v23 #3 Patron Driven Acquisitions

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by Xan Arch (Collection Development Librarian, Reed College) <xanadu@reed.edu>

Are you tired of hearing about patrondriven acquisitions yet? PDA and DDA (demand-driven acquisitions) seem to turn up everywhere these days — in conference sessions, vendor visits, and library literature. You’re thinking, how much more can there be to say? You’ve heard so many librarians talk about their institution’s great success with PDA or their abysmal failure. What’s the big picture?

Well, take a look at this Against the Grain issue. It’s not your mother’s PDA.

We’re kicking it off with Bob Johnson and his discussion of the basics of the patrondriven model. He will give you newbies an idea of what matters when considering a patron- driven plan and what to watch out for.

Jason Price, on the other hand, isn’t sold on PDA yet. In his article, he proposes a new model for patron-driven plans that would free the content from restrictive digital rights management (DRM). It may take a superhero to do this, but Jason, the DRM-inator, is up to the task.

PDA seems new and trendy but what happens with a patron-driven collection over time? Peter Spitzform at the University of Vermont has been running a PDA program since before you even knew PDA existed, and he tells us about how the model evolves. He presents data about the University of Vermont’s program as well as an exact measure of the effect of PDA on their collection.

Michael Levine-Clark also discusses how to maintain your PDA collection over time and what libraries will need if we want to move more of our collections dollars to demanddriven models. If PDA is here to stay, how do you make sure you have the right content for your users year after year?

How will patron-driven acquisitions affect scholarly publishing? Rick Anderson and Sandy Thatcher have been giving this a lot of thought, and they debate the question in these pages. Rebecca Seger and Lenny Allen also discuss how patron-driven acquisitions affect scholarly publishing, but they present the publisher’s perspective and challenges.

Finally, what could be more challenging than running a patron-driven acquisition program that covers thirty-six libraries? Emily McElroy and Susan Hinken are part of the Orbis Cascade Alliance consortium’s demand-driven acquisitions team, and their article discusses the Alliance’s search for an effective eBook strategy.

Big thanks to all the authors who turned out such great work, and especially to Jesse Holden, my most valued colleague, who reviewed and edited these submissions with me.

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