Give ‘Em What They Want: Patron-Driven Collection Development


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Charleston Conference
Thursday, November 4, 2010
12:30 - 1:45 PM
Speakers: Karen Fischer - University of Iowa Libraries; Michael Wright - University of Iowa Libraries; Hope Barton - University of Iowa Libraries; Kathleen Clatanoff – YBP

Patron-Driven Acquisitions (PDA) is the hot topic in collection management. It sets traditional notions of collection-building upside down, while also presenting vendors and publishers with very different business models. Collaborating with ebrary and YBP, the University of Iowa Libraries established a PDA pilot program in September 2009 which has proven to be extremely popular with users and seems to be working in the Libraries’ favor. PDA has advantages (you only buy materials that are used) but has some potential pitfalls too, like going broke quickly, or building an ebook collection that doesn’t necessarily fit in the long run. To help avoid a skewed collection, Iowa ran the ebrary PDA collection against our YBP virtual approval plan profile to better tailor the selections to our needs. While we don’t yet know very much about what it means for our collection or our monographic budget allocations in the long run, we have been analyzing our PDA e-book usage data, including examining subject areas, prices, and the use of PDA e-books compared to their print counterparts. This analysis is producing some interesting findings about library workflows and business models and we are pleased with where we are now with PDA e-book selection.
This presentation will share what we have learned, gained, and changed as a result of our pilot experience, both from the perspective of the UI Libraries and our vendor partners, YBP and ebrary and how we expect to transition from a pilot project to a mainstream operation. The session will include much interaction with the audience related to alternative ways to filter PDA purchase choices, findings from other institutions, and additional data to be gathered and analyzed.

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  • A long time ago a clueless white kid was working in a sweaty brick factory alongside big muscled-up older guys who wore hunting knives on their belts.
    Every time you broke a brick or messed up, your pay got docked.
    Then I went to the university library and saw all the books on the shelves and realized that here, the inventory didn’t move at all and no one cared.
    Your pay didn’t get docked if you bought a book no one wanted. The next week I was working in the library.
  • While PDA plans exist for print and e-print mixes, we wanted only ebooks. Response to ebooks on campus had been mixed prior to this and we were curious as to whether this approach might elicit a different response.

    We very much wanted a non-mediated approach—no staff interference– and immediate access to the ebooks. We felt that bringing selection staff into the mix might really change things

    As much as possible, we wanted duplication control
  • $25K to start, 50K budgeted
    10 uses was generous, but “use” essentially meant any view, including scanning TOC/index
    We did not want word getting out about the PDA pilot. Wanted people to find and use these records naturally
    Sidebar: we found our catalog gets used!
    Downloading MARC records from ebrary is simple, if not fully intuitive. Records have been good quality; we accept as-is
    For easy global changes, and removal and identification of records, Iowa adds MARC field 999 EBRPDA and 945 $$q EBRPDA
  • The initial load was to have been around 96K titles

    Through a series of miscommunications, we only downloaded 19,000 and didn’t realize this until a month or so into the pilot. With heavy use -- we were amazed at the usage reports -- tens of thousands more ebook choices might have tanked us

  • This is a familiar story with PDA ebooks plans; patrons find the entries in the catalog or the vendor portal and, naturally enuf, use them and buy them in large numbers
    This has caused a lot of libraries to shut PDA down, but we really wanted to make this work
    In talking to YBP and ebrary, we decided to pursue some other options
  • Our YBP virtual approval plan profile is pretty carefully tailored to the UI’s curricula and programs. Because it’s based on LC classification, we felt it offered the best balance of including/excluding titles as compared to the broader BISAC subject areas, which ebrary could offer.
  • Just culling our Elsevier from PDA made a big difference
  • Ebrary has made some changes in their program effective Oct. 1, 2010, and is including new titles for the PDA program. But the ability to run the new titles thru YBP won’t be available until January, so we’re waiting on the new titles until that service is available

    We’ve had a few clunks internally involving workflows, mainly with adding/deleting the MARC records

    Eventually, we expect the spending to taper, giv
  • Between 11-12 months of data for usage and PDA purchases (Sept ‘09 – Oct ‘10)

    12,947 PDA titles in catalog | 47,367 AC titles in catalog

    User sessions (related to usage stats) where what I used the most – these are defined as “how many times a patron uses a book in unique ebrary sessions.” (equivalent of COUNTER)

    For example, if I went into ebrary, found a book, looked at it, jumped to another book and then returned to the first book (without leaving ebrary (via closing the browser windows of the original session), or re-logging in to ebrary again (because of a timeout had occurred)) then we would count that as one User Session.

    First – present PDA data

    Second – data on PDA and print duplicates

    Third – all title data
  • Around $90K spent so far on PDA (12 month period), additional $$ (50K) spent on Academic Complete collection

    $1847 per week on ebrary PDA books

    863 books purchased in 12 month period

    $102.78 avg. cost per book

    Variations in months – profile changes (Jan-Feb cut back too far, by May things had stablized) and summer session

  • **Elsevier and Wiley were blocked from profile in Feb ‘10 b/c of consortial deals.

  • Shows the avg use per publisher = “value” of publisher to the patrons. Some of the top ones have very few books purchased via PDA, but their availability is valuable and useful.

    McGraw-Hill (17.8) – gen higher ed publisher – Medicine, Math, Textbooks
    Continuum International Pub (13.2) – general soc sci & humanities publisher
    Amacom (13.0) – division of the Amer. Management Association.
    ME Sharpe (13.0) – Soc Sci, Humanities, Business (one title: Japanese Visual Culture : Explorations in the World of Manga and Anime) – we have a very large Japanese film collection
    U of Minnesota Press (11.4)

  • We removed this publisher from the profile in mid-February/

    The titles purchased prior to removing this from our profile show that the material is highly desirable to our users.

    Examination of the titles purchased shows that they are generally academic books, with the undergraduate business majors the most likely users.

    Outcome: revisit never buying these in print, and also add them back into the profile?
  • TOP 5 Subjects of PDA books

    Calculated by LC Class ranges

    Possible reasons:

    Users most comfortable with ebook format
    Current library collection isn’t supporting subject area in monographic offerings – due to budget constraints or librarian biases
    Could be that the most books are offered in these subject areas (haven’t been able to do an analysis across all the 13,000 PDA books offered)

  • Chart shows the most used titles from PDA.

    Two of the top 3 are test prep books – in past academic libraries haven’t purchased these materials oftern – they get stolen or written in. Shows that that test prep books highly desirable to our users, Ebook format remedies that problems that print presents.

    Also makes a case for the fact the ebook purchasing may change coll dev policies – buy test prep materials this way? Eliminates the inherent problems that print presents with test prep books.
  • Majority (60%) of PDA books received between 2-5 user sessions in the past year

    More than 80% received between 2-10 uses.

    This is considerably more than a print book would get in circulations.

    Very encouraging to see that the titles we are purchasing are getting used.
  • Some were series that could not be easily identified by matching cataloging records. (ex: Methods in Cell Biology, Advances in Experimental Psychology)

    Some print books were purchased before the ebook was purchased

    others were purchased after (presumably by mistake or b/c the purchasing librarian wasn’t convince ebook was a good method)
  • Except for the zero print circulation numbers, it is very apparent that circulation of the print copy drops dramatically once the electronic version is available (once ebrary PDA started in Sept. ‘09)

    In comparison: For the same 166 titles, total ebrary titles had 1030 “user sessions” (compared to 100 total circs since PDA purchased – that is an increase of 10X)

    It is often than a book that has print check out, simply because it is more available. true that when a title is online it will get read/used more

    However at 10 fold increase doesn’t account for that difference.

    This shows a remarkable desire by users to get materials online when they are available there!

    As an aside, I am currently working on analyzing print circulation stats for all the print books purchased in 2004.

    Preliminary results show that:

    50% of the books purchased in 2004 have not circulated in 5 years since purchase. According to Rick Lugg’s data – it is unlikely they will ever circulate.
    Another 21% have only circulated once.
    Total: that 71% of the books purchased in 2004 have gotten between 0-1 circulation within 5 years.
  • Dup of publications with older pub dates – shows that users prefer online, even when there is an print edition.

    I noticed cases where an older edition of an e-book was used over a newer print edition that we owned.

    Segue now to reporting on total ebrary usage (combines PDA and subscription titles)
  • 9387 Titles Used (out of 60,000+ offered) in 11 month period – includes both PDA titles and Academic Complete Subscription File. Accounts for about 15% of total “offerings” were used.

    88,688 total user sessions for all ebrary titles in 11 month period.

    Interesting points:

    40% of titles had 3+ user sessions

  • 11 months of data – Sept ‘09-July ’10

    Other category – any publisher with less than 25 user sessions

    Misc Publishers and Univ Presses = nice variety of publishers.

    Cut off for general university presses category: 35 or less uses
  • Shows “value” of publisher to users

    Beacon Press - 8.3 – fiction, poetry, and non-fiction publisher (affiliated with Unitarian Universalist Assoc – promote freedom of speech, and respect for diversity in all areas of life)
    Amacom - 8.0
    World Bank - 7.6
    University Presses (various) – 7.0
    MIT Press – 7.0

    Avg for all publishers used was 4.8
  • Most user sessions = these are the same publishers who offered the largest number of titles.
  • use/title ratio

    Avg for U Presses is 4.97 (compared to 4.8 for all pubs) use/title ratio

    Many more avg uses/title in U Press category – i.e. generally more “value” per no of books offered.

    One main outlier removed – U of Hawaii Press title: Japanese Communication : Language and Thought in Context got the most uses of any ebrary title (972 user sessions)
  • Medicine, Econ and Sociology both are the categories with the most books accessed and used, however it changes after that.

    Of interest: Music, English Lit and History all show that Humanities students and scholars USE ebooks.

    They are ready for online content, and digital scholarship is becoming mainstream.
  • An eclectic and varied group of titles make up the top 10.

    The “outlier” I mentioned earlier is at the top of the list.
  • Future analysis: YBP and ebrary will begin to share data – we hope to be able to attach fund information to every title purchased so that we can better determine what subject areas are benefitting the most from PDA.

    Hope to get better data to analyze the subscription titles from ebrary – they are developing a reporting module that will greatly increase the granularity of data.

    [My work with the data has showed me how many additional data points are relevant to ebooks (and not to journals), and my hope is that COUNTER will continue to develop standards that will address the needs. Prime example: PUBLICATION DATE of the book.]

    PDA stats will undoubtedly change due to changes in how a purchased is “triggered” (explained by Kit and Mike) – expect purchases to slow a little…

  • Publishers are interested in all the data as well – for their own pricing as well as ebook offerings.

    What does this mean for CM policies? For budget allocations to specific subject lines?

    Ebooks data and management is in it’s infancy: where ejournals were 25 yrs ago – it’s a brave new world.

    We certainly don’t know what all this data means yet, and I’m cautious to draw conclusions. However, we know that our experience with this project is already changing how we think about collection development (AMACOM and test prep titles are an example!)

    Trust the patron. The most used books are certainly not the ones that librarians would have guessed were the most desired. I think these preliminary results are enlightening and sobering as well. What does this mean for “expert selection”??

    With JUST IN TIME being the norm with book purchasing (in these economic times), doesn’t it make sense to let the user have an increased role in choosing for our collection?

  • Give ‘Em What They Want: Patron-Driven Collection Development

    1. 1. Give ‘em What They Want: Patron-Driven Collection Development Hope Barton, Associate University Librarian, Services, U of Iowa Mike Wright, Acquisitions & Rapid Cataloging, U of Iowa Kit Clatanoff, Collection Development Manager, YBP Karen Fischer, Collections Analysis & Planning, U of Iowa Charleston Conference | Nov. 4, 2010
    2. 2. Our Ebook History • Vague exploration of e-books across publishers and disciplines (2007-2009) • CIC 2009 Consortium for Library Initiatives Conference: Off the Shelf: Defining Collection Services nces/Library/2009/Home.aspx
    3. 3. Off the Shelf: Rick Lugg Kent Study: Use of library materials: The University of Pittsburgh Study. Books in library and Information science, v. 26. New York, M. Dekker, 1979
    4. 4. Off the Shelf: Lugg cont’d • 39.8% monographs never circulated during their first 6 years • For books that didn’t circulate in first 2 years, chances of ever circulating were 1 in 4 • If a book didn’t circulate within first 6 years, chances of ever circulating were 1 in 50
    5. 5. Off the Shelf: Lugg cont’d • 54.2% of titles purchased in 1969 would not have been ordered if at least 2 uses were established as a criterion for a cost effective acquisitions program • At ARL institutions, 56% of books never circulate
    6. 6. Off the Shelf: Dennis Dillon • Among ARL libraries, printed books on median have an 8% chance of circulating in any given year, or once every 12.5 years • Conclusion: Books are an underperforming asset
    7. 7. E-books, here we come! • Initial conversation with our friends at YBP, ALA Annual, July 2009 • Full discussion with YBP about our PDA needs, post ALA, July 2009 • PDA pilot with YPB/Ebrary began late August 2009 • From pilot to production, fall 2010
    8. 8. Specifics for PDA • Ebooks only • Non-mediated approach to title acquisition by patrons • Instantaneous access to the ebook • Duplication control against ebooks owned by the University
    9. 9. Specifics • UI deposited $25K to start • 10 uses would trigger a purchase • PDA pilot would not be announced to the public • ebrary would provide MARC records to load into our catalog
    10. 10. Specifics • Initial offering of 100K titles – no attempt to limit other than de- duplication against ebrary’s Academic Complete set • Synergies of the Universe: by accident we loaded only 19K titles; this may have saved the pilot
    11. 11. Specifics • By Nov. 30 (pilot started Oct. 1) we spent $28K on 262 titles; weekly spend amount was increasing • Clearly this was not sustainable given our finances • Rather than bail, we regrouped
    12. 12. PDA2: The Fix • While pleased with user response, the pace was unsustainable • In conversation with YBP we decided to run the PDA title list against our virtual approval profile
    13. 13. PDA2: The Fix • We had also purchased ebook collections from Wiley, Elsevier, and Springer; those were blocked • When the results came in, fewer than 600 titles remained • Date limitation was changed back to 2005 – boosted number to 9K
    14. 14. Working Pilot – YBP Mechanics • Bring in PDA titles from ebrary • Profile titles against U Iowa requirements • Return to ebrary for MARC information • Titles loaded to UIA catalog
    15. 15. Print Profile Requirements • 105 Exclusions in LC Subjects • 31 Exclusions in Non-Subjects • 2,000 Exclusions by Publisher/Series • Exclusion of any duplicate editions
    16. 16. Rethinking Print Requirements • Low number of titles in the initial profiling against print offered alternative solutions: • Alter the ebook profiling requirements • Adopt an ebook profile to match the print requirements exactly.
    17. 17. PDA Profile Requirements • Exclude Academic Complete titles • Exclude ebooks owned by the library • Exclude Popular and Juvenile titles • Exclude LC Classes K-KZD • Limit by price • Exclude specified publisher offerings
    18. 18. PDA Now • ebrary added add’l titles which went through the same limits, bringing collection to about 12K • Even though new titles aren’t being added by ebrary for now users continue to buy from the existing stock
    19. 19. PDA – Next Phase • Development at YBP and ebrary for the next phase of the PDA tied to feedback from our beta partners
    20. 20. PDA – Next Phase • Use of YBP profiling methodology • Weekly updates to PDA pool based on the individual library profile • New purchase triggers with ebrary
    21. 21. New Trigger Definition • Viewing 10 pages of the body of a book in a single session • Any copy or print • Time-based use of a book for 10 minutes or more
    22. 22. PDA – Next Phase • Short term loans • Duplication detection • Up-to-date PDA purchase history in GOBI
    23. 23. PDA – Next Phase • Ongoing dialogue is key
    24. 24. Usage Analysis • 11-12 months of data for usage and PDA purchases (Sept/Oct ‘09 – Sept ‘10) • 12,947 PDA titles in catalog | 47,367 Academic Complete titles (subscription) in catalog • “user session” = how many times a patron uses a book in unique ebrary sessions
    25. 25. PDA Spending
    26. 26. PDA Publishers
    27. 27. PDA Publishers con’t
    28. 28. Amacom analysis
    29. 29. PDA Subject Analysis
    30. 30. PDA Usage – Most used titles
    31. 31. PDA Usage
    32. 32. PDA & Print Duplicates • 714 PDA titles purchased in 11-month period • 166 print duplicates (23%)
    33. 33. Print Duplicates Circulation Stats
    34. 34. Print PDA Duplicates – publication date
    35. 35. Total ebrary Title Usage – 11 mos.
    36. 36. Title Usage – most used publishers
    37. 37. Title Usage – average use/title
    38. 38. University Presses – user sessions
    39. 39. University Presses – avg. use/title
    40. 40. Title Usage- Subject Analysis
    41. 41. Most used ebrary titles
    42. 42. Future analyses • YBP and ebrary will share data – coming early 2011. • Hope to get better data to analyze the subscription titles from ebrary. • Statistics will change with ebrary’s change to definition of a “trigger” for purchase (Oct ‘10).
    43. 43. Conclusions & Questions • Publishers are interested in all the data. • What does PDA mean for collection management policies? For budget allocations? • Ebooks data and management - in it’s infancy. • Changes in our collection development practices • Trust the patron!
    44. 44. Copyright Copyright 2010 by Hope Barton, Kit Clatanoff, Karen Fischer, and Michael Wright, This work is copyrighted under the Creative Commons Attribution Non- Commercial 3.0 License. See: This presentation is available at: