Patron-Driven Acquisitions and the Research Library


  • Thomas H. Teper University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Lynne M. Rudasill University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Lynn N. Wiley University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Collection development, patron driven acquisitions, subject specialist, acquisitions, circulation statistics, subject comparison, consortial copies


The acquisition of materials for scholars in today's library is frequently a matter left primarily to the subject specialist in our large U.S. research institutions. The development of online tools to facilitate choices made by users, but still core to academic collections, has greatly expedited the job of selecting materials in relevant fields. This paper explores the results of a pilot project involving a patron-driven acquisitions plan currently evolving at one major research institution. Analyzing those items purchased for the subject area of political science, both through the program and by the subject specialist, the authors present a comparison of statistics related to circulation, subject emphasis, and consortial holdings. The authors suggest that this collection model is one part of an ever growing suite of services designed to meet "just in time" user needs and is a tool in the development of policies for consortial purchases.