How long does Books Recommendation service take?

If I use the Books Recommendation service, how long does it take to see the book on shelf?


The library processes the purchase request in the following stages:

Stage 1: the user makes a request to the library. For details, please refer to How do I recommend a title for our library to purchase?

Stage 2: after receiving the request, the library will check it to confirm whether the request agrees with the library's collection development policy.

  • If the request doesn't agree with the policy, it will be rejected and a reject notification will be sent to the requester. 
  • This stage usually takes about 7 business days.
  • If the request agrees with the current policy, it will move on to the next stage, and no notification will be sent during this stage.

Stage 3: the library will make the purchase through our supplier.

  • If the supplier has the copy in stock, the library will make the purchase and send an approval notification to the requester after receiving the supplier's confirmation. Please submit your request through Purchase Request Progress Query if you want to check the status of the supplier's reply. 
  • After sending the approval notification, the library will place the order. It usually takes about 40 days to 3 months for the book to arrive at the library. 
  • The time duration for the purchased book to arrive at the library depends on where the library purchases it.

    Mainland China: about 40 days

    Hong Kong & Taiwan: min. 3 months

    Outside China: min. 3 months

  • If the supplier doesn't have the copy in stock, the purchase could not complete and the requester will receive a reject notification.

Stage 4: After the book arrives at the library, the library will catalog it and shelf it accordingly.

  • When the book arrives at the library, the library will send a processing notification to the requester. 
  • It usually takes one month to catalog the book before shelving. 
  • when the book is ready for shelving, the library will send a pick-up notification to the requester. The requester can then get the book by following the instructions stated in the email. 
  • If you are in urgent need of the book, you can contact the library for assistance after receiving the processing notification. 


If you want to check the progress of your approved request, please send your query with Order Ref. ID through Purchase Request Progress Query

For other queries regarding the purchase request, please contact the Library Acquisition Team at

  • Last Updated Jun 28, 2023
  • Views 200
  • Edited By Library User Service Team

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