[Eril-l] thoughts about unsustainability of EBAs

Matthew J. Gallagher ma.gallagher at usciences.edu
Mon Mar 12 06:59:01 PDT 2018

Hi Melissa,
Not exactly what you’re asking below, but we are in our first year of EBAs and I have given some thought to what you pose below. In both of our programs, we are getting 2014-2017 content, and I imagine we’ll get 2015-2018 content next year.
To avoid the scenario you describe below, if my assumption holds true, my plan is to purchase the most-used titles from the 2014 collections rather than go strictly on usage. Of course, if some of the most used titles are from 2015-2017 are no longer included in the EBA, they’ll merit consideration as well.  A bunch of if’s, but that is my strategy as of right now. Hopefully, this tactic keeps the EBAs sustainable and we can use the accumulated usage over the course of years to determine how well materials are aging when making selection decisions down the road.
Matt Gallagher
Assistant Professor, Information Science
Collection Management & Metadata Librarian
University of the Sciences
600 S. 43rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19104
Ph: (215) 596-8963

From: Eril-l [mailto:eril-l-bounces at lists.eril-l.org] On Behalf Of Melissa Belvadi
Sent: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 4:24 PM
To: eril-l at lists.eril-l.org
Subject: [Eril-l] thoughts about unsustainability of EBAs

Hi, all.

As we finish our first year of EBAs, and renew most of them, I've had a thought I want to bounce off all of you.

Our context is that we're a small library and paying the minimum deposit that each of the EBAs allow for a library our size. That sometimes gets us their full catalogue but most often gets us just a portion, like a few years of frontlist or a few most-desired subject collections.

After the year is complete, we "spend out" our account before renewing with more money for another year.

What that means is that we just bought the most demanded books from that publisher, so they're no longer part of the next EBA cycle.

Imagine looking at a list of the books available in that EBA package sorted from highest use to least. We're cutting the "head" off that list by purchasing them.

So we enter the second year, having to deposit at least the same amount of money again (or even more as some publishers ask for an increased amount minimum), but now the most likely-use books are removed from the pool.

Yes, patron use varies from year to year, so the second year, and probably the third, we'll probably be able to still get enough use to justify the deposits.
And yes, hopefully each year the publisher is adding new frontlist books that your patrons haven't seen, assuming your EBA profile is providing frontlist (JSTOR EBA is strictly backlist, for instance).

But I'm thinking that 3-5 years down the road, unless our curriculum/research programs significantly change, we'll hit the point where we are no longer seeing enough demand/usage for the unpurchased books remaining in that publisher's EBA-able catalogue to justify the amount they want in deposit.

The 80-20 rule for book use is probably at play in here somewhere too.

Has anyone here been in EBA programs for enough years to test this hypothesis?

Melissa Belvadi
Collections Librarian
University of Prince Edward Island
mbelvadi at upei.ca<mailto:mbelvadi at upei.ca> 902-566-0581
my public calendar<http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=mbelvadi%40upei.ca&ctz=America/Halifax&mode=week>

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