Admins: PDA FAQs

1. Do our PDA documents look different to our patrons?
No, to your patrons there is no difference between documents you have already purchased and documents in an active PDA collection(s).  Patrons are not informed that by accessing a particular document they might trigger the purchase of it.

2. How soon after adding a document to a PDA collection does it become available to our patrons?
Documents added to an active PDA collection are accessible to your patrons as soon as you complete the process of adding documents to the PDA collection.  For a PDA collection to be active, you need to have:

  • Your PDA paperwork in place
  • Your PDA funds in place
  • If there is a fund code associated with the PDA collection, it needs to be enabled and it need to have sufficient funds assigned to it (fund codes are completely independent of your actual PDA funds).

All documents in your active PDA profiles are accessible to your patrons.  Sufficient usage of a PDA document triggers its purchase.  When a purchase is triggered, the only change is behind the scenes.

3. We thought our PDA capability had been activated, but found it wasn’t – why not?
Your PDA profiles are not truly active until the proper paperwork and funds are in place.  Look under the LOANS/PDA tab.  If you see funds available there, then your paperwork and funds are in place.

4. When building a PDA profile, what’s the best way to screen out documents we already have in our ebrary subscription collections or ebrary perpetual archive (i.e., documents we’ve already purchased from ebrary)?
This is handled for you automatically when you are building your PDA profile.
The system will not allow PDA purchase of a document you already have in an ebrary subscription collection or in perpetual archive.

5. What does the “Run” command do?  Why do the results sometimes differ from the original results?
The “Run” command will run the search query that’s linked to the PDA profile.  It will show results that match the search query, but are not already in the PDA collection.  These consist of new documents that were not available when you created your PDA collection and/or documents that met your search criteria but that you decided not to include in your collection.

6. When a PDA purchase is triggered, does it generate a second MARC record to download?
As soon as your PDA collection was active, the MARC records for all the documents in the PDA collection were made available to you on your ebrary MARC records page.  There won’t be any additions to the MARC records when a purchase is triggered.

The only difference is that if, for example, you delete or disable your PDA profile, the MARC records for documents that had not been triggered as purchases would show up in your “Deleted MARCs” downloads, but the MARC records for documents that had been triggered as purchases would not be.

Admins: Valid ISBN numbers for “importing” to ebrary

You can import a list of ISBN numbers to see if they are available on ebrary.  However, the ISBNs must be in certain formats.

Valid ISBN formats:

  • 9 digits followed by an X
  • 10 digits
  • 13 digits
  • no dashes, spaces, colons, etc.


Admins: Using Admin-tab tools to recommend titles for purchase

If an admin has “Recommend” privileges but not “Order” privileges, they can create an order but not submit it.  The process is exactly the same until the final step when they only have the option to “Save Order for Approval”.

  1. Go to your ebrary site at
    where xxxxx is your ebrary site name (often same as domain name)
  2. Sign in using a username that has Admin-tab ordering privileges
  3. Click on the “Admin” tab, then the “ACQUISITIONS” tab
  4. Click on “Perpetual Access“, then click the “Advanced Search” button
  5. It should come up with the “All Purchasable” collection already selected
    IMPORTANT! To purchase titles already on your ebrary site, you need to change the collection to “All” (instead of “All Purchasable”)
  6. Set your search criteria.  Click the + sign to add additional search lines
  7. Select “Search ebrary” down below the search criteria
  8. For prices to show, click the “Long” button to see full info for each title
  9. Click to select each title you want to recommend
  10. When you have all the titles selected that you want to recommend,
    click the “Prepare to Order Selection” button
  11. The system will then tell you which titles are available, etc.,
    click “Order available documents
  12. You’ll then be on a page titled “Select Documents to Order”,
    click to select SUPO, 3USER or MUPO for each title
    (Note, some titles are not offered as 3USER or MUPO)
  13. Click “Review Order
  14. Click the “Save Order for Approval” button

Admins with “Order” and/or “Recommend” privileges can check the status of all orders using the “ORDERS” tab.  Orders saved for approval have status “Open“.

Admins with “Order” privileges can submit “Open” orders:

  • Under the “ORDERS” tab, click on the title of the “Open” order
  • Click “Review Order
  • Click “Submit Order

Admins with “Order” privileges can also delete “Open” orders:

  • Under the “ORDERS” tab, click the “Delete” button for the “Open” order




Admins: To share your Working List with another admin

You can share titles in your Working List with another ebrary admin by saving your Working List to a bookshelf folder, then emailing or sharing that bookshelf folder with your colleague:

1. Go to your regular ebrary site and sign in to your admin-enabled personal ebrary account

2. Click on the “Search” tab, then on “LIST” to view your Working List

3. Click “Select all” to select all the titles in your Working List (or just select specific titles individually)

4. Click the “Save Selection to Bookshelf” button and follow the prompts to create a new folder to save them into

5. Go to your “Bookshelf” tab and click on the new folder to open it

6. You can then click either the button to “email the folder” or “share the folder”

  • If you “email the folder” the recipient will get a snapshot of what was in the folder when you sent it
  • If you “share the folder”, they will see the up-to-date version with any changes you might make to the contents of the folder

7. The other admin can then open the link you emailed them to view the contents of the folder

8. The other admin can sign in to their admin-enabled personal ebrary account and from their Bookshelf tab, click the “Save to Working List” button to upload the contents of the folder to their Working List

Admins: Fund Codes for Perpetual-Access Orders

Fund Codes are a powerful tool for tracking purchases by department and can also be used to limit spending:

  • Use of Fund Codes is optional: you can create none, one, or several Fund Codes (note, Fund Codes cannot be deleted)
  • You can assign whatever amount you want to each Fund Code, and you can change the balance whenever you want
  • A Fund Code’s balance is automatically reduced by the amount of each purchase you assign it to
  • To be alerted if FUND CODE funds run low you must configure the alerts, see:
    • Once a Fund Code’s balance is exhausted, the Fund Code will be paused
    • You will receive separate invoices for each Fund Code
    • To create a Fund Code or change a Fund Code’s balance, go to the
    • FUND CODE” tab under the “Admin” tab
    • To assign a Fund Code when placing an order via the Admin-tab tools, before clicking the “Review Order” button, assign a Fund Code using the drop-down menu near the top left
      • Only active Fund Codes appear in the list, so if a Fund Code’s balance has been exhausted, you will not be able to assign it
      • If the order will exceed the Fund Code’s balance, you will be alerted and will be able to modify your order or Fund Code balance
    • Fund Codes can also be used with PDA profiles,