EDI for Libraries

Page last updated 3rd May 2019

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This course is kindly sponsored by:



Purpose of the Course
Libraries rely on EDI to enable efficient electronic communication, such as exchanging quotes, orders and invoices with stock suppliers. Although this is a mature technology, it is important for libraries of all kinds to be able to understand and manage their EDI systems efficiently. This training course is designed to help librarians to manage EDI, to use industry standards, to solve EDI issues and to gain the benefits of their EDI investment. 

Benefits of Attending 

  • This course will provide delegates with the knowledge and confidence to understand and manage their library’s EDI systems and the various methods of exchanging business messages, such as quotes orders and invoices, with their suppliers.
  • The course will include an overview of EDI, the EDI messages and standards and how to use them, and how to solve issues and obtain help.
  • This course is an opportunity for librarians to dive behind the scenes and understand how their library systems and their supplier’s systems communicate. They will develop the confidence to problem-solve with systems suppliers and stock suppliers when EDI issues arise.
  • The course will cover EDI as used by both public and academic libraries.

Course Level
This course is aimed at those who are completely new to EDI or who have had some involvement but have never felt completely at ease with EDI systems and standards. Attendees do not need technical knowhow but should understand the basics of key library processes, especially acquisitions. Library staff, who deal with 3rd parties providing day-to-day EDI services, would also benefit from attending this course.

Course Outline
This workshop-style course consists of information slides with informal discussion combined with exercises exploring practical areas such as the make-up of EDI messages, mapping to the EDI standards, and how to cope with specific requirements. The topics covered will include:

  • What is EDI for libraries?
  • How does it work?
  • Standards and technologies: TRADACOMS, EDIFACT and APIs
  • Setting up EDI with the Library Management System (LMS) and library stock suppliers
  • Importance of EDI standards for libraries
  • Exploring the benefits of EDI
  • How to solve library EDI issues
  • How to obtain help and guidance

Course Preparation
Ahead of the course, BIC will send a brief survey to course delegates covering EDI issues they may have encountered. This is to ensure that the course is as relevant and useful as possible.

The Trainers
Simon Edwards, Consultant & Heather Sherman, Dawson Books. (Read about BIC Trainers, here).

Date & Frequency of this Course 
Tuesday 21st May 2019.
This course will take place twice in 2019.

Course Location
The CILIP Building, London.

Course Length
This is a half-day course. Registration will be available from 1:30pm; the course will run from 2-5pm.

On the Day 
Refreshments will be provided throughout the afternoon.

BIC Members £12.00 + VAT
Friends of BIC £15.99 + VAT
Non Members £19.99 + VAT

NB: Travel and accommodation costs are not included in the ticket price.

Discounted rates apply to BIC members only. Not sure if your organisation is a BIC member? Check our members list here.

Register to attend this course via Eventbrite by clicking on your preferred course date in the 'Date & Frequency of this Course' section (above). Payment is accepted via VISA, Mastercard and American Express.

Alternative Payment Option: If you would prefer BIC to invoice your organisation directly, please contact info@bic.org.uk. Please note that this process will incur a £20.00 administration fee.

Read BIC's Course Cancellations & Refund Policy here.


A word about our sponsors:


Bertram Library Services has a long-established position as an expert in library supply. Supplying shelf-ready books, DVDs, CDs and games to public, academic and school libraries, we provide a quality, bespoke service to individual requirements. A team of professional librarian stock category managers deliver monthly new title selections that are specifically created for public libraries and matched to individual customer needs. Shelf-ready servicing is provided to specifications and our customer services team is always on hand to answer queries, and a personal Account Manager with in-depth knowledge gives a single point of contact.


BDS is the premier supplier of library quality metadata, connecting publishers to libraries and book suppliers by converting book trade standards to library standards. BDS is at the forefront of developing library standards for the benefit of the international library community.

BDSDigital provides web and metadata solutions to publishers and the book trade.

Both divisions employ EDI to promote the seamless interchange of data between different parties. BDS supports the work undertaken by BIC to design, develop and implement standards for use in publishing, libraries and the wider book trade.



Dawson Books is a world-class international supplier of academic and professional books, ebooks, shelf ready and information services for academic, professional, and research institutions. We provide innovative digital solutions which interact between the essential components of the book supply chain. Our dawsonenter database offers a “one stop shop” for library staff to explore, discover and acquire print and electronic books. Our ebook platform, dawsonera, provides seamless access to over 600,000 eBooks from leading academic publishers.