New Year, New Books

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Starting in February of 2019, students and faculty will have the opportunity to choose whatever book they want to read through the new system, Books on Demand powered by the University Library.

“Books on Demand is a new program the library has launched that allows students, faculty and staff to order books or initiate the ordering of books on their own outside of the library choosing books for them,” Willie Miller, informatics and journalism librarian and resource development liaison, said.

This new system allows students and staff to make better advancements to their education and help the library evolve.

“The way that libraries has typically bought books in the past, is a librarian like me would be aware of the classes that are being taught and research being done in the disciplines we work in and then we would choose from a big list of books ,which books we think we should buy for the collection to support the studies in those fields. With books on demand, instead of us making the choice, students, faculty and staff will choose which books they would like to purchase for the libraries collection,” Miller said.

Books on Demand has been an idea for almost 10 years. David Lewis, the Dean of University Library had dreams of having an Amazon-like system for students and staff to access.

“[David] retired last April and he had said that he wished that we could get all of the books that Amazon had and put them into the library’s catalogue and then order them on 2 day shipping anytime somebody wanted one. We are not doing quite that, the number of books we have in the program is a lot smaller than Amazon. Instead of putting all of Amazon in we are putting in a lot of the books we would normally [decide] from of whether or not we should buy them for the campus. We are putting them all into the catalogue and we are only going to buy [the books] when somebody wants them,” Miller said.

Books on Demand is easily accessible to students and staff, allowing them to order books as soon as possible using IUCAT.

“[Books on Demand] integrates into our catalogue IUCAT. The way that it would work on IUCAT is that someone would do a search for a book on any topic they want and if it is a book that is apart of the Books on Demand program, when they click on the title of the book, there will be a button on the title page that says ‘Get this for IUPUI’. The library also has a on Demand services webpage, where you can look at just the collection of the books that are in the Books on Demand program,”Miller said.

With Books on Demand being tailored to IUPUI alone, it is set to multiply each month with the ordering of new books.

“Right now there are about 5,000 books in the collection. It will grow every month. Every month we will put in all of the books that have been published in the past month that fit our criteria and into the program so it will get bigger and bigger. This is only for the IUPUI campus. No other IU campus can do this program,” Miller said.

As this program gets going and it’s popularity gets bigger, book lovers are growing excitement for this opportunity have access to more books.

“I tend to turn to the library when I'm looking for books before I go to Amazon. Sometimes I'm lucky and someone has put in a request for a book or a librarian ordered it, but often my interests are esoteric enough that I'm out of luck, said Travis Faas, Game Developer Lecturer at IUPUI. Often times if the libraries don't have it, it just sits on my to-read list forever, because it's harder to justify the $30 price tag on the book unless it's directly relevant to something I'm working on. I guess that's why I'm excited about it. It gives me an avenue to explore interesting concepts or ideas that I didn't have the money or means to do so before.”

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