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Acquisition and Processing Services

Non-serial library acquisitions (books, videotapes, music scores, maps, etc.) for all McGill University Library locations is conducted by staff in the Shelf Ready Materials unit.

Shelf Ready Materials is responsible for the following activities:

  • searching, ordering, receiving, paying and claiming
  • FastCat copy cataloguing as part of receiving and paying
  • FastCat copy cataloguing for items not in the new acquisitions stream
  • processing and binding

Acquisition information for electronic resources

Acquisition information for serials

For information about specific subject collection decisions, please consult the Liaison Librarians web page.


The FastCat Team accepts or rejects non-serial purchased library materials according to departmental standards. Staff create pay order records for titles electronically ordered and approval plan books sent with bibliographic records; update records for standing orders; check-in and create invoice records for all receipts; post payments; and update order statistics information.

Staff also identify high quality bibliographic records, correct and complete descriptive cataloguing information, provide processing information, and forward for physical processing.


Processing functions are the responsibility of staff in the Acquisitions Services unit. These include include making and affixing spine labels, adding barcode labels and inputting the barcode numbers to the database, inserting tattle-tapes, adding ownership stamps, inserting donor bookplates, applying pamphlet covers and acrylic covers to paperbacks, and reinforcing and mending material. Processing is done on all formats: books, journals, microforms, diskettes, CDs, videotapes, sound cassettes.

The processing of new serial issues and serial bound volumes is done by each library. Processing of rare material is done in the relevant rare books unit.

Shelf Ready material

The McGill Library has contracted with YBP Library Services and Coutts Information Services to process books purchased for all branch libraries and collections. These books come with LC or NLM call number spine labels, tattle tape, and ownership stamps. Barcoding is done in Collection Services.

Relabelling & Repairs

Minor repairs and re-labelling are done both by Collection Services Processing staff and in individual libraries.

In some cases, they also complete the physical processing of material received partially processed by the vendor.

Questions about Acquisitions should be addressed to: Joan Hobbins, Group Leader, Acquisitions and Receiving , Tel: 514-398-4796.

Last revised: November 11, 2010.