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Five years ago we conducted a study on short-term return on investment in print books purchased under different acquisition modes. Unsurprisingly, the demand-driven purchases - and course readings in particular - showed the highest level of engagement and return on investment within the first year after purchase. Approximately a third of all titles purchased on approval and as firm orders also saw at least one use in the first year, and the titles that were used experienced an average of 2.5 circulations.
These results triggered some follow-up questions which we can now address with five years of additional data. Do demand-driven purchases of print books have enduring value past the first year? Do titles purchased through approval plan, standing order, and firm order see an increase in usage after the first year? Do any of our print titles reach a cost per use comparable to that of journal articles or e-book chapters within five years?
Although this new data includes the 18 months when the library building was closed due to the Pandemic, it presents useful insights for the value of print books, and informs future collection development, space planning, and budgeting decisions at our library.
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Savova, Maria and Lebel, Candace, "Don’t close the book on print: Mid-term return on investment of print books purchased under different acquisition modes" (2023). Library Staff Publications and Research. 73.