Admins: The difference between a PDA profile’s “Search criteria” and its “Collection”

Each PDA profile has two parts:

  • A set of search criteria
  • A collection of titles

The typical approach to setting up a PDA profile is:

  1. Set up the search criteria
  2. Run the search
  3. Add all the titles returned by the search to the collection
  4. Make that collection of titles active and available for your patrons to use

The search criteria and the collection are in some ways separate and distinct:

  • If you want to add a title to your collection even though it doesn’t meet your search criteria, you can manually add it to your collection.  (So note, you can end up with titles in your collection that don’t match your search criteria).
  • If you make your search criteria LESS restrictive, and then run your search, what you have is a set of titles being recommended to add to your collection.  But… they aren’t automatically added to your collection.  You have to select the titles you want to add from that list (perhaps use “Select All”), then add them to your collection.  Once they are added to your collection (and the collection is active) they are available to your patrons.
  • If you make your search MORE restrictive – such as reducing the list price to be 1-200 instead of 1-400, then when you re-run the search probably no new titles would come up (because the search is more restrictive).  At that point your search criteria is set, but… it does NOT automatically remove titles in your collection that don’t meet the new restrictions.  Instead, you have to go into your collection and manually remove those titles.  So in this example, you would need to go to your profile collection, search for all titles with a list price 201-400 and remove all those titles.

The key to understanding PDA is recognizing that the search criteria and the collection are separate.  The search criteria can be used to add titles to the collection, but not to take titles out of the collection.  And the collection can be modified directly by either adding or removing titles – regardless of whether they match your search criteria.