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Acquiring Library resources FAQs

The following FAQs are intended to give responses to general queries but, if you have any specific questions, please contact your Academic Engagement Librarian.

I am a member of academic staff. How do I submit a request for material to be purchased?

For printed and electronic books, click the link to Purchase Books for the Library then select the "Purchase Request" button. Alternatively you can use the Library Purchase Request form on the My Manchester staff portal to submit your request. 

Unfortunately, the Purchase Request form on My Manchester does not currently support requests for materials in non-Roman script. If you wish to request any non-Roman script publications, please contact (Middle Eastern Studies/Russian) or (East Asian Studies).

Any queries about requesting materials for the Library should be directed to your Academic Engagement Librarian.

I am a member of academic staff. How do I submit a request for key Reading List material to be purchased?

If your request is for a bulk order involving more than ten different titles from a Reading List, select the "Purchase Request" header on the My Manchester staff portal and click on the "Teaching and Learning" link displayed in the introductory paragraph. Alternatively, send your new list, with marked additions and changes, to the Library’s Teaching and Learning Team at: 

Please ensure that you allow plenty of time for these orders to be processed. We recommend that you do this at least a month before the course unit commences.

How long does it take for a new book to arrive?

This depends on the type of material and the speed of supply. Most books take an average of 20 days to arrive, with cataloguing and processing taking up to an additional five days.

If you have an urgent request, you can ask for book purchases to be fast-tracked by ticking a box on the Library Purchase Request form which can be found via My Manchester. As this service requires us to pay a premium fee to suppliers, this option should only be chosen when absolutely necessary.

N.B: Some books, especially those in languages other than English ordered from abroad, can take significantly longer to arrive. 

How do I ask for material to be treated as a priority?

On the 'New purchase' request form described above, there is a tick box for priority requests. 

How can I ask to be the first to use a book?

As a member of staff, you can ask for the book to be delivered straight to your office.

Tick the relevant box on the Purchase Request form via the My Manchester staff portal if you would like to be the first person to consult an item that you have requested. 

I am a member of academic staff. How do I submit a request for a journal or database to be purchased?

If you wish to recommend that the Library takes out a new subscription to a printed or electronic journal or a database, please contact your Academic Engagement Librarian who will be in touch to discuss your particular needs in detail.

How long does it take for a new electronic resource to be available?

Individual e-books are ordered and made available within 48 hours, in the majority of cases.

Other electronic resources, including journals and large packages of e-books, are ordered following approval and are made available as soon as the publisher is able to activate the service.

How long does it take for a new printed journal to be available?

Once funding has been agreed all orders are processed within seven days. Journal parts are normally catalogued and processed within four days of being received.

How do I recommend items for Special Collections?

Please contact the Special Collections staff at

How do I get a chapter of a book (or a journal article) digitised so that I can incorporate it into my Blackboard module?

Information about the online request form for taught course digitisation can be found on the Request digitized material for reading lists pages.

You can access the request form by logging into the My Manchester staff portal. Select the "View All" tab in the "Teaching" section and choose "Taught Course Digitisation".

All requests are checked for copyright compliance. You will be sent a link to the PDF which can easily be inserted into your Blackboard module.

The book or article that I need is not held in the Library. What can I do?

You can submit a request to the Inter-Library Loans Service by filling in the form on the My Manchester staff portal. Delivery times vary, however books are generally supplied within seven to ten days of the item being requested and journal articles usually arrive within five days, often sooner.

As the service is dependent on the co-operation of the supplier and the availability of the item, delays may occur in some cases.