Posted by: mhdiaz | October 24, 2010

Patron-Driven Acquisition

It is interesting to see all of the enthusiasm for patron-driven acquisition, particularly in the area of ebooks.   Among many academic librarians, there is a stated desire to move from a just-in-case mode of collection development to more of a just-in-time model.  There  were sessions on this topic at the LJ/SLJ eBook Summit and sessions are planned at Internet Librarian and the Charleston Conference.  Many of the ebook vendors have announced support for patron-driven acquisition, with ebrary being just the latest to publicize a new offering. 

Patron-driven acquisition could offer an opportunity for librarians to increase end user engagement and better understand end user needs.  Many libraries are starting out cautiously, allocating only a small portion of their collection budgets to patron-driven purchasing to test it out and then they are planning to increase that allocation over time.  This seems like the smart approach.

How should libraries be balancing just-in-time purchasing with more strategic decisions to prepare their collection for the future?  I would be interested in hearing your views about how best to strike this balance.


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