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Case study: London School of Economics

Achieve high fill rates on missing title projects

"We are very pleased with a fill rate of approximately 70% on our missing titles project. We could never have found so many titles if we were doing this searching on our own. What it really comes down to is the convenience of successfully managing replacement projects. [Alibris's Want List Matching service has] been so efficient that other departments are coming to me and asking for help with their orders. This has resulted in our expanding our use of Alibris to acquire more titles that are still in print."

Kathy Wilmot, Senior Library Assistant
Special Acquisitions Unit
London School of Economics
London, England

Replacement project yields 70% fill rate

The Library of the London School of Economics is the largest in the world devoted exclusively to the social sciences. Founded in 1896, it is also known as the British Library of Political and Economic Science and provides a specialist national and international research collection.

We are in the middle of a two-year project with Alibris to replace thousands of missing books using their Want List Matching service. We created a list by exporting bibliographic information from an Access database to an Excel spreadsheet, which we sent via email to Alibris. This made getting started on the project very easy for us.

At first we planned to review every title Alibris found in order to make our purchasing decisions. However, we quickly realized how time-consuming that would be and now we let Alibris do the selection for us. We set the parameters on price and condition and leave the rest to Alibris, which takes a huge burden off our staff. Eliminating this title by title review has allowed us to shave an entire year off the project-what we thought would take three years will now take just two.

Benefits of Alibris

Some of the titles we need have been out of print for quite some time, so they are very difficult to find. It could take weeks, months, or even years to track down these books from publishers who no longer exist. We worried at first we might get wrong editions or books in unacceptable condition, but we have had neither of these problems since turning our selection over to Alibris. And, with the 28 day return policy, we can always receive a credit if we do need to return an item.

I recommend Alibris to anyone looking for help replacing stolen, lost, or missing items. We like that we don't need a company credit card and can have invoices sent directly to us. It's been so efficient that other departments are coming to me and asking for help with their orders. This has resulted in our expanding our use of Alibris to acquire more titles that are still in print.

We are very pleased with a fill rate of approximately 70% on our missing titles project. We could never have found so many titles if we were doing this searching on our own. What it really comes down to is the convenience of successfully managing replacement projects. It is quite nice to have someone else do this work.