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RedShelf Acquisitions

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Welcome to the NU Internal Library Guide for RedShelf Acquisitions

   Use the menu on the left to navigate.                                                

The below guide was adapted from Aven Jorde's Redshelf Process Map 2022 regarding how to secure textbooks from Redshelf when we cannot purchase through existing library contracts (GOBI). For problems with existing Redshelf books forward to and

For any problems from students direct to Redshelf IT ticket page 

Step 1- Book Check Request Email

Book check email will come from a Learning Experience Designer (LXD). The LXD is working with a Subject Matter Expert (SME) contracted to develop or revise a course. 

It is best to only engage with the LXD, rather than the SME for two reasons:

The first reason is because it ensures that certain milestones are met and recorded.  

The second reason is that SME’s have been known to go around the process flow. They contact the bookstore directly once they know the point person at RedShelf.  A SME could have an answer for a month and not share it Other vested parties think that the information has not been confirmed yet. The process stays in limbo. If the LXD is the point person, every stakeholder waiting on the book information will receive it all at the same time. The best practice is to refer the SME back to the learning experience designer working with them on the course. It is kind and professional.

(See Important Personnel tab to the left for key people to communicate with during this process)

They will identify a book or books that the subject matter expert wants to use in the new or revised course. They should provide a full citing with most importantly the ISBN. The ISBN is the unique address to that book and edition. The ISBN cuts out the wasted time looking through books with similar titles or older editions. Always find the latest edition to avoid future revisions. Research books and Psychology books are common for having numerous books out with the same title.

We are looking for three key items, the book title, the publisher and the ISBN. We always need the course number. With that information, we can tag the check to a course and provide enrollment numbers (explained below).

Example of a book check request:


*RedShelf limits us to one request sheet a day and has tried more than once to limit us to once a week or every two weeks. Do not ever agree to a change in this agreement*

It is good practice to check the confirmation log NU Book Check for RedShelf Results Confirmations to see if it was possibly checked already.


Step 2- Check Library for book or potential purchase

Search library books to ensure we do not already own it. If we do,check to see if we have an unlimited user license. Use GOBI Acquisitions Mega Manual Guide to complete this step.

Step 2a. If library does not own it 2b) if no, can we get it from one of our vendors (GOBI, etc) and what is the cost for an unlimited user license?

Step 3- Fill Out the Book Check Template

NU Book Check for RedShelf TEMPLATE 2022

The template provides RedShelf with all of the required information to start the negotiations with the publisher.

Information needed to complete a book check as seen in the template:

  • Item ISBN 

  • Item Title 

  • Item Publisher 

  • Item Edition cannot always be provided 

  • Course Number. The book check needs to be tagged to a course because of an enrollment number requirement. 

  • Org Unit ID alerts Redshelf that they need to activate the course to this shell. Very Important

  • Course Title (in above example email from step 1 course title is needed, See side bar tab for Course title

  • Estimated Enrollment. Run every few months from the SSRS Reporting in Compass (Tab in Sidebar). The numbers help when negotiating with the publishers on the volume that we can bring to their sales. Favorite report so it easily accessible.

  • Number of Courses the Book will be used in 

  • Anticipated Start Date: It is suggested that you always list minimum 1-month. We generally do not know the launch date. It is a guess at best and it just lets them know that we are not springing something on them tomorrow. 

  • 180 day or Lifetime. 180 is the default. Lifetime is a bonus. In some special cases we have requested lifetime if it is a book that the student will use through their doctoral journey. They are rare, so 180 is usually listed. 

  • NU Comment. This area is where the book shelf is identified on the template.

  • Example and why                                                                                                                                                  Only one person at a time can view an eBook on the bookshelf. For that reason, a review copy is requested for the instructional design team (A.K.A. LXD) and the subject matter expert in the school. We only have school bookshelves and not individual shelves. 

  • Replaces ISBN Number. This is optional. It is something that RedShelf requested in the beginning and was included in the template. Time has proven that it can contribute to confusion. One reason is that we may have simultaneous versions of a course running in NCUOne. Students with an older syllabus/ISBN need to be able to finish out. We are not necessarily replacing the old ISBN yet. Replacing an old ISBN could come into play when replacing an out of print book. We only want the new ISBN in the new version the majority of the time. Generally, it is left blank. 

  • School Requesting. Identifying the school works with the NU Comment column in confirming the identity of the school bookshelf needed. 




Step 4- Send Completed Book Check to Redshelf

Once the template has been filled in, an email is addressed with the renamed template as an attachment. 

You can title the template anyway that you want. It helps if the course is in the title for quick identification. 

The email is addressed to the current RedShelf account manager for NU (currently is and if an Out of Office message is returned send to ( The Learning experience designer is the 1st CC on the NU request (Sarah Skreko above). They are followed by Brian Endfinger ( Director of Learning Resources and Curriculum Support, Shane Strup (, a director on the course development side, Jen Pontano (, associate director in instructional design, Charlene Sutton ( Associate Director, Learning Technology Integrations (building of the courses),, Octavio Hernandez and yourself.  This is an updated distribution list to the screen shot shown above.   (See Sidebar for Important Personnel)


Step 5: Receive Redshelf Response

Redshelf's confirmation will include the following loading information:

  • Redshelf book I.D. for integrating into NCUOne
  • Redshelf confirmation ISBN to use
  • Redshelf cost of the book ($100 threshold per course. Over that amount, the SME has to seek special permission to use that resource. The cost is part of the course materials fee assessed the student. Redshelf only supplies primary resources. No supplemental resource)

Redshelf representative will respond with a reply-all on the template and everyone is notified at the same time. The exception is the SME. The learning experience designer will notify them that a review copy has been set on the bookshelf for their review. This kindly eliminates the SME from being on the correspondence with Redshelf.

Step 6: Update log

The last step before filing everything away is to keep a log of the request and the results. Easy access to a running log will come in handy when trouble shooting or reconfirming.

If you are knee deep in another project, you can quickly switch gears and find the information needed without too much disruption.

NU Book Check for RedShelf Results Confirmations

You will notice in the date submitted column that I leave myself lots of bread crumbs. Since new I.D.’s are contacting me, I might leave a note of how they found me. “Via Taylor” is one of them if back tracking is needed. The date of the submission also lets me know when something is stale and needs a follow up.