First-Time Use Books are Frequently Available for Patron-Driven Acquisition


  • Eamon C. Tewell Long Island University



A Review of:
Herrera, G. (2015). Testing the patron-driven model: Availability analysis of first-time use
books. Collection Management, 40(1), 3-16. doi:


Objective – To determine whether a hypothetical Patron-Driven Acquisition (PDA) purchasing model is acceptable in terms of making available print monographs after their initial publication.

Design – Quantitative data analysis.

Setting – A large public university located in the southern United States of America.

Subjects – 8,020 item records representing books used at the author’s institution for the first time in 2012. Non-circulating monographs and items such as personal copy reserve materials and government documents were excluded from the sample.

Methods – Using the libraries’ ILS, a listing of the titles of monographs that received first-time use in 2012 was generated and exported to Microsoft Excel. The Getting It System Toolkit (GIST) was used to batch-search possibilities for acquisition and/or access, including purchase (including Amazon and Better World Books) and free access (such as HaithiTrust and Google Books).

Main Results – A total of 76% (6,130) of titles from the sample of 8,020 were available for purchase. A total of 3% (165) of these titles were both available for purchase and freely available online. Books not available either freely or by purchase represented 21% (1,682) of the sample. When participation in a regional resource-sharing consortium was accounted for, only 1% (101) of the titles could not be obtained. Books published before the 1920s were more likely to be freely available due to being in the public domain; however a majority of the titles (64%; 5,127) had a publication date of 1990 forward. The humanities represented the largest disciplinary grouping at 57% (4,563), with Social Sciences (31%; 2,472) and STEM (11%; 879) following.

Conclusions – In sum, the results indicated a very low margin of unavailability for titles. The author notes that, based on the findings, there should be no PDA purchase restrictions according to publication date if a large-scale program were to be implemented at their institution, and that researchers requiring humanities titles would be likely to benefit most from such a program (p. 14). It should be noted that a significant budget for PDA was allocated at the author’s institution.


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Author Biography

Eamon C. Tewell, Long Island University

Reference & Instruction Librarian Brooklyn Campus Library




How to Cite

Tewell, E. C. (2015). First-Time Use Books are Frequently Available for Patron-Driven Acquisition. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 10(3), 85–87.



Evidence Summaries