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PUBLIC DRIVEN ACQUISITIONS “Whose Library is it anyway!?”

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Presentation on theme: "PUBLIC DRIVEN ACQUISITIONS “Whose Library is it anyway!?”"— Presentation transcript:

1 PUBLIC DRIVEN ACQUISITIONS “Whose Library is it anyway!?”

2 P D A is what? What is “PDA”? And why ought I care?

3 PDA at the West Lafayette Public Library – We now have more than one year of experience with PDA at the West Lafyaette Public Library – What we’ve learned is tracking well with Purdue Librarian Susan Ward’s findings in her groundbreaking book published by ALA

4 ALA takes note…

5 CHALLENGES to PDA by librarians Collection building in the library is traditionally the province of the M.L.S. librarian – Such policies take into account and are based upon the Librarian’s knowledge and key role—book selection – We professionals “know” our library’s collection priorities – We are familiar with existing school/public/academic programs that our collections aim to serve – PDA selections from the public could lead our Collections to become “too wacky” – It can be difficult and more expensive to set up purchase programs outside of the traditional mode – Patrons might abuse the service (note: because we can’t step in and monitor?) – Patrons will monopolize the title(s) they request through PDA (note: see above comment)

6 But I enjoy reading “The Hardy Boys” -Traditional collection building has good intentions - we tell patrons (in effect) “you’ll get to choose from what we know is worth your time” -But traditional processes do not always produce good results for library users or potential users….. Tales of the “Hardy Boys” in 1960’s public libraries…

7 PDA is popular with library patrons - PDA points to the innate wisdom of our library customers…many PDA acquisitions qualify as “new books” and so they are shelved in this high circulating collection. Circulation of “new books” has not been diminished by the addition of PDA purchases. - Those PDA selections which do NOT qualify as “new” also circulate more than their neighbors on the library’s regular shelves. - Our ever-more limited funds available for purchases are best spent through a mixture of PDA and traditional selections.

8 PDA can be useful for librarians! - PDA offers a new window of selection for librarians, a window that has been either barely ajar or closed for much too long - A robust PDA program will reduce the number of (often) time and staff-intensive ILL’s sought by the library on behalf of our patrons

9 Thoughtful PDA programs have reasonable limits -It is possible, indeed it is wise planning, to place reasonable LIMITS on a PDA program Reasonable limits ought to be placed on the cost of individual titles and on the total amount budgeted for the program in order to control costs Reasonable limits ought to respond to collection development concerns Are academic titles appropriate? Are public library titles appropriate? Librarians need to monitor and add to the PDA fueled collections so that PDA purchases enhance existing (and sometimes expanded) collection policies

10 How PDA works at West Lafayette Public Library Patron requests are accepted in writing, as s, and as oral requests. They are reviewed regularly by library staff – Can the request be fulfilled through Evergreen Indiana? – If not, requests are given a cursory check to examine their level of complexity – we shy away from purchases of academic titles and – Requests for items of $50 or more are given further librarian review – Date of publication is reviewed too - we won’t automatically order an item with a publication date of more than 5 years.

11 # of PDA items ordered each month - These low hurdles to PDA purchases pull out a few patron requests each month – these are reviewed for purchase or for fulfillment through Interlibrary Loan in the traditional manner. - We find we are purchasing PDA titles monthly - hardly an avalanche of cost for the Library’s materials budget!

12 Forward leaning benefits of PDA A strong PDA program will, I’ll predict, bring more and more folks into your library as they discover that THIS government agency is responding to their requests and making their tax dollars work for them!

13 In the end, it’s an Attitude Adjustment -Introducing – and expanding – a library PDA program requires attitude adjustments -Changes in attitude about library collections and service by library staff & -Changes in expectations about library services and collections by library patrons


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