May 28, 2022

Conference Paper: “Assessing the Shared Usage of Collaboratively Acquired Ebooks Within the Borrow Direct Network”

The following paper will be presented next month at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress (80th IFLA General Conference and Assembly) in Lyon, France.


Assessing the Shared Usage of Collaboratively Acquired Ebooks Within the Borrow Direct Network


Adriana Popescu
Princeton University

Douglas McGee
University of Pennsylvania


International Federation of Library Associations/WLIC 2014


Established in 1999, Borrow Direct (BD) is a partnership of nine independent U.S. universities and the Center for Research Libraries providing expedited delivery of print materials. As such, it has facilitated the delivery of nearly two million items to patrons at these institutions. The rapid emergence of ebooks has posed a challenge to this successful resource sharing venture as member institutions have expanded their acquisition of this type of content. How does one “borrow” an ebook from another institution and avoid the need to purchase one’s own copy? Different models are emerging to tackle this issue.

Under the aegis of Borrow Direct, Engineering Librarians at seven member institutions have engaged in a pilot project to explore the collective purchase of ebooks via demand driven acquisition (DDA). While neither consortia ebook purchasing nor DDA are unique concepts, what is novel is that this pilot was undertaken without the benefit of a central organization to coordinate this endeavour.

This paper will describe the evolution of this project, assess the group’s usage of the purchased titles, and draw comparisons between the level of sharing activity of print engineering materials and the newly formed ebook collection.

Direct to Full Text Paper (13 pages; PDF)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.