AAUP 2012: PDA and Libraries (R. Anderson)


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  • PLEASE NOTE: I ’ll be speaking from the perspective of an academic library, and not everything I say will apply as well to public libraries.
  • Both are “research” collections, but while there will always be some degree of overlap in the communities that use them and in the purposes for which they’re used, each of them still serves a primary community and a primary type of use. So, for example: at UU we have a unique collection of Mormon pioneer diaries. A freshman doing a ten-page research paper on the Westward expansion may go to the trouble of consulting those documents in the Special Collections reading room, but is probably going to make more use of the general/functional collection. A professor from Minnesota who visits our library while researching a monograph on the westward expansion is more likely to spend more time with those documents, rather than with the non-unique university press books in our general collection (many of which will duplicate holdings in her home library). My comments today are going to focus on the general/functional collection, and from now on whenever I say “collection” you can assume that that’s what I mean.
  • This was obviously the right process during the print era, when the vast majority of documents were tied up in physical formats. The only good way to meet a patron ’s information needs was to have the relevant physical document waiting for him in the library when he showed up. The problem, of course, is that we no longer live in the print era. So we need to ask ourselves whether, in the digital era, it still makes sense to assume that preemptive, speculative purchasing is the right way to give patrons access to documents? And given that we ’re in the midst of an explosion of just-in-time delivery options, this begs a much larger question: should the library continue building collections at all?
  • This constitutes the outsourcing of selection
  • AAUP 2012: PDA and Libraries (R. Anderson)

    1. 1. Everything You Wanted to Know about PDA… … from the Library PerspectiveRick AndersonAssociate DirectorScholarly Resources & Collections
    2. 2. Two Broad Categories of “Collection” Unique/Curatorial (Special Collections)  Orientation: Global General/Functional (Circulating Collections)  Orientation: LocalJ. Willard Marriott Library
    3. 3. How Do We Build Collections? Guessing what patrons will want Buying documents based on those guesses Describing the documents (proxy docs) Organizing themJ. Willard Marriott Library
    4. 4. Alternatives Share. (Ugh.) PDA - Books: expose [everything we can] and buy only when the patron points  Ebooks (MyiLibrary, NetLibrary, EBL, Ebrary, etc.)  Print books (LightningSource, OUP, etc.)  Print books (Espresso Book Machine) PDA – Journals: article-based purchasing  Remember: patrons don’t need journals; they need articles  This is the opposite of the Big Deal: it’s the Tiny Deal  Problem: publishers don’t want to sell that wayJ. Willard Marriott Library
    5. 5. Problems Budget management What if they select garbage? “What about my job?”J. Willard Marriott Library
    6. 6. U of U – Philosophical Context2. Access to the river, not the pond4. Access to whatever/wherever/whenever/however the patron wantsJ. Willard Marriott Library
    7. 7. U of U – Experimental History 30% cut to materials budget in FY09 Adopted e-first/patron-first guidelines PDA experiments:  MyiLibrary  Ebrary  EBL  NetLibrary  YBP (with EBL)J. Willard Marriott Library
    8. 8. U of U – Experimental History E-first  $640,000 on ebooks in FY2011 Patron-first  $299,000 on PDA in FY2011 Print-on-demand  Espresso Book MachineJ. Willard Marriott Library
    9. 9. Outsourcing SelectionDemand-Driven Acquisition via YBP/EBLRecords for notification forms loaded intocatalogPatron use triggers 24-hour “loan” at 10% oflist price; third use triggers purchase at listSelection teams continue to receivenotificationsJ. Willard Marriott Library
    10. 10. Problems Too many vendors/platforms/models Too few front-list titles available as ebooks Too little money for true, comprehensive PDA EspressNet metadata = crap Odd materials still require in-house processing of various kindsJ. Willard Marriott Library
    11. 11. Future of Acquisitions at U of U Less of it mediated by librarians and based on librarians’ speculation More of it occurring “just in time” Less of it involving physical objects (river vs. pond) More granular; less package-y** if we can get the prices rightJ. Willard Marriott Library
    12. 12. Contact:Rick AndersonUniversity of Utahrick.anderson@utah.eduJ. Willard Marriott Library