From Inside Higher Ed:

Librarians might frown on P.D.A. in the library — that is to say, Public Displays of Affection by canoodling college couples.

But another kind of P.D.A. might bring a different, more welcome sort of disruption to the library; a disruption that, once libraries pass the e-book tipping point, could save some universities thousands in annual purchasing costs.

That would be Patron-Driven Acquisition, a model of e-book licensing that aims to relieve library purchasing agents from spending thousands on books nobody will end up reading. A new report on the future of academic libraries identifies such demand-based services as an inevitable trend for libraries under pressure to prove that their expenditures are in line with their value. And one university says its own experimentation has produced damning data exposing the inefficiency of tradition collection-building compared to new methods that could prevail in the digital era.

“P.D.A. offers the opportunity to provide a much larger collection of books to patrons at a small fraction of what it would cost a library to put every item on its shelves,” says a report released this week by the Advisory Board Company, a D.C.-based consulting firm. “It also corrects the library’s fundamentally inefficient delivery model in which librarians guess at what patrons will need, rather than allowing the patron to guide the provision and acquisition process.”

Read more.  Thanks to Michael von Glahn for the link.


The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail