Is there a way for the library to see what types of books people are searching for and base their purchases off these books as well as suggestions?
The library does not have a service currently that ties directly in with catalog searches to make purchase decisions, however, it is something that we are investigating as this would be helpful information in how our customers want to use our collection. We are already customer-driven in a sense as we have some foundation in responding to patron demand through the monitoring of our holds and checkouts and overall best seller lists and past author performance. In addition to using the suggest a title form and monitoring the demand of popular items, we also track the items being requested through our interlibrary loan service and may order items for which we receive multiple or ongoing requests.
We have also just started using a new service that provides data to our purchasers highlighting specific subject areas, authors, etc. that are understocked in our system and which may help them redirect funding from areas that are overstocked and under-utilized. As our material budget decreases this is extremely valuable in getting value for our purchases and increasing the offerings our customers want. This does not tie in with the catalog, but does make use of historic and current checkout activity.