There is a two-pronged paradigm shift occurring in collection development--the way we think about developing collections is changing, and what constitutes a collection is changing.
E-resources are a growing priority for collections, and traditional collection development models are not a good fit for these new resources. While there are plenty of e-resources to analyze, I’ll be focusing on e-books and highlighting the benefits of implementing demand-driven acquisitions in order to develop and manage a collection of e-books.
Demand-driven acquisition is a stark contrast to the more traditional collection development model which is often referred to as the “just-in-case” model. This model became popular for academic libraries post-WWII. Acquisition budgets were larger, and subject specialists could buy materials in advance of any need (Hodges, 2010)
Clearly, that bubble has burst, and it is no longer financially feasible for librarians to build collections in this way.
This brings us to the “just in time” model which believes that an excess of materials is simply that--excessive and unnecessary. This model was testing in the 1990s through ILL purchase-on-demand programs.
As you can see, collection development is an evolving organism, as is our ideas of what a collection consists of. However, due to many issues including copyright concerns and formatting, some libraries have not been able to successfully navigate the development of e-books in their collections.
Academic research librarians are discussing e-book–preferred policiesfor several reasons. First is the changing demographic of users, who increasingly expect to interact virtually with information and desire the convenienceof remote 24/7 access. (Hodges, 2010)
The paradigm shift to patron-initiated e-book collection development occurred in 1998 when NetLibrary offered libraries three acquisitions methods: orders for individual titles or subject packages of e-books; a notiﬁcation service for librarian selection; and the patron-drivenacquisition model. (Hodges, 2010)
A purchase was triggered after an e-book was accessed for the second time; the second view could consist of as little as viewing a single page, the equivalent of a patron browsing a print book and returning it to the shelf without checking it out. Some libraries were not willing to finance that level of browsing(Hodges, 2010).
”According to the 2009 Association of Research Libraries survey, 82 percent of responding libraries do not specifically mention e-books in their collection development policies.” Mincic-Obradovic, p. 70
E-books and consortia are a match made in heaven!
SIUC beneﬁtted from consortial membership by negotiating an increased number of click-throughs required to purchase a given e-book.
By waiting until the third time the full content of the e-book was viewed to purchase the resource, 470 e-books were acquired by SIUC between November 2008-April 2010.
According to Nabe, e-books provide librarians with a wealth of assessable data. MyiLibrary delivers invoices and Counting Online Usage of NeTworked Electronic Resources (COUNTER) compliant usage reports, so it is easy to run cost-per-use calculations.
Orbis Cascade Alliance launched a DDA pilot in the summer of 2011, and decided to pursue an ownership model instead of a subscription model.
They initially loaded 1700 titles with 2011 e-prints, and required 10 short term loans to occur before the resource was purchased. Unfortunately, under that requirement, no titles were purchased.
By increasing the title count and lowering the purchase trigger limit to five-short term loans, the Alliance hoped to stimulate purchasing.
Since those changes, 99 titles have been purchased. One issue that remains is that of the catalog—discovery for these resources is a problem because they are not operating under a true union catalog.
So, why choose demand-driven acquisitions over other purchasing models? Simply put, demand-driven acquisitions minimizes the effort required to select materials and ensures that you’re only paying for the titles that your patrons actually use.