ASERL Disposition Database - Multi-part Offers & Gentle Reminder
From: Cheryle Cole-Bennett (
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2017 08:22:23 -0800 (PST)

Good morning ASERL friends,

In the past couple of weeks I have received a couple of emails with questions about needs, claims and offers in the ASERL Disposition database generated as a result of multi-part offers.  I thought it might be helpful to send an explanation of the process, and to include a “gentle reminder” at the same time.  The automated capabilities of the ASERL Disposition database streamlines this process so well, but it does take a bit of manual intervention to make sure it continues to hum along nicely.


         When a library uploads a multi-part offer and the database recognizes a potential match between that offer and needs that have been created, the database will display a “matching needs-spec” screen that identifies the list of needs that are present in the database  (see screen shot below).  The offering library can check the boxes for any of the items that are contained in their offer, and this will generate individual offers for those items.  If none of these items are contained in the multi-part offer, then the offering library clicks the ‘NO NEW OFFERS’ button and the “bulk” offer is posted.



The individual offers that are generated through this process, work the same as any other single item offer.  The library with the needs spec would get a notification of the match, and unless they had auto-claim set-up, they would go through the list of offers and manually claim what they want.


Note:  As always, there is a “window of opportunity” in the Disposition process that defines when an offer becomes available for claiming.  If you are unsure of this timeline, please see page 10 in the program Guidelines -  - and also in the LibGuide -


         When those individual offers are generated, the initial multi-part (“bulk”) offer remains in the database.   To avoid duplication, the offering library will need to edit that offer to indicate what is remaining ? or delete it if individual offers were created for all titles contained in that offer. 


         It is important to note that all multi-part offers remain active (display in the list) until the offering library changes the status (or it expires) ? the act of claiming does not remove a multi-part offer from the list.   Single item offers become inactive when they are claimed (removed from the list so no one else can claim them), whereas multi-part offers do not.   They remain visible (and allow other libraries to continue claiming them) until the offering library changes the status ? or until it expires.   So if a claim is made on a multi-part offer and the claiming library only wants part of it ? the offering library is responsible for editing the listing to update it as to what remains available.  If the claim accepts the entire multi-part offer, the offering library is responsible for changing the status to “all claimed”.  (see screen shot below)





As you know, there can be quite a bit of work involved for the offering library in confirming the holdings contained in the multi-part offer, and updating the offer when generating those individual listings.  For example, it is not uncommon for an AG posting to return over 100+ matching needs specs.   Many of these individual offers go on to be claimed and the transaction completed ? and the materials find a new home.  However, as some of the recent questions indicate, many are not.


So this is the “gentle reminder” part: 

         If you have created a multi-part offer that has been claimed ? in part or in whole ? please remember to update your entry.  This will help the workflow and reduce unmet expectations for other libraries who may act on an offer that is no longer available.


         There are a host of reasons for possibly not completing a matched need in the database, though some may be a matter of housekeeping. 


o   If it has been a while since you have reviewed your needs lists in the database, maybe it is time to do a refresh/review ? to remove items you are no longer seeking or have obtained elsewhere?  Or to make sure your  needs ? particularly auto-claim designated needs - are serving their intended purpose.


o   If you have had staff turn-over, you might want to check the email address associated with your account to make sure that it is still relevant.  It is possible that the automated email notifications aren’t getting sent to the correct address.  This email can go to an individual or to a departmental mailbox but only one email address may be supplied, and can be changed as needed.

Note:  Some email systems might view this automated email as spam.  If you suspect that this might be happening to you, you should contact your email administrator for instructions on how to add DistributionNotifications [at] to your "safe senders" list.


o   All other contact information (street address, city, state, phone, etc) that is used in the ASERL Disposition database is pulled from your institution's record in the Federal Depository Library Directory (FDLD) database.  If you notice a problem with any of these fields, please update your institution's entry in the FDLD database.



I would greatly appreciate your help in sharing this information as appropriate.  If you have any questions, or need additional information ? please let me know.


Thanks in advance for your time ? and support of this program.



Cheryle Cole-Bennett, Program Coordinator

Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL)

? Robert W. Woodruff Library

540 Asbury Circle, Suite 316

Atlanta, GA  30322-1006

Telephone:  470-222-4960

ccole-bennett [at]


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