In a world of tightening budgets and major competition from electronic resources for attention, libraries need every edge to remain efficient and relevant. Often times, libraries invest tremendous amounts of money in subscription services and products that hardly get used. It can be difficult to anticipate what students and patrons may or may not find useful. But in order to maximize their prominence in today’s environment, libraries must take advantage of new opportunities available to them. The idea patron-driven acquisition has always been a staple of collection development, but new technology can allow for a more precise understanding of what students want.
BYU recently completed a Patron Driven Acquisition (PDA) pilot with YBP Library Services. They loaded 18,000 records into their catalog and gauged level of usage to inform purchases. As the study states, PDA changes the library purchasing model from a “just in case” system to a “just in time” system. No longer would you need to fritter away endless amounts of money on items that are not desired by the students you serve. It eliminates any speculative component from purchasing decisions. The BYU study lauds the opportunity for libraries to have “alternative ways to leverage their dollars”.
How can you make this happen for your library? Easy – a custom library-branded mobile app! Not only will a mobile app offer your students the clear advantage of being able to access your library’s resources and functionality in an intuitive and streamlined manner, but it also gives them the ability to let your library know what they are looking for and allows your library to know what students want.
Boopsie’s homegrown analytics solution – Boopsie Analytics – will allow your library to see exactly how students are using your mobile app. Which subscriptions are receiving the greatest usage? It will help you to determine which resources are perhaps better investments for your students than others. Or you can reconfigure the way in which your resources are ordered within your Boopsie app to see if that increases usage among certain subscriptions. This intricate, but easily comprehensible, system provides you critical insight into how your students are interacting with your library’s offerings and allows you to make educated decisions based on that data.
Another exciting way that a Boopsie mobile app can help you utilize patron-driven acquisition is by allowing your students and patrons to use the app’s BookLook feature. BookLook allows your library’s users to scan the ISBN barcode of an item anywhere around the world and compare it against your library’s holdings. Not only can this tool provide convenience to students and patrons, save them money, generate increases engagement with your library, and boost circulation – it can help you employ a patron-driven acquisition model. If a student or patron sees that a desired item is not currently offered by your library, they can request that your library purchase it.
Your library app can make it easy for students to find what they’re looking for, easy for your library to remind students what a great resource it can be, and easy for your library to see what the students want from the students themselves. Contact Boopsie for more information about how you can save money and make the most informed decisions about your collection development. Register for one of our academic library webinars here or one of our public library webinars here.