November 21, 2017

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Demand-Driven Acquisition Goes Seamless

Proquest_DemandDrivenAquisition_600pxAs a content workflow consultant, it’s Sharon Palchak’s job to keep turnaways—not being allowed access to an ebook—to a minimum. One way in which she’s able to do this is to help libraries set up their demand-driven acquisition (DDA) program.

Although it’s often used in conjunction with other acquisition models, like subscriptions and firm orders, DDA is one way that Palchak can help libraries make larger pool of titles available—which leads to purchasing titles that are actually used.

She cites an example of working with a library that recently started a DDA program that has used numerous profile filters. “They had used publisher, publication date, price range, and subject to craft that initial pool of titles that they’d make available,” she said. “They decided on a small number of short term loans before purchase, and they wanted to allow a combination of one-day and seven-day short term loan options for users, but they were concerned about some of the more expensive short-term loan costs.”

Palchak, who’s worked at ProQuest for more than a decade as a content and workflow consultant, was able to implement a short-term loan price percentage filter, and in combo with the settings in LibCentral, the library enables that combination of one-day and seven-day short term loans. “So, together the profile and the setting in LibCentral really helped the library manage expenditures, to monitor usage and spend through the detailed reports available there—and they can make changes at any point. It’s nice to be able to have those additional elements of control.”

She cites a variety of reports within Ebook Central—standard usage and expenditure reports, as well as counter reports—which enable libraries to assess what’s going on with their ebooks, whether they have a DDA program or not. “We also have a great title report, which breaks down book by book how much use a book has gotten, how many unique users it’s had, and how many prints, copies and downloads,” she says. “We also have a patron analytics tool, which allows a library to implement a survey in which they can ask for additional information that they can populate into their reports as well—like asking a user if they’re a undergrad, grad or faculty member, and then having that information populate in usage and expenditure reports. That can be very helpful to have.”

Palchak says that librarians have been responding positively to Ebook Central’s intuitive and user friendly interface on the administrative side. “There’s a lot of visibility and control,” she says.

Librarians have also responded to the extended access feature. “Some acquisition models have limitations,” she says. “In the case of a three-user model, for example, what happens, if, for instance, a library has purchased a three-user book but suddenly it becomes popular? Features like extended access allows libraries to manage and prevent turnaways—which, although it doesn’t happen often, is a real pain point when it occurs.”

For libraries that are on EBL or ebrary, they’ll soon be upgraded to Ebook Central—a process that Palchak expects to be quick and pain-free. She advises those with DDA programs that now might be a good time to review their assets. “Update to include some of the new features and functionality that Ebook Central is offering,” she says, adding that for a new customer starting DDA, depending on the level of complexity, they can get set up with a profile in a week or two.

“Seamless” is one word every librarian loves. “For the next six months and beyond, that’s what the upgrade process should be like,” she says, “and we have a world class team to make it happen.”


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