Order from the Library Specialists

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Case study: Washington University in St. Louis

Use as a secondary vendor for out-of-stock titles

"Alibris for Libraries is the first place we turn when our primary supplier does not have the item we need in stock. Initially, we were surprised to find how many new titles Alibris offers in addition to used items. We are using Alibris increasingly more often because they meet our needs."

Kate Sathi, Librarian Supervisor
Acquisitions Unit
Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri

Excellent source for new books as well as used items

Alibris for Libraries is the first place we turn when our primary supplier does not have the item we need in stock. We order a variety of types of books from Alibris, including items to support our popular literature collection and foreign language materials from overseas sellers. We also find Alibris to be an excellent source for DVDs and videos, which are not available through our primary vendor.

We prefer Alibris to other online vendors because we can use a purchase order instead of a credit account. Other vendors have rejected our orders when we've hit our credit limit, and this slows everything down. With Alibris, our PO numbers appear on the invoices so we can match what we ordered with what was shipped. This allows us to get materials to our users more quickly and efficiently.

Alibris makes it easy to look at our order history, check the status of orders, and view a copy of the invoice. When we receive an email notification that an item is not available, we like the ability to simply forward the email back to Alibris to fulfill our order with the recommended substitution. This saves us time in not having to place an order all over again.

Initially we were surprised to find how many new titles Alibris offers in addition to used items. We are using Alibris increasingly more often because they meet our needs. We like being able to check the seller rating and the condition of used items so we know what to expect. We've used the BookFetch service and appreciate the convenience of having Alibris continue to search for a title for us. We've used this in cases where the one copy listed is too expensive so we ask Alibris to notify us if they locate a lower-priced option.

We generally need a quick turnaround on our orders so we most often choose to ship direct from seller and receive our items within two weeks. This is important for us because we are starting to work more closely with our interlibrary loan department on user-driven acquisitions—purchasing rather than borrowing. Alibris for Libraries helps us acquire materials just-in-time rather than just-in-case.