Libraries and library consortia are buying increasing numbers of e-books through a variety of acquisition models, and analysis of previous usage can be used to help make these purchases more effective and targeted. This session provides two perspectives – a consortium of 73 academic libraries and an individual academic library – and gives practical examples of how this approach can be implemented.
The Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) consortium used a pilot Publisher/Subject Collection Analysis to explore ways to use print circulation data to inform future, collaborative e-book purchases. An important consideration was defining “high circulating” books in a way that allowed member libraries of all sizes to participate, and central to this analysis was distillation and normalization of the data. Libraries provided the ISBN, call number, and total number of circulations, among other data items, to the VIVA central office, which used the ISBN to generate normalized publisher names. Initial results of the analysis have provided easy drilling down to show top publishers for a given subject area.
In a similar vein, American University Library has analyzed historical approval orders to identify which publishers may be the best fits to be removed from the approval plan and changed to package and frontlist purchases made directly from the publisher. Benefits of this approach include more comprehensive coverage of a publisher’s titles and easier tracking of cost per publisher. Circulation data for the books was used as a prioritization mechanism, and purchases have already been made using this method.
Attendees will learn the procedures for doing collection analyses of this kind, including the process of mapping ISBNs to publishers and the scripts used to process the data efficiently for the VIVA project. A discussion with the audience will follow the presentation.