The goose that lays the golden eggs in a Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) library world, is knowledge on patrons’ use of e-books. In a largely digital information environment, it’s increasingly possible for the library to pay only for what its patrons find and actually use. However, in order to make large numbers of e-books accessible while keeping the costs down, you should know who the users are and what books they prefer. Thanks to a large-scale PDA pilot Utrecht University Library has a unique dataset with detailed information on the use of e-books by students and scientists from all scientific disciplines. What can we learn from this dataset for setting up a PDA-model?
A key feature of the PDA pilots at Utrecht University Library is that users are not aware (do not know) what e-books are owned by the library and what books are not (yet). Both categories are accessible via the library catalogue. Initially, the pilot was limited to a few scientific disciplines, but since August 2013 our PDA pilot consists of almost 40,000 e-books from all disciplines. If these non-owned e-books pass a certain number of so-called Short Term Loans they are automatically purchased. However, before users are able to borrow these “PDA-books” they have to fill in a small form in which they give some background information about themselves. This information – obviously anonymous – provides the library with invaluable information on user behavior and preferences.
Monique Teubner will reflect in her presentation on the main questions librarians are dealing with while setting up PDA-models. What are the preferences of users from different scientific backgrounds and from different academic levels? What are the price differences between various PDA-models? And, how does knowledge make PDA models more sustainable?