The Economics of Services in a Changing Environment

Haarala, Arja-Riitta
January 2004
IATUL Annual Conference Proceedings;2004, Vol. 14, preceding p1
Conference Proceeding
This presentation concentrates on the management issues associated with providing library and information services in a changing environment. The transition from print to digital media has been a success story in many countries. At the same time, libraries are under increasing pressure to justify their expenditure. An answer to the crucial question is needed: Does this expenditure in terms of costs and benefits justify the services delivered? Publishers have encouraged the new trend by offering resources in digital format at little or no additional cost to the print subscription, but how will it be the future. New pricing models are bound to appear. The cancellation of print subscriptions has started. Regional consortia have become a valuable tool for purchasing these resources. However, the management of these resources and services cannot yet be considered straightforward and smooth although it is fairly easy to start. Better management information, especially on costs and new kinds of measures, is needed. User and usage statistics will be a major concern. A case study carried out at Tampere University of Technology illustrates that the costing structures for print and digital services differ considerably. The results of activity-based costing at Tampere University of Technology Library are reported briefly.


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