The sharing session on Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) at Singapore Polytechnic (SP) Library organised by the Library Association of Singapore’s Programmes and Social Committee on 22 August 2014 was well-received. Registration for the session exceeded the maximum limit of 15.
During the 3-hour session, three academic libraries, namely Temasek Polytechnic (TP) Library, Singapore Management University (SMU) Library and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Library, shared with the 25 participants their experiences regarding implementation of PDA in acquiring e-books and print books.
Ms Wong Choy Ming, Acquisitions Manager of TP Library shared that their Library implemented a 6-month pilot from Oct 2011 to Mar 2012, after learning from the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand Library in 2011. A cross-section team which included librarians from Acquisitions section and Reference & Information Services section worked out the parameters for demand-driven settings and content profile in EBL. In their model, patrons are able to access EBL catalogue through EBL’s patron interface, or through the Library’s OPAC, as MARC records of titles on selected subjects are loaded to the OPAC monthly.
Choy Ming highlighted that although time and effort is required from staff to maintain MARC records, check content of titles against collection development policy and processing of Short Term Loan requests, they are outweighed by the benefits of using PDA in e-book acquisitions, such as immediacy of access of online content to patrons. Another benefit is that the usage of titles acquired is guaranteed as each title purchased is used at least twice. From the usage reports, Librarian is able to get information on reading preference of patrons and use the information for collection development. After 3 years of implementation, they have seen an increase in use of e-books.
A relatively new print PDA (PPDA) model was co-presented by Ms Tamera Hanker and Ms Nazimah Ram Nath from SMU Library. They shared that their objectives in adopting PPDA were to encourage direct patron participation in collection development, to fill gaps in various subject collections, as well as to use a patron driven strategy to increase usage of print books.
Their PPDA initiative was rolled out in Apr 2014. Their Acquisitions team, together with the subject librarians, worked on vendor selection. The vendors include aggregators and publishers, who established collection profile and the PPDA processes. The processes involved loading and de-duping MARC records from SMU library’s holdings, developing APIs to transfer order and information to vendors and budget allocation.
Despite some challenges like continuous streamlining of processes, monitoring of budget to ensure no over-spending and duplicating titles purchased, there are also benefits in adopting the PPDA, such as providing patrons with wider access to titles. It is also more cost-effective to provide access to a wide breadth of scholarly resources just in time.
NTU’s PDA experience presented by Ms Ng Chay Tuan includes platforms such as EBL, Ebsco, Ebrary, JSTOR, MyiLibrary and Dawsonera. MARC records of the major publishers like Elsevier, Cambridge, Sage, Wiley, and World Scientific are loaded to library catalogues for users to discover and submit requests.
Chay Tuan highlighted that it is important to get the profiling done correctly, which includes setting up subject coverage, publishers and publication year. Also, it is advisable to start with mediated PDA. Another important aspect is to train librarians in using the relevant apps for downloading digital content to mobile devices.
The advantages of using PDA are allowing patrons the access to larger collection, achieving high return-on-investment as each title is used at least one time, and providing immediate and seamless access to patrons.
As it is tedious to manage multiple PDA platforms and pricing models, NTU library is looking into reducing their PDA platforms.
The participants had a great time networking and sharing with each other during the session and at tea break.
Photos by: Jennifer Gan
Submitted by: Cher Sen Keuk (Singapore Polytechnic Library) 7 Sep 2014