Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Library Calculator: Calculator Explanations

How much is the library worth to you?

Calculator Values and Sources

This chart provides the background for costing out estimated retail values of library services (2006 costs).

ItemEstimated Retail ValueValues Explained
Books borrowed $60 Average cost of academic book + circulation
Journals used in library $20 Average subscription cost for one issue
Reference questions asked $7 15 mins of librarian's time earning $58K/year
Use of research consultation/assistance $28 1 hr. average @ librarian's median salary of $58K
Database searches conducted $7 Median cost for single search in sample academic database
Electronic journal articles downloaded $10 2005 Electronic Resource usage statistics: average cost per full-text document retrieved
Hours of computer use, e.g., Internet, MS Word $12 Hourly rate at Kinko's
Wireless access use per day $15 Wireless Access Points + maintenance + upkeep
Hours of ADA software/scanner used $15 Hourly rate at Kinko's + ADA services
DVDs borrowed $4 Sample rental at video store
A/V media stations used $20 Daily rental for VCR/DVD player at Blockbuster
Headsets used $10 Comparable cost on airlines is $5; library's are much better quality, so cost per use doubled for estimate
Books through interlibrary loan $30 $18 service cost + $7 FedEx shipping + $5 labor plus originating library's cost
Articles through document delivery $15 2004 ARL survey
Meeting room use per hour $50 Hourly rate at Kinko's