I have been writing the articles that accompany ebrary e-book surveys since the first survey in 2007. This year Katina asked me if I would like to guest edit an ATG issue on e-books. My first thought was to include the most recent article for the survey of students done by ebrary in September 2011. The second was to expand the topic beyond e-books and to include changes that are occurring in library operations because of the transition to e-distribution generally. It seemed particularly suitable since I have, for the past five years, coordinated a panel discussion at the Charleston Conference on the changing library operations. Katina agreed so I asked Jim Dooley, who is the Head of Collection Services at UC Merced and has been on the panel from the beginning, to be a co-guest editor and to write one of the articles on changing library operations at Merced. He agreed and said he thought Martha Hruska, Associate University Librarian for Collection Services, UC San Diego, might be willing to write an article. Western Oregon University, where I hang my hat as the Dean of Library Services, is one of the Orbis Cascade Alliance libraries where we are currently embarking on a project to cooperatively purchase e-books in a patron-driven acquisitions model. James Bunnelle, Acquisitions & Collection Development Librarian at Lewis & Clark College, agreed to write an article updating progress on the project. Finally, I also contributed an article on library operations at Western.
James Bunnelle’s article “Pilot to Program: Demand-Driven E-books at the Orbis-Cascade Consortium, 1 Year Later” is a follow-up to McElroy & Hinken’s “Pioneering Partnerships: Building a Demand-Driven Consortium e-book Collection,” published in the June 2011 issue of ATG, describing the formative stages of the project. James provides a description of the model and the experiences of its ongoing evolution over the last year including the partnerships with EBL and YBP, the multiplier and the short-term threshold, discovery and loading, training, evaluation, exit strategy teams, and usage.
After a brief description of the Merced library focusing on its nature as a new library designed to be primarily digital, Jim Dooley, in his article “Demand-Driven Acquisitions at UC Merced,” explains the rationale underlying the PDA model for collection development at Merced and then enters into a detailed description and analysis of the model. The article also comments on changes to some of the other library operations and on developments of the UC system-wide library operations.
Martha Hruska, in “Letting the Patrons Drive… Research Library Acquisitions?” provides insight into the tensions and complexities of integrating PDA into acquisitions at a large research library. The endeavor requires coordination among librarian subject specialists and departmental faculty in navigating the exigencies of declining budgets, duplication of e-books across vendors, limited availability in e-format, and cooperation within the UC system.
Beside the ebrary student survey analysis, in the article “Western Oregon University: Changing Library Operations” I provide a brief scan of some of the changes that have occurred over the year relevant to library operations and then an analysis of e-journal and e-book acquisition at a regional, masters-level state university of 6,000 students.