For immediate release | October 16, 2012

Puzzled by PDA? New ALCTS publication will help

CHICAGO — Many librarians feel that patron-driven acquisitions (PDA), involving patrons in selecting books for libraries, has sprung out of nowhere. This rapidly evolving practice of involving patrons in selecting books for the library has some librarians wondering where it came from, what it is, why it is growing in importance as a collection development strategy, whether it might be right for their own libraries and, most importantly, how to plan, implement, manage and evaluate a patron-driven acquisitions program.

"The Guide to Implementing and Managing Patron-Driven Acquisitions," a new publication from the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, presents the history of library services that led to patron-driven acquisitions in its current form. Author Suzanne M. Ward (head, collection management at Purdue University Libraries) explains how PDA can be an important component of a successful collection development strategy in many kinds of libraries. PDA in interlibrary loan has been practiced by some libraries for over a decade: staff members purchase rather than borrow books that their patrons have requested if the requested items meet the library’s selection criteria. Ward explains how to set up an ILL PDA plan and highlights several studies that have demonstrated that these books generally enjoy high subsequent circulation—usually higher than similar books selected by librarians.

Ward guides the reader through all the steps of selecting and working with a vendor to develop a plan to provide hundreds or thousands of e-book records for a library’s patrons to find during their routine exploration of discovery tools. Patrons’ use of the titles they select triggers an automatic purchase once a predetermined threshold has been met. Ward offers advice on developing the profiles for the initial pool of titles as well as the periodic addition of new titles.

Ward implemented the print PDA plan in interlibrary loan in 2000 and now manages the e-book PDA plan at the Purdue University Libraries. She has written and spoken on this topic extensively since 2001. Let Ward be your guide to developing, implementing and managing this exciting service in your library.

“Guide to Implementing and Managing Patron-Driven Acquisitions” is available in softcover, 86 p. 6" x 9", ISBN: 978-0-8389-8608-0. Price is $35.00; ALA member price is $31.50. Available from the ALA Online Store.

ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.


Christine McConnell

Membership and Publications

Association for Library Collections & Technical Services

1-800-545-2433 x5037