Patron-Driven Acquisitions: A Symposium at the University of Notre Dame

The Professional Development Committee at the Hesburgh Libraries of the University of Notre Dame is sponsoring a symposium on the topic of patron-driven acquisitions:

  • Who – Anybody and everybody is invited
  • What – A symposium
  • When – Monday, May 21, 2012 from 9 o’clock to 1 o’clock, then lunch (included), and then informal roundtable discussions
  • Where – Hesburgh Library Auditorium, University of Notre Dame
  • Cost – free

After lunch and given enough interest, we will also be facilitating roundtable discussions on the topic of the day. To register, simply send your name to Eric Lease Morgan, and you will be registered. Easy!

Need a map? Download a campus map highlighting where to park and the location of the library.


Here is a list of the presentations to get the discussion going:

  • Silent Partners in Collection Development: Patron-Driven Acquisitions at Purdue (Judith M. Nixon, Robert S. Freeman, and Suzanne M. Ward) – The Purdue University Libraries was an early implementer of patron-driven acquisitions (PDA). In 2000, interlibrary loan began buying rather than borrowing books that patrons requested. Following a brief review of the origin and reasons for this service, we will report on the results of an analysis of the 10,000 books purchased during the program’s first ten years. We examined data on the users’ status and department affiliations; most frequent publishers; and bibliographers’ analysis of the books in the top six subjects assessing whether the purchases were relevant to the collection. In addition, we will summarize the highlights of a comparative circulation study of PDA books vs. normally acquired books: do patron-selected books or librarian-selected books circulate at a higher rate? The conclusions of these PDA print book investigations encouraged the Libraries to begin an e-book PDA pilot program. We will report some early insights and surprises with this pilot. A librarian with selecting responsibilities in several subject areas will discuss his perspective of the value that PDA programs bring to collection building.
  • The Long Tail of PDA (Dracine Hodges) – Patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) titles are known to generate usage at least once at the moment a short-term loan or purchase is triggered. Despite the current PDA buzz, many remain unconvinced of the potential for ongoing circulation. There is a palpable level of skepticism over the sustainability of this buffet model with regard to user interest and the validity of shrinking librarian mediation in the selection process. To discuss these issues, data for content purchased during Ohio State’s 2009/2010 e-book PDA pilot will be examined. Several years of usage activity will be charted and analyzed for budgetary implications, including cost per use. In addition, key issues surrounding academic library patron-driven collection development philosophies will be explored. Particularly, this period when traditional methods of collection development must be maintained, while concurrently moving toward what appears to be the future with patron-driven collection development.
  • Acquisitions and User Services: responsive and responsible ways to build the collection (Lynn Wiley) – Patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) or purchase on demand programs are a natural extension of what libraries do naturally and that is to build programs to allow users to gain access to research materials. PDA programs provide for direct accountability on purchase decisions, especially relevant in the present economic situation. The Association of College and Research Libraries 2010 top ten trends in academic libraries (ACRL, 2010) listed PDA as a new force in collection development explaining: “Academic library collection growth is driven by patron demand and will include new resource types.” ACRL noted how this change was facilitated by vendor tools that provide controls for custom-made purchase on demand programs. In consortia settings, a PDA model can broaden access across the collective collection. This presentation describes the evolution of purchase on demand programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) and includes a detailed description of several programs recently implemented at UIUC as well as a PDA program within a statewide academic library consortium that tested and analyzed purchase on demand mechanisms for print purchases. These programs describe a natural progression of models used to expand PDAs from ILL requesting to the discovery and selection model where bibliographic records were preselected and then made available in the online catalog for ordering. Statistics on use and users comments will be shared as well as comments on future applications.
  • Demand Driven Acquisitions: University of Notre Dame Experience (Fall 2011 – Spring 2012) (Laura A. Sill and Natasha Lyandres) – Using one time special funding, the Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame launched a DDA pilot project for ebooks in conjunction with YBP and Ebrary in September 2011. The implementation date followed several months of planning. The goal of the project was to test patronddriven acquisitions as the method for adding ebook titles of high interest to the library collection. Up until that point, ebooks had been acquired primarily through the purchase of large-scale vendor packages. One such package acquired in July of 2011 was Academic Complete on subscription, which provided access to 70,000 ebooks through the Ebrary platform. Also available to bibliographers and selectors was the ability to place firm orders through YBP for Ebrary titles. Our presentation will provide an overview of the pilot project and our thoughts on the effectiveness of this method vis-à-vis other ebook acquisitions methods currently utilized by the Libraries. We will discuss the particular challenges of running the pilot with Ebrary in conjunction with Academic Complete, as well as future possibilities for expanding our use of DDA to include additional use options such as short-term loans, greater integration with approval plans, and DDA for print.


Here is a list of the speakers, their titles, and the briefest of bios:

  • Robert S. Freeman (Associate Professor of Library Science, Reference, Languages and Literatures Librarian) – Robert S. Freeman has worked at Purdue University since 1997, where he is a reference librarian and the liaison to the Department of English as well as the School of Languages and Cultures. He has an M.A. in German from UNC-Chapel Hill and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Interested in the history of libraries, he co-edited and contributed to Libraries to the People: Histories of Outreach (McFarland, 2003). More recently, he co-edited a special issue of Collection Management on PDA.
  • Dracine Hodges (Head, Acquisitions Department) – Dracine Hodges is Head of the Acquisitions Department at The Ohio State University Libraries. Previously, she was the Monographs Librarian and the Mary P. Key Resident Librarian. She received her BA from Wesleyan College and MLIS from Florida State University. She manages the procurement of print and electronic resources for the OSU Libraries. Most of her career has focused on acquisitions, but she has also worked as a reference librarian and in access services. Dracine is active in ALCTS serving on the Membership Committee and as past chair of the Tech Services Workflow Efficiency Interest Group. She is also an editorial assistant for College & Research Libraries and a graduate of the Minnesota Institute.
  • Natasha Lyandres (Head, Acquisitions, Resources and Discovery Services Department (ARDS)) – Natasha Lyandres, MLIS from San Jose State University, began her professional career in 1993 as cataloging and special projects librarian at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives, Stanford University. From 1996 to 2001 she has served as Reference and Collections Development Librarian at Joyner Library, East Carolina University. Natasha has joined the Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame in 2001. She has held positions in the areas of serials, cataloging, acquisitions and electronic resources. Natasha is currently Head of Acquisitions, Resources and Discovery Services Department, and Russian and East European Studies bibliographer.
  • Judith M. Nixon (Professor of Library Science and Education Librarian) – Judith M. Nixon holds degrees from Valparaiso University and University of Iowa. She has worked at Purdue University since 1984 as head of the Consumer & Family Sciences Library, the Management & Economics Library, and the Humanities & Social Science Library. Currently, as Education Librarian, she develops the education collections. Her publishing record includes over 35 articles and books. Her interest in patron-driven acquisitions lead to co-editing a special issue of Collection Management that focuses on this topic and a presentation at La Biblioteca Del Futuro in Mexico City in October of 2001.
  • Laura A. Sill (Supervisor, Monographic Acquisitions Unit, ARDS) – Laura A. Sill, MA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been a member of the Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame library faculty over the years since 1989. She has held positions in the areas of acquisitions, serials, and systems. Laura is currently Visiting Associate Librarian, supervising Monographic Acquisitions in the Acquisitions, Resources and Discovery Services Department.
  • Suzanne M. Ward (Professor of Library Science and Head, Collection Management) – Suzanne (Sue) Ward holds degrees from UCLA, the University of Michigan, and Memphis State University. She has worked at the Purdue University Libraries since 1987 in several different positions. Her current role is Head, Collection Management. Professional interests include patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) and print retention issues. Sue has published one book and over 25 articles on various aspects of librarianship. She recently co-edited a special issue of Collection Management that focuses on PDA, and her book Guide to Patron-Driven Acquisitions is in press at the American Library Association.
  • Lynn Wiley (Head of Acquisitions and Associate professor of Library Administration) – Lynn Wiley has been a librarian for over thirty years working for academic libraries in the east coast and since 1995 at the University of Illinois. Lynn has worked in public service roles until 2005 when she switched to acquisitions. She has written and presented widely on meeting user needs and provided analysis on how library partnerships can best achieve this. She is active in state, regional and national professional associations and is also on the editorial board of LRTS. Her overall goal is to meet the needs of users easily and seamlessly.

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