Library piloting patron-driven acquisitions

The Health Sciences Library is participating in a pilot project with the other University of Colorado libraries to let library users purchase ebooks on demand.  This type of collection development is often referred to as “patron-driven acquisitions” or PDA.

In the pilot, all of the CU libraries will load records into their catalogs for ebooks that might be of interest to users.  The third time an ebook is viewed, it is automatically purchased and shared amongst all of the CU libraries.  The process is seamless to library users and the ebooks are available immediately.  When library users search FindIt or the library’s catalog, they may pull up results that include ebooks.  There is no way for a user to tell if the ebook they are viewing is part of the pilot, so users should view all items that they believe are potentially useful.

To date, the Health Sciences Library has loaded 1,795 of these records into our catalog.  The topics covered by these records include nursing, sports medicine and public health.  We have also loaded 179 ebooks which have already been purchased by other CU libraries.

The Health Sciences Library and the other CU libraries are running this pilot to see if PDA is useful to our users.  We also want to see if it is an acquisition method that can be fiscally supported.  If you’d like more information about the pilot, please contact Melissa De Santis ( or (303) 724-1748).