≡ Menu
David Lee King

CIL2009: What is the Return on Investment for Your Library?



Speakers: Neal K. Kaske, Mary Lou Cumberpatch, Guy Dobson

Key questions:

  • what are the levels of use made of the electronic resources offered by your library
  • what are the estimated cost savings fromt he use of these electronic resources

Assumptions:

  • value of staff time saved can be estimated
  • using only direct labor costs provides conservative estimates
  • value of the public’s time can also be estimated! conservative estimate for general public’s time is placed at $6 an hour, below minimum wage – so if patron uses library website for 10 minutes, that’s $1 in value.
  • levels of use measured by standard web metric packages is accurate
  • usage numbers are local numbers…
  • some search/time numbers are estimated… ie., time to search for phone calls is 15 minutes (so it’s a rough average)

Must know what we are counting: looks like they defined what a search was for each database they included in the count and equated that with a patron coming into the library, pulling out an index, and doing a search. That type of stuff…

aside … I’m sitting 15 feet from the screen, and I can’t read the slide! at least 15 points, with sub-points, in small font, all text… break that slide up!

Showing an example of data and $$ values associated with that data – ie., website visited 3 million times, dollar value = $322,000 – page views = 1 minute = $.10 each…

Guy Dobson:

He is figuring total value by mining SIRSI records on borrowing use and an averaged item price. Nice. Some patron’s library cards are worth more than $10,000 per year, because they check out so much!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Chris Jowaisas

    Related to that last point of mining the SIRSI borrowing records for value, there is an ILS company here in Texas that focuses on small / medium-sized public libraries and one of the features that I thought was neat was that they do this automatically by patron on every receipt or e-mail that the person receives for the entire year.

    http://biblionix.com/products/apollo/#EmpowerPatrons (Last bullet point in this section)
    “For every patron, Apollo tracks the value of all items checked out over the calendar year. Patrons see this total amount on checkout and fine receipts as well as in any Apollo email. It is not uncommon for this to engender unsolicited contributions.”

    I always wondered why other ILS vendors did not make this really easy to do after seeing it implemented.

  • Chris Jowaisas

    Related to that last point of mining the SIRSI borrowing records for value, there is an ILS company here in Texas that focuses on small / medium-sized public libraries and one of the features that I thought was neat was that they do this automatically by patron on every receipt or e-mail that the person receives for the entire year.

    http://biblionix.com/products/apollo/#EmpowerPatrons (Last bullet point in this section)
    “For every patron, Apollo tracks the value of all items checked out over the calendar year. Patrons see this total amount on checkout and fine receipts as well as in any Apollo email. It is not uncommon for this to engender unsolicited contributions.”

    I always wondered why other ILS vendors did not make this really easy to do after seeing it implemented.