Books On Demand: A New(er) Look At Print Monograph Acquisition

Books on Demand Panel

(L-R) Paolo Gujilde, Debra Skinner, Cara Huwieler

Debra Skinner, Head, Collections & Resource Services, Georgia Southern University said that in 2015, a Just In Time purchasing plan began. The Dean was concerned about the number of books being purchased that were not being used. The intention was to ensure that titles purchased were those actually needed. The program did not include textbooks so the collection profile used in the study was modified to make sure that textbooks and textbook-like books or publishers are not included. A demand-driven title list was created; it looks like any other page in the catalog.

Reasons for change were a level budget which resulted in a decline in purchasing power, and Georgia Southern’s membership in a 28-member consortium, so it was not necessary to own everything they use.

Books explicitly requested by faculty, students, and staff are purchased, and the records for them are loaded into the catalog every month. “ON DEMAND” appears in the Call Number field, and “Available by Request” appears in the Location field. The advantage of this system are that they are buying what the users want. There was good buy-in from the faculty after an initial period of concern; however, staff workload increased.

Cara Huwieler, Collections Consultant, ProQuest listed the steps in establishing Georgia Southern’s publishing program:

  • Initial discussions,
  • Workflow discussions,
  • Profiling,
  • Technical Setups,
  • Launch.

Here are some of the initial considerations:

Book Acquisition Considerations

Requests were mediated; there is a $250 price limit on requests. The initial load of records occurred in May to September 2015 and contained 2,500 titles. Recurring strategies include withdrawal parameters, POD retention and non-POD withdrawal, EBooks with DDA eligibility swaps. Of 38,000 books in the collection, 6,211 were POD

Next steps are workflow enhancements: increased DDA status availability and better reporting.

Paolo Gujilde, Collections & Scholarly Communications Librarian, National Louis University, presented some data on results of the project. In FY2016, 278 books were purchased, and in FY 2017, 350 were purchased. In FY2016, there were 719 total loans. A significant number of books did not circulate; in some cases, shipping delays caused books to arrive after they were needed, or after seeing the book, the person ordering it decided it did not meet their needs.

Don HawkinsDon Hawkins
Charleston Conference Blogger and Against The Grain Columnist

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