Patron-driven acquisition in action in Sweden

A recent research project examines PDA in Swedish academic libraries, with the aim of creating a knowledge base that can be used by other libraries.

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Successful PDA requires careful advance planning

Patron-driven acquisition (PDA) can be a useful complement to manual purchasing and an effective way for libraries to buy more of the 'right' books, but it is vital for libraries to be extremely well-prepared before starting a PDA programme, according to a recent research project which examines PDA methods in Sweden. PDA also creates a new role for librarians as they share purchasing responsibility with users, and raises profound questions about what a library collection really is.

The project, initiated by the National Library of Sweden, was run during 2012 by Uppsala University Library in cooperation with Malmö University Library and Södertörn University Library. Karin Byström from Uppsala and Karin Perols from Södertörn discussed project findings and shared a checklist for libraries considering PDA at the UKSG conference last month.

According to the project report, the likelihood of developing a successful PDA system and choosing the correct distributor will be “greatly improved” by thinking in advance and in some detail about the library’s prerequisites and demands.

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