The objective of our poster session is to share how Carleton University Library, in the winter term of 2014, piloted a textbook purchasing program in our Reserves Department. Carleton’s collection policy states that we do not generally collect textbooks, echoing many other institutions’ policies where students are expected to purchase their own textbook readings. However, we decided to pilot a purchase program for two reasons. First, in general there has been a greater collection emphasis at Carleton to purchase materials that are going to be used. We have experimented with DDA and ILL Purchase on Demand, and this pilot continues in that vein because, anecdotally, we were sensing a high demand for textbooks. And secondly, in an effort to be more student-centered, we wanted to show flexibility in our collection policy. Textbooks can be very expensive and students seemingly wanted them, so why not interrogate received policy?
The type of information we will present on the poster includes an overview of how we constructed the pilot, why we worked with the Reserves Department, how much money we had to spend, the types of textbooks purchased, average costs and circulation statistics, our findings and what modifications we made as the pilot continues through the summer of 2014. We believe a poster session would be an ideal way to share the method and results of our textbook pilot. The information we wish to convey will lend itself to the poster medium, in an easy to read and interpret design. By presenting a poster, less time will need to be spent explaining our material; and more time can be spent in conversation with the participants, where we can help the attendees decide whether they might like to start their own textbook purchase program, or, if they have one, they can provide feedback to us to help us improve ours.