Reader Choice, Not Vendor Influence, Reshapes Library Collections

Kristin Murphy for The Chronicle

Rick Anderson, an associate director of collections at the U. of Utah, watches an Espresso Book Machine print a book on demand. With patron-driven book acquisitions, "the purchase doesn't happen until the need is demonstrated," he says.
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Building a research-library collection has been an educated guessing game. Librarians try to figure out what faculty members, undergraduates, and other users are going to want. Then they buy the materials and hope someone will want to use them.


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