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In the past few years PDA (Patron-Driven Acquisitions) has moved from experimental to a mainstream strategy for accessing e-books. As PDA has matured we are less likely to ask "Should we offer PDA" and more likely to ask "How should we offer PDA". This Lively Lunch is facilitated by representatives from three very diverse academic libraries that are offering PDA in widely varying ways, and who are realizing that the "A" in "PDA" could stand for "Access" instead of "Acquisitions".

At McMaster University we have used mediated short term loans and purchases from EBL since 2007, and have participated in a consortial PDA pilot with Ebrary. We're currently modeling the effects of purchase triggers as we contemplate a move to unmediated access.

At Western University we have been experimenting with PDA since 2007. Applying the lessons learned after completing pilot projects with EBL, Ingram Coutts, and with our provincial consortium we were able to successfully incorporate PDA into our regular acquisitions processes.

At Providence College, we decided "play it safe", and not acquire ANY e-books simply based on patrons' requests. Instead, we chose what was then a unique offering from EBL - the ability to provide access as short-term loans instead of purchases. While the program started out as an experiment, we've grown very fond of it, as it inexpensively bridges gaps in Collection Development and ILL.

The presenters will share PDA experiences at their institution, provide some insights into trends, and offer attendees the opportunity to tell about their own adventures in PDA. Come prepared for a lively discussion on:

  • New options for PDA
  • Assessing value
  • How we done it good: best experiences with PDA
  • Tales from the crypt: what didn't work.


This presentation was given at a Lively Lunch session at the 2012 Charleston Conference in Charleston, SC.



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