The ALCTS Collection Management and Electronic Resources Interest Group (CMERIG) is pleased to announce its program for ALA Midwinter in Denver. The program’s theme is Ebook Assessment and will feature three presentations along with discussion.



Sunday, February 11, 3:00-4:00 PM



Colorado Convention Center, Room 303



Determining the Value of an Ebook Collection: Where to Begin

Michael Fernandez, Electronic Resources Librarian, American University


With continuing eresources such as databases and ejournals, there is a natural assessment point: the renewal date. While there are numerous acquisition models for ebooks, as one-time purchases there can be an attitude of “buy it and forget about it.” However, understanding how existing ebook collections are, or aren’t, used is valuable for future ebook collection management decisions. This presentation will detail how one library conducted a collection-wide ebook assessment for the first time. The speaker will detail how, starting from scratch, usage statistics and acquisitions data were gathered. Decisions made on determining what assessment metrics to utilize and how to calculate return on investment will be covered. There will also be discussion on best practices for analysis of ebook usage.  


Telling Us What We Don’t Know: Evaluating User Experience Across Different Ebook Platforms

Natalia Tingle, Business Librarian, University of Colorado Boulder

Gabrielle Wiersma, Head of Collection Development, University of Colorado Boulder

Esta Tovstiadi, Eresources & Serials Librarian, SUNY Potsdam  


Libraries invest a great deal of time and money in our ebook collections, so it’s important to purchase resources that best meet user needs and expectations. This session will compare and contrast the results of two comparative analyses of academic ebook platforms. The first analysis compared ebooks across multiple platforms and evaluated features such as metadata, navigation, and search functionality from a librarian’s perspective. The second analysis tested the usability of academic ebook platforms from the student’s perspective. Both studies provided valuable insights about user preferences and revealed strengths and weaknesses for each platform. The presenters will share specific findings from both studies, but emphasize that user preferences may vary based on institution. This session will focus on offering techniques for evaluating ebooks from the user perspective and suggestions for incorporating this type of data into your collection development decisions.


Assessing Demand-Driven Acquisitions at an Academic Research Library

Kevin Walker, Head of Assessment & Government Information, University of Alabama Libraries


Libraries are continually in a position where they must justify the purchasing decisions they make, the services they provide, and in some cases their very existence. What’s more, the historical trends within the area of monographic acquisitions and usage have represented an elephant in the room for academic libraries. Specifically, on a national level, hundreds of millions of dollars are expended to procure high quality content that rarely, if ever, is actually used. In turn, this idea of just in time acquisitions, as opposed to a just in case approach to purchasing, has taken center stage within the profession. Side‐stepping the most readily apparent questions that arise about what drives usage, if not the quality of the content, the need to produce immediate results in the face of administrative oversight has led librarians to demand‐driven acquisitions (DDA) as a possible solution to low usage. Over the past two years, the University of Alabama Libraries has worked with EBSCO Information Services to implement two different DDA models. In this presentation, we will discuss an in‐depth analysis of one year’s worth of purchasing and usage data related to our DDA programs. We will also compare value-based outcomes to our more traditional firm and approval print and ebook purchasing program.




Shannon Tharp

Collections & Content Management Librarian

Anderson Academic Commons

University of Denver Libraries

2150 E. Evans Avenue

Denver, CO 80208




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