Patron Driven Acquisitions as a Vehicle for Engaging Students in Stock Selection

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1 Patron Driven Acquisitions as a Vehicle for Engaging Students in Stock Selection Chris Whitfield & Alan Wheeler Academic Liaison Librarians, University of Bedfordshire Other team members Adele Robinson Hilary Johnson

2 THE PROBLEM: Student engagement with the library

3

4 Question - can we use PDA to: Improve the student experience Increase student engagement with library resources defined as a) greater use b) two way interaction Increase overall use of ebooks Increase student satisfaction Raise our NSS scores

5 PDA is exciting because: New model of the library service Gives power to students Demonstrates value to students Higher usage Better value for our money Ebooks on specialist areas not normally be covered The university management gave us extra money to do it New relationship with students? Can we trust them? Do we facilitate reading rather than selecting? So we needed to publicise it as much as possible

6 PDA AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BEDFORDSHIRE Our trial

7 Outline Dawsonera platform; flexible and already our main ebook supplier Library users browse unowned ebooks on our library catalogue Users can rent books (paid for by us) 3 rentals triggers a purchase (again paid for by us)

8 Heavily publicised We called it Ebooks on Demand (EboD) Publicity officer designed two logos Posters 5-min adverts in lectures and faculty meetings Social media blitz Banner on website Campaign shortlisted for CILIP s Marketing Excellence award Fitted with the university s You said we did slogan

9 EVALUATING OUR TRIAL

10 Key stats 110 days 7954 rentals 1073 purchases Total of spent spent on rentals (average of 10:61 each) spent on purchases - average of 74:75 each (average general costs are 84:11 for ebooks and 27:48 per print book) 4986 titles were rented but never auto-purchased

11 What did students choose? 1073 titles purchased Literature / Study skills 24 Art / Media 35 Sport 24 Computing 17 Other 31 Psycholog y 63 Physical Sciences 18 Business 108 Medicine / Health 160 Social Sciences 147 Applied Social Sciences 181 Computing 17 Psychology 63 Social Sciences 147 Applied Social Sciences 181 Education 262 Physical Sciences 18 Medicine / Health 160 Business 108 Art / Media 35 Sport 24 Literature / Study skills 24 Other 31 Education 262

12 Ebook usage statistics We compared EboD usage figures with existing ebook usage; median average was 16 views vs 10 views in favour of EboD Is this significant? Why did the social science students take 36% of the budget? What the statistics cannot tell us

13 Survey results 190 students surveyed on use of ebooks Overall; 28% had never used any university ebook 24% of students had knowingly used an EboD book But In Applied Social Sciences 85% of students surveyed had used an EboD book Students were asked who should choose books: - 91% thought students should have a role. - 55% thought librarians should have a role. - 8% that thought librarians were the best people to choose books.

14 Emergent themes from survey comments Access; 28% of students directly mentioned an increased access to resources. Other students talked of related availability issues Ease of use; 29% of students referred to the process of using EboD as easy. Further students acknowledged that they generally found ebooks easy to use Range; 17% of students reported an increase in the scope of books available to them and they attributed this to EboD

15 CONCLUSIONS Did we engage students?

16 Did we engage students? Yes No Very high usage (over 1000 purchases, nearly 8000 rentals) Positive comments students loved the speed and convenience Lots of good informal feedback Very high usage in some subject areas Less than half of students specifically knew they were using an EboD book Very few books bought in some subject areas e.g Computing, Art, Media Little engagement from hard to reach students

17 Have we got a different relationship with students? Yes We cannot put the genie back in the bottle No Certain students will never engage with this sort of service It did temporarily even out the imbalance in power between student and librarian Permanent change will require an ongoing EboD service We respected what they bought

18 LESSONS LEARNT

19 Future tips Reconsider chosen model? Promote as hard as possible Especially promote to types of students who don t use books so much Ask for student feedback sooner-no data available from final year students Some student groups may always be hard to reach Very good for those groups that are already engaged with the library

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