Case study


Experience of MyiLibrary PDA
1st library in the UK to try the MyiLibrary 'Patron Select' PDA model
Set up at the end of May 2009 and continued until February 2010, when the initial money deposited ran out
Deposited £25K plus VAT upfront (extra funding in addition to our regular book funds). This was their minimum deposit at the time; it has now been lowered
Selected 3,003 titles using subject profiling (advised to aim for a content value of 5 times greater than our deposit; this was about 7 times greater)
Concentrated on 7 subject areas
MARC records for the 3,003 titles loaded into library catalogue
Purchase activated after 2 hits (2 separate usage instances); this included hits on ToCs, title page etc. They have now changed this, and hits on metadata only no longer influence a purchase
Weekly reports received of titles purchased; library staff changed a collection code within the MARC record of all purchased titles, to distinguish them from the non-purchased
Did no publicity at all; end-user experience exactly the same as if they were accessing MyiLibrary titles purchased via the 'conventional' model
Usage analysis
433 titles purchased (we opted to buy single user rather than multi-user licences)
87 average page views per purchased title during May 09-Feb 10
£0.61 Average cost per page view May 09-Feb 10
£66 Average cost per title purchased, £26 average per title viewed
98 of the Patron Select titles purchased in 2009 were not used during 2010 (23%). This is almost identical to figures for our ‘conventionally’ selected MIL titles: 960 of those titles purchased to date were viewed online in 2010 (78%) – so 22% were not

We would like to try this model again, but haven't had the funds available in 2010/11. We're hoping to try to build some funding into our budget for 2011/12, without affecting the existing book funds which are allocated to departments (used mainly for reading list purchases, but also research material requested by academics

Experience of ebrary PDA
1st library in the UK to try the ebrary PDA model, even if only on a small scale
$5,000 (c.£3K) + VAT was deposited in an ebrary PDA account in April 2011, from one particular subject fund which would otherwise have underspent against its allocated target
There is no minimum spend in the ebrary model
We already subscribe to an ebrary subject collection in this same discipline, so people were already accustomed to finding relevant e-books in that subject on ebrary
Subject profiling done online by the Academic Liaison Librarian, who then filtered further by downloading titles to a spreadsheet, deleting some then uploading the spreadsheet to the admin site
3,212 titles were activated on the ebrary site and supplied to us as MARC records
Catalogue records loaded on 14th April. 2 weeks later, by 28th April, the deposit amount had been used up! To make the money last longer we would have needed to select far fewer titles
Purchase was triggered for 52 titles. A further 161 were used without a purchase being triggered. The ebrary trigger is 10 page views by one person in a single session; or one copy; or one print. All titles purchased were triggered by page views; 4 show a copy triggered the purchase, but that is always in conjunction with at least 10 page views
We decided to buy a single user licence e-book by default, rather than multi-user which is more expensive. Single equates to 1 concurrent user, but can always be upgraded to multi (if the publisher allows multi) at a later date. Ebrary operate a virtual queuing system which tells users that the title they want is already in use, and alerts them when it becomes available
The Liaison Librarian was happy with the quality and relevance of the titles purchased; important because this money was coming direct from a departmental allocation
No publicity done; only 1 academic staff in the department was aware that this would be happening at some point
Usage analysis
Too soon to say really. In May, only 9 of the 52 titles purchased were used. We will continue to monitor ongoing usage over future months