Library book supply times

How Library Services obtains books / ebooks

To work effectively and obtain best value for money the library buys print books from specialised library suppliers. Library Services is a member of a national purchasing scheme which renegotiates deals with book suppliers, in line with EU legislation, every 3 to 5 years. As these suppliers work on behalf of a large number of libraries, it enables them to secure significant discount from publishers.  The discount Library Services receives for print books from our nominated supplier is currently 21.3%. These Library suppliers also do most of the processing of books ready for the library shelf.

Alternative suppliers and online vendors are used occasionally when a book is unavailable through normal routes e.g. out of print books.

Supply Times

Library Services is constantly working at reducing supply times. On average it takes 3-4 weeks from ordering for print books to be available on the shelf. There is variation according to LS workload, publisher and availability of each book (e.g. is it being reprinted?).

If there is a genuine need books can be obtained in a week or even a couple of days using suppliers’ urgent order facilities. However this is expensive both in staff time, and the cost of the item.


Library Services tries to make an ebook copy of all reading list material available for use. However some publishers are slow to embrace ebooks or only make them available for individuals to purchase and not libraries.