DDA, Approval Plans and Collections: Trends in E-Book Purchasing

Workflow | July 24, 2017

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There are so many ways to build and manage an academic library e-book collection, keep up with key issues and emerging trends in e-book purchasing with the new journal from No Shelf Required.

Approval plans, demand-driven acquisition (DDA), eCollections, short-term loans, publisher-direct packages, firm orders, standing orders, subscriptions, the list goes on and on…and on. There are so many ways to build and manage an academic library e-book collection, and there is no magic mix that works for every library. It can be difficult to keep up with key issues and emerging trends in e-book purchasing, especially as publishers, vendors and libraries are continuously adapting to changes in e-book technologies, new acquisition models and an ever-growing universe of e-book content. Keeping informed of these issues and trends can help support the decisions you make as you build a collection development strategy that works for your library.

In 2017, the universe of ebooks and econtent continues to grow at a dizzying rate, making it very challenging to keep up on a title-by-title basis; shrinking budgets and staff reductions have become the norm even in affluent institutions; and to remain competitive research institutions must rely on current scholarship that is constantly refreshed and available to them without restriction.

This series of articles from No Shelf Required takes a look at some of the challenges surrounding e-books and e-book acquisition that academic libraries of all sizes have faced in recent years. The first article focuses on the approval plan, the main book buying tool that has evolved through the years to support various methods for purchasing books and e-books. The next two articles cover two e-book business models – demand-driven acquisitions and e-book collections. Each article provides background information and works to piece together how the approval plan system can work with various e-book business models, especially demand-driven acquisitions and e-book collections, keeping in mind the following questions that are asked time and again:

  • Can my library afford the new product or service?
  • Will a particular method help streamline workflow?
  • How much high-quality content is readily available?
  • How much will my library be able to own in perpetuity?
  • What will happen if my library doesn’t renew a subscription to a product that no longer serves its needs?
  • Will the library have clear insight into patron usage?
  • How well will the new product integrate into the library’s existing catalog?
  • And, not to be overlooked: who is the content provider and what is its credibility in the library market?

Read or download the full issue of No Shelf Required’s journal on Ebook Purchasing in Academic Libraries: Key Issues and Emerging Trends here.

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