Monday, May 16, 2011

The Cost of Deselection (10): Summing Up

The Project:  To remove 10,000 volumes from a 250,000-volume library to make room in the stacks for 1-2 years' collection growth.

Assumptions: Librarian time @ median rate of $35/hour (including benefits) and 40-hour work week. Batch data comparison for 250,000 titles would cost a minimum of $10,000 to prepare, trouble-shoot and execute. (This is essentially an educated guess, based on logic outlined here and here.

The Process and Estimated Costs:

     Project Design and Management:            100 hours        $ 3,500
     Data Extract                                              20 hours          $    700
     Develop Deselection Criteria                     100 hours         $ 3,500
     Communication w/Stakeholders             100 hours         $ 3,500

     Data Comparison w/ 3 targets (batch)                              $10,000
     Title Review from List only                                                  $ 5,810
     Disposition & Record Maintenance                                     $ 5,000

     TOTAL with list-only review                                $32,010
     Price per volume:                                                     $3.20

     TOTAL with in-stack review                                $39,000
     Price per volume:                                                     $3.90

     TOTAL with staged review                                   $41,400
     Price per volume:                                                     $4.14

The numbers are easy to poke holes in, so please feel free to do so. We have laid them out as fully as we currently understand them, but they will vary with local conditions. There is still a great deal to learn here. We are interested in other perspectives and experiences. In most cases, the per-volume cost will decrease substantially with volume--i..e., deselection criteria, once developed, can be applied to many more volumes for only incremental cost.

The steps in the process may also vary somewhat, but there are really none that can be skipped entirely. Unless a library manager is willing to forgo communication with stakeholders, to prevent review of candidate titles, or to act based solely on usage data, the deselection process will require meetings and discussions, decisions and adjustments. These take time, and probably more time than estimated here.

These are intended as reasonable estimates, and as a starting point for discussion. Comments are welcome and revisions are likely.

Links to related posts:

No comments:

Post a Comment