Squaring the Circle: Increasing demand decreasing budgets

PastriesJust a quick round up of a great conference I attended yesterday organised by the talented collection mangement team here within the Library at BCU, the conference was titled Squaring the Circle: Increasing demand and decreasing budgets. Managing library provision in times of financial constraints.

There was a good mix of speakers providing varied perspectives and sharing really useful insights which I think could be put to practical use. In the morning we heard about a range of projects, KB+, JUSP and the Library Impact Data project all of which spoke about the benefits and added value of providing shared services and building communities. KB+ and JUSP are currently available for institutions to sign up to (and please do) while the work from the library impact data project could continue to be developed to provide a shared service. It was great to hear how collaboration between librarians, suppliers and publishers are helping build such useful services and tools which will in turn improve the services libraries provide.

We were then challenged by Professor Martin Fautley from Birmingham City University in his presentation Research and the Library: Doing and teaching research in education, where he talked about what life is like for an academic, about his priorities and his expectations from the library. I was particularly interested see the journal industry from his perspective as an author and editor. Throughout the presentation he raised a number of questions such as, how does an academic know their field and how does the library help with that? What makes a ‘quality’ library? Is there a category error mistaking knowledge for information?. Plenty of food for thought

The afternoon was focused on ebooks including a case study by Jill Talyor-Roe on their expeiences of Patron Driven Acquisitons with ebooks at Newcastle University. Having experimented early on she was able to provide some interesting statistics on usage and trends over the last few years and was a great introduction for any institution considering trying this model. I was also pleased to hear her advice of ‘not being afraid to fail’ which I think is important especially if we want to continue to innovate and experiment. Jennifer Rowley followed talking about the marketing and promotion of ebooks and mentioned looking to services such as Amazon for inspiration. On listening to this presentation I began to question the value of marketing a type of format and in the Q&A with the panel that followed Graham Stone noted that at Huddersfield their strategic approach to marketing resources was to do it in in the context of ‘Discovery’ rather than the product. Liam Earney suggested that improvements to the user experience were key to encourage use, making me rethink my approach to promotion of resources.

I personally found this an uplifting conference and encouraging to hear about the values of collaboration, sharing and working together. Throughout my experience in the library profession I have always been grateful for the support and helpful advice I have received from colleagues at different institutions and I hope that national services such as KB+ will thrive on this type of approach.

It was also lovely to catch up with some familiar faces and meet new people. One of the themes from this morning was how some projects were sharing ideas with each other, for example there are developments planned for further integration between JUSP and KB+ (am hoping someone is going to do me an infographic on how all the different Jisc projects interlink) and I look forward to seeing how some of the ideas shared at this conference are taken back to institutions.

Thanks again to colleagues for such an interesting day and ensuring our sugar levels were topped up throughout the day with pastries, biscuits and mince pies.


‘Information on the move’: a mobile conference in the city of roundabouts

I must admit Milton Keynes (aka the ‘Roundabout City’) was never on my top list of places to see, as it is not very easy to move around on foot, being designed for the car. But the quality of speakers and workshops at the recent M-Libraries-Conference on mobile technologies in libraries more than made up for taking our life in our hands every time we walked from the hotel to the venue!

‘Hype Cycle’ -Jo’s graph plotting ‘Visibility’ against ‘Time’ for libraries’ mobile services – leaving its mark on an OU whiteboard!

The keynote speeches drew on what became a common theme : where does a library or information service place itself on what our very own Jo Alcock from Evidence Base calls ‘the hype cycle’? Or to put it another way : where we between ‘wow?’ and ‘wow-but-can-we-do-it-now?’

So Steve Vosloo’s summary of what UNESCO ‘s work, (with a statistic echoed by Bob Gann from the NHS : ‘there are more mobile phones in Africa than in USA’ ) showed us some great programmes delivered on phones that some might not consider ‘smart’ –  but they work. You might think retro-fitting technology to a literacy service for boat schools in Bangladesh or using cellphones to run an SMS check on drugs (in countries where 30 percent of medicines are fake and can kill you) is a far cry from introducing mobile tech into a UK library – but these are good examples of working out where you on that hype cycle. 

The lists of possibilities were endless – from QR codes – (we’ve got one already on our Summon posters and our library cards) to the case studies mentioned by JISC m-libraries project – which include Chris Langham’s post on here about using SMS in a successful way to reach students.) Another useful overview was from Ellyssa Kroski from New York in her presentation, Libraries to Go.

 I personally like Bath Library’s idea using QR codes to link to audio tours – (I use SoundCloud as a musician, and using mobile apps as sound-recorders and even mixers certainly is more flexible then what we did ‘in the early days’ by trying to record and edit our library induction on Sony minidisc – remember those?.) As you would expect, there were also some great demos : using Augmented Reality browser to overlay fragments of papyrus with teaching materials from John Rylands University, Manchester ; or the PhoneBooth project from LSE, a digitally mapped overlay of Charles Booth’s London survey that could be accessed on mobiles.

Thomas Cochrane’s closing keynote ended with the powerful statement that mobile technologies can transform existing ways of teaching  – and for libraries in particular that means thinking differently about how we teach students, and thinking about about student-generated content. We want to encourage students to map and document their library space, not just get us librarians to do it for them. He showed us a video by students at Auckland on QR codes – done as a project before the library even started promoting them! . He also ran a live demo of Chirp – a technology that sends digital data such as pictures via sound, that could be used in lectures.

As I began writing this post – a student came to the library help desk struggling to view a MyiLibrary book on her battered-but-still-servicable 8-inch tablet. She was still trying to access the book on our library catalogue, and therefore was struggling to access it in a way that she needn’t have done had she searched Summon. It struck me that by searching what is essentially a repository of physical objects (the library catalogue) for an electronic item, she was doing the equivalent of trying to cross a roundabout meant for cars.
We need to make clearer to the student where they look for ‘analog’ or ‘physical’ content, and where they look for ‘digital’. In the course of crossing that digital divide, lets make sure we don’t repeat the mistakes of the Milton Keynes planners.

Summer Conference – Professional staff

It was the Professionals Summer Conference yesterday and in the morning we had an external speaker, Peter Sylvester, come along to talk to us about communication & networking, in the afternoon we heard about the STAARS project & worked in groups looking at more local communication issues.

We did a number of activities in the morning which helped us consider how we communicate, the first was to talk about Who, What, How & Why we did what we did. This highlighted the need to start with the information most relevant to the person you are talking with & therefore ‘Why’ we do what we do was the most useful starting point as opposed to who we are. A recurrent theme was that at a fundamental level working in a university means the work we do enables skilled graduates to enrich society.

Hearing teams describe what they do highlighted the amount of overlap & inter-dependencies we have within L&LR supporting the need for effective communication.

We also completed a personality test based on DISC (Moutlton Marston) behaviours identifying our own behaviour style. I have a dominate style meaning I have a  tendancy to be task driven & quick to make decisions. The group was then divided by their styles & we were tasked with discussing how best to communicate with the different groups.

I find it helpful to acknowledge that we all have different styles & approaches and therefore need to adapt our communication appropriately to get a message across effectively, although admittedly in real life other pressures & drivers sometimes means I am not as successful as I would like to be.

In the afternoon we had the opportunity to hear from the Centre of Academic Success on the STAARS project which involves working directly with students to identify whether the services they offered were relevant & how best to market them.  Wal (CAS) & a student delivered an interesting presentation on the process they went through and the value of having student input into the service.

We were also given the opportunity to think about the challenges currently facing HE and then in particular BCU and it’s staff and students. This was an useful excersise in highlighting how much the environment has changed & priorities shifted. Some of the challenges we discussed was value for money and trying to do more for less, although appreciated there would be a breaking point and also speed of change especially in technology. I found it useful food for thought with regards to the mornings discussion on the value of working in a university in terms of being part of the process of enriching society.

The day ended with us working in groups looking at a couple of scenario’s and discussing how to resolve any issues and who to communicate with which provided the opportunity to focus on how we communicate internally.

These are my thoughts of the day, anyone want to share how they found it?

Summer Conference – staff training

Last week the library held a Summer Conference for all staff within Library & Learning Resources. It was a busy day with talks from the current Vice Chancellor, Judith and Health & Safety, the highlight of the day for me was the ‘Roadshow’ where various teams across L&LR set up a stands showing aspects of each teams work.

It was interesting to see the variety of presentation techniques used and the impressive amount of creativity within the room. Many teams used games and quizzes to engage with the audience and present specific issues. A great example of this was the Millennium Point stand where staff where given the Tower of Hanoi puzzle which cleverly illustrates the difficulties they face with their current stock move.

During the roadshow staff were put into groups and asked to spend 10 mins at each stand, therefore presentations were being done back to back for over an hour. I thought the collection management team’s  fun video with large flashcards detailing the type of work they do, in the style of Bob Dylan’s ‘Don’t Look Back’ was a great way to combat presenters fatigue.

The elibrary team put together a presentation using Prezi, showing the different work done by team members including a short animation. On the day we encouraged staff to leave comments on post it notes on what they thought the elibrary team did, any questions, suggestions and comments. There was also a short quiz where the group were tasked with deciding which section of the team a certain activity took place, if the activity was allocated to the right section the letters in red would spell out Well Done. I thought the elibrary team did a great job in presenting the varied areas of work which we are involved with.

It has also been interesting reading the comments from the post it notes and we will be following up on any questions and areas where we need to tell people more about, such as Summon. There was also an interest in the software used to create the presenation, Prezi.

Click on the image below for a link to our presentation, do watch to the end for our little animation

Mind the Gap

Recently,  I travelled to London for the CILIP Executive Briefing on eCopyright for Libraries and Archives  (#ecopy 12).  Arriving at Marlyebone station at the height of rush hour,  I passed on the walking map being offered to the public and made a beeline to the Bakerloo line.

Due to frequent disruptions on the line and sardine-packed trains, I abandoned the Underground and headed for the nearest taxi to take me to the CILIP headquarters.

It was a journey worth making.

Nick Poole from the Collections Trust opened the day with a keynote speech which gave a complex overview of what is happening in Europe and, ultimately, the UK.

He suggested that a lot of debate about copyright isn’t about copyright at all but about “bigger issues of democracy and economic development, many of which are brought into the focus of technology.” In essence, the discussion is about contract law (licensing) and civil rights.

ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Act) has been signed by the EU but not yet ratified. Not surprisingly, opponents to ACTA  have organised themselves via social networks (like the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) opponents in the US).  In it’s current form, ACTA may not see the light of day.

Also on the subject of Europe, we also heard from Georgia Angelaki, Business and Policy Coordinator, about  the Europeana project. More about this project in a future post.

Back to the UK,  Naomi Korn, gave an excellent presentation on the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property (IP). She suggested that not all of the Hargreaves, recommendations will be adopted (for example data & text mining). It is also realistic to expect that contract law will continue to override education exceptions.

Ben White, Head of IP at the British Library,  spoke about the definitions and issues regarding “orphan” works.  These are works that are still in copyright, but whose owners cannot be traced or contacted if they have been identified. The EU draft directive is under review and might not be implemented in its current form, if at all.

Emily Goodhand brought to life several points about EU directives and UK case law, explaining how the legal system works.  The devil is in the detail, particularly when it comes to big questions for the courts, such as what does “communication to the public” really mean? Where does infringement happen (jurisdiction/territory), and how temporary is “temporary?”

We also heard from Heather Caven, Head of Collections Management and Resource Planning and Roxanne Peters, Project Manager: Rights Management, about rights management and how they have adopted a holistic approach at the V&A.  They stressed the importance of clear IP strategies and guidelines to ensure that your rights management  doesn’t end up resembling the Winchester Mystery House.  This 160  room house was constructed with 147 builders and 0 Architects. Needless to say, there were many doors leading to nowhere and skylights on the floors.

Lastly, Sarah Fahmy from the Strategic Content Alliance, communicated to us the importance of sustainability, especially after the economic crisis.  One of the case studies was the Southhampton Library Digitisation Unit. Initially, it was set up with the purpose of providing a mass digitisation service to external clients. However, over time the changing market led to a change in its business model.  The service dedicated itself to meeting institutional needs.

Reflecting on all the presentations from that day,  I still feel uncertain about the effectiveness of the Hargreaves review in closing the gap between the rightsholders /publishers of content and those  who wish to repurpose it for educational, library, and archival purposes.

Descending back into the Underground’s claustrophobic depths, it amazed me how a complex transport system originally built by the Victorians continues to operate in the 21st century,  for better or worse (in my case).  I also agree that copyright  is a  symptom of a  bigger problem.  This challenge is the massive gap between using technology to support innovation and the law which hasn’t kept up at  the same pace.

Yes I do mind the gap, and will continue for some time in the future to watch my step.  On the ground, it still remains a question of risk management.Image

Copyright: © Thinkstock

Copyright, London and Wombles

written copyright symbol

They are giving away walking maps at Euston for the Olympics. Most punters chose the underground. I am not a Womble, so I walked to the venue for CILIP’s Executive Briefing; eCopyright for Libraries and Archives. 
It was worth getting wet.

There are few things as complex as the current UK copyright landscape and
Nick Poole’s keynote presentation confirmed this. Commenting upon recent UK and EU issues, he stated that there was no certainty in any proposed recommendations. This included the government commissioned Hargreaves Review of IP and Growth. Lobbying and responding to any calls for evidence was advocated to protect the positions of both libraries and archives.
Maybe I am part of an underground movement after all? 

This stance was also championed by
Naomi Korn in her more in depth look at Hargreaves. She talked about the speed of technological change in comparison to that of legislative; the nebulosity of the proposed Digital Copyright Exchange; that there were over 50 million orphan works across sectors and there will be no safeguards to educational exceptions whilst they are not protected by legal measures.

Ben White, Head of Intellectual Property at the British Library concentrated on orphan works. Here there is still discussion to be had about the definition and understanding of the issues surrounding these types of work. We will hopefully see a White Paper this year.

Emily Goodhand gave us an IP Case Law Update. This is always useful for interpreting fair dealing. We were given an overview of the UK legal system and she commented upon the recent NLA v Meltwater/PRCA case where as little as 11 words mattered when it came to a claim regarding copyright.

Georgia Angelaki, Business and Policy Development Coordinator, Europeana talked about the importance of standards and the project’s approach to open content licensing.

Heather Caven and Roxanne Peters outlined  a more efficient and holistic approach to rights management at the V&A. This is an attempt to mitigate clearance of rights processes.  In the past it has taken 35 working days to clear 1150 rights for 850 posters (the example that they used). They emphasised the need to be proactive, get senior level championship and match your work practice to the policy of the institution.
What is the copyright policy of your institution?

Sustainability of digital resources was the topic presented by Sarah Fahmy from The Strategic Content Alliance. The key to which is the IP that you own.

Did I say that it was a packed day?

On my return walk to Euston, a man flew past me holding onto a map the size of a small car. The latter must have got caught on the wind.  A walking map perhaps?  A sticking plaster approach to a much larger problem?  Not exactly fit for purpose much the same as current copyright policy.  At Euston, a man on his phone told a caller that he was at King’s Cross; evidently he was as bemused as I. Even so, I hope to do the right thing when it comes to clearing rights.

Just like Orinoco in fact, maybe I am a Womble after all…. now where did I put that felt hat?

SSUGUK : conversations about content, and a community of users

Several of us attended a useful SerialsSolutions User Group day hosted by University of Surrey, the first part of which was setting out the scope of such a usergroup, raising product issues & also the developments and product enhancements planned by SerialsSolutions.


The session was hosted by Dave Pattern who took us through in the morning session the different ways in which we could share solutions and raise issues to the company including the Summon Community wiki, and the LISSERSOLUK mailing list. It was good to see a full complement of Serials Solutions representatives there who listened to points that were made from the floor about a number of issues : how do you reduce the number of newspaper articles and book reviews cluttering up Summon (the response came that can pre-set these in a widget – personally I think there should be an admin setting that should last for the whole of your Summon session not just your landing page, but at least we got the issue raised), an issue with linking through to EBSCO databases (due to be addressed in the next release of Summon).

Other themes included how to use EZProxy (some insititutions run it through Shibboleth which gives a cleaner authentication, we don’t as we currently only have an old version of AthensDA), and the perennial problem of working out what content we have and how to switch it on in the Client Center. An easy example (close to our hearts) is MINTEL for example. It’s great that MINTEL reports can be surfaced in Summon, but in order to work out what to best switch on in the knowledge base we have to know (from the rep) which library codes apply to our subscription (otherwise we get the whole package of reports which we don’t subscribe to).

Switching on content in Summon would be easy if the publishing market was neatly packaged, but it is a complex landscape, as Liam Earney outlined in the afternoon when he went through the challenge facing KB+, now in Phase One of its life cycle. As an institution that only has one NESLi2 deal at the moment though, this first phase might seem irrevelant to colleagues here – but any work that shows that publishers (and subscription agents) need to put their house in order when providing us with content, (and ourselves when we buy that content & consequently legitimize it).

However I think that the issues start to kick in when we move outside the deals/packages, and start wading through the undergrowth of individual titles. For example we have to set up access to Practical Diabetes International – because it seems recent content has not been loaded onto Swetswise  and we needed an alternative access point. Searching for that title on SerialsSolutions’ Client Center gave 48 places where that title is published, with 45 relating to Wiley. Which one to switch on?

The fun starts with holdings : if I ignore 7 or so backfiles, there are 36 places where holdings dates start in 2000 as a default. A quick look in Wiley’s admin area says ‘Holdings Report – Under Construction’ – so no help there. So I go back to the Client Center, ignore any journal bundles and look for Practical Diabetes International in something called ‘Wiley-Blackwell Journals (Frontfile Content)’ that sounds non-bundled. Out of the 1961 titles in this particular group, I find the right journal, tell it that we ‘subscribe to only some of the titles in this database’, check the start date on Wileys’ pages (which is 1996, different from Swets), and add it to our collection.

The point of this is that switching content on in a resource discovery tool like Summon means getting to grips with which collections you have. At both macro and micro level. It was good to see SerialSolutions engaging with the issue of content, but I did notice that a lot of their development talk was on 360 Resource-Manager – a product which we don’t have. However the day was a great way to discover that we weren’t the only ones struggling with content issues, and I felt that at least those conversations had begun.

The Library Services Platform; a step change in Library Automation

I was in Sheffield recently for a conference run by MMIT; the CILIP special interest group for Multi Media & IT in Libraries. The theme for the day was “Reduced budgets – increased impact” and the event featured a couple of keynote speakers, a selection of workshops,  a set of 5 minute “fixes”, a Q&A session with the speakers and presenters, and an interactive voting session during which we used some rather slick technology to vote in real-time on thoughts about the future of MMIT. It was a packed day with a lot going on and in this post I’m going to focus on the main keynote presentation, delivered by Marshall Breeding, who recently left his post as Director for Innovative Technology & Research at Vanderbilt University in Nashville to concentrate on writing and speaking.

“Paradigm Shift: a Slate of New Automation Platforms Address Current and Future Library Realities”; was the somewhat daunting title for a fascinating insight into the present and future of Library management systems. It’s now clear that current Library automation products are out of line with current realities because what we are doing in Libraries is changing so rapidly; influenced most notably by the shift from print to electronic formats, and the expectation of Library users for more engaging interfaces to resources and services, delivered via the web to a variety of platforms and devices.

What we currently have is effectively a historical accident; a collection of separate systems that don’t work well together and are inefficient. The current Library Management Systems are good at dealing with tangible assets, but much less so at managing digital resources, so to handle these we need separate Electronic Resource Management systems for our subscription resources, Digital Asset Management systems for our own digital content, Link Resolvers, Discovery Layers and so on. What’s really needed now is a new, more flexible model to provide comprehensive resource management.

Marshall has coined the term “Library Services Platform” to describe the systems currently under development that will automate the Library’s internal operations, manage collections, fulfill requests and deliver services. Marshall predicts that they will be subscription based, hosted and managed remotely by the vendors and delivered to us as Software as a Service. SaaS enables the idea of Data as a Service, so these systems will be based around what Marshall called a “knowledgebase architecture”; a highly scaleable globally shared model through which we can use our combined efforts to build large scale systems around collaborative knowledge bases. They will support new and existing metadata structures, and, crucially, have open APIs that we will be able to exploit to do more with our data.

Marshall suggested that we are now in the early phase of a 10 year cycle that will see our existing legacy products gradually being replaced by these emerging Library Services Platforms. There are already early examples available now, or due to be launched shortly; look out for Worldshare from OCLC, Alma from ExLibris, Intota from Serials Solutions, and Sierra from Innovative. The Open Source version to keep an eye on is Kuali from Kuali OLE.

Barriers to accessing e-resources

At another UKSG breakout session Dave Pattern from the University of Huddersfield presented a humorous, stat-filled presentation (proving the two can go hand in hand), about the difficulties faced by users when accessing online library content.

To prepare for the presentation he’d posted a question on twitter:

and received a plethora of responses, including ones from our very own @mcbjazz,  which broadly fell in issues around:


With the number of responses he had he said he had enough content for about 32 presentations, not one but essentially the crux of his argument was about how difficult we, libraries, publishers, aggregators make it for users to access e-content. This is at odds with the expectation of the user who is looking for the easiest and most convenient way, hence their propensity to use Google and Wikipedia. This is demonstrated by a quote from a college freshman as part of Carol Tenopir’s research:

“Why is google so easy and the library so hard?”

and other researchers have found that users will sacrifice the quality of information for accessibility (Morville, 2005).

Dave illustrated how difficult it was to access online library content with an access query he’d recently had from a student. The user was faced with 3 potential log-ins; publisher, Shibboleth and Athens all of which Dave tried and failed. With the number of clicks and pages the user would have to go through to find out the article was not available via that route it is easy to see why users get frustrated and give up using library e-resources. Dave did a search on Google, found the article and emailed the user.

So the challenge is for libraries to make access like Google and resource discovery is addressing this but the publishers need to make more content available via resource discovery – this is non-negotiable. At Summon camp it was mentioned that an institution in the US asks whether the provider is on Summon and if they are not they will not purchase the item. As we’re currently implementing Summon is this a policy we would want to endorse? Should we not renew any products not available on Summon?

Since implementing Summon at Huddersfield Dave estimates there has been 70-80% decrease in the number of access queries, previously spending 5 hours a week and now it’s probably an hour a week. So it’s having impact and resource discovery is removing some the barriers to accessing e-resources.

What’s interesting at Huddersfield is how they are using usage stats from Summon and linking it to educational attainment via the JISC Library Impact Data Project. Through deeper analysis they’re attempting to find indicators of academic success and failure: does using e-resources at unsociable hours indicate low achievement? What are the information seeking behaviours of high achievers? Gathering data around this is really useful because if you are able to state “Students who use the library’s e-resources get better grades” it has much more clout in terms of library marketing rather than focussing on all the stuff we have and reminds me of the message Terry Kendrick gave at his marketing training to BCU staff.

Another interesting thing they do at Huddersfield is make recommendations to the borrower on the OPAC, similar to amazon which has meant an increase in borrowing of unique titles, for more details look at COPAC data activity project.

For a copy of Dave Pattern’s slides click here.

Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) at Royal Holloway

Anna Grigson presented a case study of PDA or demand driven acquisition at Royal Holloway as a breakout session at the UKSG 2012 conference.  They decided to pilot PDA because of the mismatch between what the library has and what users want. It is estimated that up to 40% of budgets are wasted buying stock that users do not want. The benefits of PDA are:

–          users get just in time access

–          the library gets better value and staff time is saved

–          the collection is a better fit to user need

Anna described the various different PDA models available: Purchase, Rental, capped pay per view and evidence based selection.

Implementation process

They opted for the Rental Model and they set the following criteria:

–          £10,000 of the acquisitions budget would be set aside for the pilot

–          Review after one term

–          Offered access to 120,000 ebooks; all subjects were included but exclusions applied to ebooks over £250, some languages & some academic publishers

–          Threshold to purchase was set at 4th view of item

–          Each user was limited to 3 loans per day & the length of loan was limited to 1 day

–          There was no mediation, so when the user clicked on the link it went straight to the ebook rather than waiting for librarian approval

–          There was no publicity


Problems with implementation

–          finalising exclusion criteria was difficult

–          deduplicating existing ebooks was difficult because of issues around ISBNs which meant some ebooks were purchased again

–          loading the records on to the library catalogue needed to be done in batches of 10,000 and there was a few weeks delay in loading them on to their resource discovery, Summon


–          the first use was within 30 minutes of adding records to the catalogue

–          the first purchase was triggered within a couple of days

–          the pilot was ended after 6 weeks as all the allocated money had been spent – it seems a term was optimistic! – with 70% of the budget spent on renting ebooks and 30% spent on purchasing ebooks



Royal Holloway still want to go ahead with PDA but would like to explore capped pay per view, the model used by JISC. They would reduce the number of ebooks made available, introduce mediation and also make it clear to the user on the library catalogue which texts are part of the library’s collection and which are not.


Other institutions were invited to share their experience of PDA:

At Kings College they have amended their ILL workflow and will check to see if an item is available via PDA and if it is will direct the user that.

At Newcastle University they currently spend 1/3 of their acquisitions budget on PDA. They piloted with £75,000, which like Royal Holloway, found was spent up very quickly. The service was mainly used by final year students and users from faculties who were scoring low on the NSS. When the library spoke with academics about the use of PDA academics were very concerned about what students would purchase. However they were pleasantly surprised by the breadth of reading and in some instances lecturers updated their reading lists to reflect these new purchases.

There was also an interesting debate around whether it should be PD Acquisition or PD Access. Rather than collection building and owning material there was a suggestion we should be moving towards providing access to content at article and chapter level as this is what users want.

A copy of Anna’s slides can be viewed here