Do you run a “request a book” type service, so that students/researchers can ask the library to buy books for their area of study – outside of reading lists or Librarian selections? And if so, do you have limits in terms of numbers of requests or £ that individual requestors can ask for?
2 responses to “Limits on “request a book”?”
At Leeds Beckett we have a Request It service for both staff and students to request non-reading list items, for research or collection development. We use a combination of ILL, DDA and purchasing, depending on urgency, reason for the request, how long they might need it etc. If staff are asking for multiple titles we check if they are intended for reading lists, and direct them accordingly. We don’t have limits at present, either on spend or number of requests, but we get the occasional… enthusiast – one student has requested £2000 worth of books in the last week, and has a further 10 e-book requests pending (distance learner) so I thought it might be time to tighten up our approach.
AT the University of Manchester Library we have a scheme called ‘Order a Book’ (OAB) which is open to both staff and students:-
There are no limits on the number of requests that our users can submit. However, for non-staff members (i.e. students), there are ceilings on the number of purchases that we will facilitate (the remainder being fulfilled via ILL). – These ceilings vary by student type (Undergrad, PGT, Distance Learners, PGR, PGR (Teaching Assistants)) and the rigidity with which they are enforced will depend on the level of spend across that year’s OAB funds.
Our Book Purchasing Team maintain a ‘Superusers’ spreadsheet and every ‘Superuser’ is contacted so we can discuss the approach that we will take for that academic year. This also gives us an opportunity to solicit feedback about their experience of the OAB scheme and ask for improvement suggestions.
For academic staff there are no official limits or ceilings to the number of purchases we could potentially fulfil but we still monitor activity so that we can see who is helping to drive collection development activity. – For costly items above a certain threshold, we liaise with an appropriate Engagement Librarian to suggest a business case be prepared; occasionally we may not be able to fulfil an OAB request and will give a reason for non-approval.