Lau Libraries Value Calculation - ReTurn On Investment

Published: 2021-06-29 06:40:30
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Naturally, everyone knows that the value a library provides is not the same as the cost; it is more based on quality than quantity/bottom line. Annual expenditures measure the cost, but what is the value in dollar sign? If one knew the value, one could calculate the Return on Investment (ROI).
"ROI calculations have been common for public libraries for the past decade. Econometrics and contingent value theory have been employed to determine roughly a 4:1 return to communities for dollars invested in public libraries."(1)
On the academic library front, several studies have been conducted to calculate the value of some services, resources and expertise of the library such as that of the University of Illinois and that of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in partnership with the University of Tennessee and the University of Illinois. The said studies were complicated and cumbersome. Nevertheless, an interim solution was posted a year ago by Cornell University Library based on ARL statistics, and was considered a modest method and required little time to perform. This method has the advantage of using data already collected; has a clear and transparent statement; and is quick and easy to do. Yet the fundamental key disadvantage is that it represents a partial accounting of the value of library outputs.
Since LAU Libraries have recently joined the Association of College and Research Libraries and are committed to submit statistics on annual basis starting Oct. 1, 2009, it is feasible to use Cornell University ROI calculation method being easy to implement. The table below reflects LAU Libraries ROI rate for the period Oct. 1, 2009 - Sept. 30, 2010. In summary, the dollar value invested in terms of SERVICES is $0.55 for every $1.00.

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