HomeCataloging Best PracticesBibliographic CatalogingPre-Processing/On-Order Materials

3.4. Pre-Processing/On-Order Materials

Many library systems use brief records for pre-processing or on-order materials. A brief on-order should include:

NOTE: If you are adding an item or volume record and encounter a brief title record, overlay the record with a more complete MARC record. NC Cardinal recommends that you use either a record from OCLC or a z39.50 source. 

For any on-order material, follow these steps:

  1. Search the catalog for an existing record.
  2. If NO record exists
    1. Create a record by importing a MARC record from OCLC, a Z39.50 source, or vendor site
    2. OR create an original MARC record using one of the NC Cardinal MARC Templates.

Please refer to the NC Cardinal MARC Record Templates for the type of item you are adding, as these outline the minimum tags recommended for a “good” MARC record for each. For example, a viable MARC record includes at least the 10- and 13- digit ISBN numbers, Author, Title, Place of Publication, Publisher, and Year. Fixed fields include country code, language type, item type, form, audience, and year(s). 


  1. Add a volume name
    1. Enter the purchase order number for the volume name.
  2. Add a barcode field
    1. Enter a 14-digit, self-created number for the barcode using the following pattern:
      1. The first 5 digits of your library’s barcode range (unique for all libraries in the NC Cardinal system)
      2. Followed by the unique suffix of your choice (e.g. the last 9 digits of the 13-digit ISBN)
      3. Example: 50501-123497306
  3. Fill in pertinent information in Item Attributes
    1. Status = On order
    2. Location/Collection = On order
    3. Circulate = YES
    4. Holdable = YES
      1. Setting Circulation and Holdable to YES allows patrons to place holds on On-order copies at all levels - Title, Volume, and Item. Circulate and Holdable flags should always be set to NO for reference copies.
  4. When the book arrives from the vendor
    1. Edit the volume name to the appropriate call number
    2. Edit the barcode to match the item’s barcode
    3. Apply the appropriate template to the Item Attributes
    4. Conduct a second search to see if there is now a MARC record available on Z39.50
      1. If no record exists, overlay the brief record.
      2. If a record exists, check it for completeness. If it is brief, overlay a record from OCLC or a Z39.50 source.

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