Patron Driven Acquisitions: Or I Wish I Knew Then...


Exploring New Frontiers in Aquatic Science Information Management: Proceedings of the 38th IAMSLIC
Conference, 2012.
Patron Driven Acquisitions: Or I Wish I Knew Then...
Beth Fuseler Avery and Karen Harker
University of North Texas
In the traditional method of collection development the librarian works with faculty/researchers to
develop detailed collection development policy statements which include defined levels of collecting for
sub-divisions of each subject area. This just-in-case model attempted to have a specific book or books
on a topic on the shelf when a user came looking for it.
As budgets were reduced, a just-in-time or patron driven acquisitions (PDA) model was developed.
Books could be purchased when the user said they were needed. In early iterations of this model, a
book was purchased when a used requested it via interlibrary loan (Anderson et al., 2003; Anderson et
al., 2010; Bracke, 2010; Perdue & Fleet, 1999).
With the increased availability of electronic books and the increasing desire of the user to get what they
want when they want it, book vendors applied this latter model to e-books, wherein MARC records of
e-books were loaded into a library's catalog, with the e-book immediately available for reading. This
model also seems to make sense when you take into consideration the findings that only 20% of library
books are ever used (Best, 2008). Using patron driven acquisitions you are sure there is at least one use
of the book. Based on these factors, a number of academic libraries started participating in pilot
programs of e-book demand- or patron-driven acquisitions (Breitbach & Lambert, 2011; De Fino & Lo,
2011; Fischer, Wright, Clatanoff, Barton, & Shreeves, September 2012).
Patron-Driven Acquisitions Models
At the University of North Texas Libraries, we began investigation of PDA in summer of 2011. We were
already purchasing e-books from several sources. The two models we used for purchasing or leasing e-
books were from individual publishers, such as Springer and Wiley, or from an aggregator. The
aggregators we used included Safari Books, eBrary, and NetLibrary (which has since become eBook
Collection on EBSCOHost). The librarians were already using these vendors, with input from the faculty
and researchers, for selecting individual titles or packages of titles on a particular topic. While the titles
in the book packages were preselected by the vendor, we had confidence in the quality of these
collections because the titles were usually by librarians on the vendors' staff.

Avery, Elizabeth Fuseler & Harker, Karen. Patron Driven Acquisitions: Or I Wish I Knew Then.... UNT Digital Library. Accessed February 13, 2016.