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Purpose: Inventory is the FOLIO app where bibliographic information from a variety sources can be presented in a uniform, abstracted form for management of the collection regardless of the format or content rules used to describe a resource. It is a sort of staff discovery layer, which useful for search and identification. As such, Inventory represents bibliographic, holdings, and item data and integrates with apps like Order, Check in, Check out, and Request. Inventory exists primarily to manage collections (physical and/or virtual). Some types of records for library resources may also be managed in other FOLIO apps or outside of FOLIO.

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An Item record provides the information needed to identify and track a single item or piece, such as barcode, availability, and material type. Item records are created and edited in Inventory.

Container records (not yet implemented as of 3/27/2020) will hold multiple Instance, Holdings, and/or Item records and serve as virtual containers, a way to represent an additional level of hierarchy and associate data that may not have bibliographic associations (such as membership plans or standing orders). Containers help staff manage materials that may be acquired or , paid for, or managed in one way but described in another.

While Inventory stores bibliographic data, it is not equivalent to a cataloging module. Inventory essentially asks like a a helper, bridging the gap between circulation functions and cataloging. Holdings and items data for patron-facing discovery will come from Inventory, but bibliographic data for discovery will usually come from a richer source record (such as a MARC record).

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