for material type that will make for an overly long and cumbersome list. On the other hand, there might be a few distinctions we feel like we really need to bring out (and I’m thinking in particular of Streaming Video vs. other video recordings), so is it okay not to be consistent, but bring out some of these special circumstances?

  2. I know that we are planning to use the Order Material Type and the Order Type (P, E, P/E Combo) to bring out characteristics. I feel like that will work well with books and journals, but wonder if instead of “E” do we mean Online? For DVDs, would these be E? It sounds strange to put them in the P Order Type, but I’m again thinking about how to distinguish DVDs from Streaming Video. On the hand, a dataset might be local or require hosting, and maybe then E is more logical than O, since the institution will have to host the data. So perhaps sticking with the E and having adding Streaming Video to Order Material Type would solve this dilemma, although perhaps not consistent. I’d be interested in others’ thoughts.


Hi Kristin,

Think of P meaning that you’re acquiring something physical and E meaning that you’re not acquiring something physical. Indicating that an order is for something Physical starts it down a path that likely leads to receiving/check-in and item records. Indicating that an order is for something E starts it down a path that likely involves the ERM, no item records, and perhaps activation in a KB.

Thus, a DVD would be a video recording which is a P order. Streaming video would be a video recording which is an E order.

If you needed to distinguish purchase of VHS vs DVD vs Blu-ray vs Film loop vs Laserdisc vs Video on USB stick, then you would need a tag, or to report based on the Inventory item material type, or more specific Order Material Types, since all of those would be Video Recordings that are Order Type = P.

Does that help?


I don’t think we have to be totally consistent, but I agree that we don’t want to end up with a huge list. A good example of inconsistency is including Serial, but also Journal, Newspaper, and Monographic Series, all of which could be considered Narrower Terms for Serial, and therefore one or the other might be redundant. But there seems to be enough demand in Serials-Land for the narrower terms plus the broader term that it probably makes sense to include both in the overall list, and let each library decide which one(s) they want to use.


Hi Ann-Marie,

I like the idea of P=Physical, but am still struggling a bit with E=Electronic, no physical item. Terminology wise, it still seems like we are still really meaning “online” versus Electronic. I am also interested in considering workflow of locally hosted items, like when we have to buy a PDF from a publisher and host it locally. I guess it would be E, since it’s not checked it to be circulated?

In thinking about streaming, I think the distinction you make would work for physical video versus streaming/downloadable.


This should work as a first pass. I can think of a few minor things NCSU might like to do differently, but with a hardcoded list everyone will have that to some extent. No dealbreakers though.

I also really appreciate us being able to make this change. These categories are much more inline with what most acquisitions departments want to capture. Making sure that the locally configurable values make it into a future version should also be a priority.


Hi Kristin,
Yes, probably best to think of it as Online. “O” may be easily confused with “Order,” so are you OK with keeping E instead of O as the indicator for Electronic-only (no physical carrier of any kind)? And yes, PDF purchased from a vendor, delivered via e-mail or DropBox or FTP or whatever, and hosted locally would be Misc Electronic, or perhaps the format (Book, Images, Map, Score) + (Order Type = E) - whichever formulation your library decides is most appropriate.


I prefer E (electronic) to O (online) with E standing for “Electronic Only” rather than just “Electronic.” I think that it makes sense as far as common terminology goes; we talk about “Electronic Resources Management” and “Electronic Resources Librarians” not “Online Resources Management,” it may not be 100% accurate but it fits with our commonly used and understood terminology.


I agree with Kristen that this is a good first pass. It will be impossible to satisfy everyone with a hardcoded list for v.1, but I think this gets close to something that should work for everyone, especially since tags will also be available.

I also want to second Kristen’s comments that it’s great that we’re going in this direction rather than using bibliographic description terms on the orders, and that it is important to prioritize making this a locally configurable list in a future version of FOLIO.


Thanks everyone for your replies - we have a few late-breaking additions from Germany that will be added - mainly some formats that we missed. We’re close to getting it finalized though!

And I’m not sure if the locally-configurable requirement is reflected in Jira yet, but I am sure that @dennisbridges will keep track of it and take care of it. That’s our intent for all of the lists in v1 of acquisitions - start with a fixed list so that we can get it developed, then add customization capabilities.