Announcing Demand Driven Acquisition for Books

The library is piloting a new way of purchasing select print books: Demand Driven Acquisition or DDA.

To understand how DDA works, it will be helpful to know how most books are purchased for the library.  As has been done for many years, core materials will continue to be purchased automatically for the library.  These books come to the library based on approval plan profiles that the selector librarians, working with faculty, have crafted to ensure the library receives materials essential to support the curriculum and research at DU.  Books in certain disciplines, by certain publishers, or from certain series, for example, have been and will continue to be purchased automatically.  This ensures a robust collection that supports the curriculum.  It also helps get books on the shelves and ready to be checked out as quickly as possible.

However, there have always been many more books available for purchase than the library can or should purchase.  Which books should the library buy, for example, in architecture or linguistics, disciplines in which DU does not have a program?  In the past, selector librarians would receive notifications (first on paper slips, then electronically) for books that did not quite fit the approval plan profiles and do their best to choose some for purchase, often in consultation with faculty.  This was a time-consuming process and inevitably some of these books were never actually checked out.

Demand Drive Acquisition, it is hoped, will allow the library to purchase only those “supplemental” books that will actually be used by listing them in the online catalog and allowing anyone with an active DU ID to request that they be purchased.  The librarians expect that this will cost no more than the former selection method and will save significant staff time.

The library has already added hundreds of records for print books available for purchase to the online catalog and more records will be added on a regular basis.  These catalog records are very brief

and include a link to “Suggest Library Purchase This Title!”

DU Community members can click this link, log in with their ID and webCentral password and request the book be purchased.   Most books arrive in two weeks, though there is an option to rush ship and item so that it is received in about 3-5 days (this incurs an extra cost to the library).  There is also an option to have the new book held for the person requesting the purchase.

By listing these “nice to have” books in the online catalog, it is hoped that members of the DU academic community will learn of more titles useful to their teaching and research and the library will more wisely use its funds.  This model is similar to one the library has used for select ebooks for the past several years.  Since these ebooks are available immediately, patrons may not even realize they are actually requesting a book the library does not already own.

Patrons will still have the option to “Suggest a Purchase,” make a reserves request, or contact their liaison librarian directly about requests for items not found in the library catalog.

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