Making best use of book budgets – rent before you buy!

rent5 For a number of years, we have used patron driven acquisition schemes for some of our ebook content.  This means that large collections of ebooks are discoverable via our library catalogue, but items are only purchased when they are actually accessed by our library users.

We analysed usage of these materials and found that a proportion of these books were only used by a single user.

We wanted much better value for money than that!

So this year we are trialling a rental scheme with our VLE books – one of our major ebook suppliers.  This means that the first few people that use the ebook do so on a rental basis, at a fraction of the full purchase cost.

A quick Preview is possible for all books in this scheme – without triggering a rental or purchase – as shown below:


After a quick preview has been made, users will be asked to Request Access.  You’ll need to make a few click drop down selections to submit your request, for example:


Then you’ll get an Alert and email confirmation to let you know the item has been rented for you for one week.



Don’t worry, you can still access the book after your one week rental is up, it’ll just trigger another rental or purchase.  Following several rentals the book will be fully purchased at next use.

Once a rental or purchase has been made, you’ll then get full access to the book as shown below:


If you are a member of staff and are planning to use one of these books in your teaching, just let us know and we can bypass the rental process and trigger an outright purchase.  In bypassing the rental process, for books that we know will be subject to repeated use, we can minimise the ‘clicks for access’ for everyone and avoid both renting and buying the item!

We welcome your feedback on this new model of ebook purchasing.  It is aimed at making the budget go further by facilitating access to a wide range of ebooks, whilst only securing long term access to items that are subject to repeated use.

Get in touch with the for more information or to pass on your feedback.

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