Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Charleston Conference

Conference Location

Charleston, South Carolina


Patron-Driven Acquisitions (PDA) is the hot topic in collection management. It sets traditional notions of collection-building upside down, while also presenting vendors and publishers with very different business models. Collaborating with ebrary and YBP, the University of Iowa Libraries established a PDA pilot program in September 2009 which has proven to be extremely popular with users and seems to be working in the Libraries’ favor. PDA has advantages (you only buy materials that are used) but has some potential pitfalls too, like going broke quickly, or building an ebook collection that doesn’t necessarily fit in the long run. To help avoid a skewed collection, Iowa ran the ebrary PDA collection against our YBP virtual approval plan profile to better tailor the selections to our needs. While we don’t yet know very much about what it means for our collection or our monographic budget allocations in the long run, we have been analyzing our PDA e-book usage data, including examining subject areas, prices, and the use of PDA e-books compared to their print counterparts. This analysis is producing some interesting findings about library workflows and business models and we are pleased with where we are now with PDA e-book selection. This presentation will share what we have learned, gained, and changed as a result of our pilot experience, both from the perspective of the UI Libraries and our vendor partners, YBP and ebrary and how we expect to transition from a pilot project to a mainstream operation. The session will include much interaction with the audience related to alternative ways to filter PDA purchase choices, findings from other institutions, and additional data to be gathered and analyzed.


patron-driven acquisitions, ebooks, collection development, vendor relationships


XXX Annual Charleston Conference: Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition


© 2010 Karen S Fischer, Hope Barton, Michael Wright and Kit Clatanoff

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License