Perceptions of Patron Driven Acquisitions from members of staff at a UK library:is it an effective and efficient method of acquiring eBooks?

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Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economics and Social Studies

Original languageEnglish
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Award date2017
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Abstract

Patron Driven Acquisitions (PDA) is a relatively recent method of acquiring items for a university library whereby users are given the opportunity to purchase content based on their needs rather than relying on material selected and bought by library staff. This is commonly referred to as a ‘just-in-time’ model as opposed to the traditional ‘just-in-case’ model, which often results in the purchase of material which is seldom or never used. It is held to be a particularly useful tool in times of budget restrictions as it allows for the inclusion of a large amount of unpurchased material in a catalogue.
This study investigates whether PDA, currently utilised by Library Y at University X, is considered by six relevant members of staff to be an effective and efficient method of eBook acquisition. The members of staff chosen for the study include four Subject Librarians, the Chief Library Assistant (Acquisitions) and the Electronic Resources Librarian, all of whom have had relevant experience of PDAs.
A critical evaluation of the existing pertinent literature led to the creation of a set of interview questions which were posed to these members of staff. The interviews were held, statistical data was gathered and analysis of both was undertaken.
The interviews reveal that PDA is felt to be a worthwhile method of purchase but with significant drawbacks with regards to implementation. Overall, staff are happy to use it. Usage and cost figures show that even though PDA eBooks are used more than Subject Librarian selected material, their costs are not significantly less. Interviewees stress that, despite much work being needed to implement a PDA program, the benefits to users outweigh any disadvantages to staff.