The library-facilitated collection: Variety is the spice of life – the challenges of managing collections shaped by user choice and publisher bundling

Jill Taylor-Roe
Head of Planning & Resources and Deputy Librarian, Newcastle University

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After years of growing our journal collections via the big deal, where the subscribed content is determined by publishers, we are now seeing a new approach, patron-driven acquisition, rapidly gain in favour. Can the two approaches ever be reconciled? Are we compromising the integrity of future research collections by letting our users determine what we purchase? Is the role of the librarian being terminally eroded? Or can we successfully blend these and other strategies in the service of our core users? This paper will consider the many challenges facing collection managers in academic libraries and suggest how they can be successfully negotiated.