Target Audience: Electronic services librarians, acquisitions librarians, solo librarians, library directors
1. Participants will be able to identify and list the best practices to employ when considering the acquisition of a new electronic resource.
2. Participants will be able to design and conduct an electronic resource trial using a focus group comprised of stakeholders within their institution.
This program will highlight the best practices to use when evaluating a new electronic resource for acquisition. These best practices are gleaned from the library literature, published surveys, and the experiences of the presenters. Best practices include: "try before you buy," obtaining stakeholder involvement, benchmarking, and using an electronic resource evaluation checklist, among others. The program will focus on four areas: 1) the electronic resource evaluation checklist, 2) selection and coordination of a trial focus group, 3) the cost-benefit analysis, and 4) subscription versus ownership and other licensing options. Other considerations to be examined include: authentication, user interface, content appropriateness, search capability, browsing capability, currency and archives, vendor support, training, user statistics, bill back mechanisms, online documentation, and formatting. In addition, the program will present questions to be asked of other stakeholders in the acquisitions process (e.g., the IT department, catalogers, public services). Program materials will include a sample electronic resource evaluation checklist and bibliography.